NEW YORK—New Yorkers looking to bring ideas through to fruition in the marketplace can find help with a new resource based out of Cornell University.
Sue Purvis will be on hand to answer tough questions for new innovators, such as how to start exporting, where to get financing for a business plan, and where to find a mentor or counselor for ideas. Purvis is the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) innovation and outreach coordinator for the greater New York region.
“Our goal is simple—let’s speed the introduction of new ideas and the breakthrough of new products into the marketplace,” Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Black said. The patent and trademark office is under the commerce department.
Purvis has a background in patents. She said she can help New Yorkers gain insight into getting patents and finding the right area of the Department of Commerce for their ideas and concepts.
First on-campus patent office
It’s the first time the USPTO has partnered with a university, and the pilot project will be studied for potential expansion into other locales. The office was recently modernized under the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, enabling it to open a satellite office in Detroit, along with planning others in Denver, Dallas, and Silicon Valley.
Purvis will not only help Cornell students but will also reach out to other universities in the area, such as the other new Applied Science campuses of Columbia University and the New York University-led consortium.
Before moving to Roosevelt Island in 2017, Cornell NYCTech has temporary space, loaned from Google, at 111 8th Avenue, where the announcement was made. Purvis will move with Cornell to Roosevelt Island when the university’s new campus opens in 2017.
Finding out about intellectual property rights for devices, processes, and software is one of the uses of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), said David Kappos, director of the office. Trademark protection for brands and design protection are other major issues.
Patents vs open source
The Maker’s Fair was held last weekend in Queens, displaying inventions and ideas from a range of people, and a reminder of the need of this new office, U.S. Representative Carolyn Maloney said.
“Our area is just bursting with new ideas,” Maloney said. “The innovators resource center will help those innovative makers and inventors bring their new ideas to the market off the drawing boards quicker.”
There is debate in the world of technology over whether software and processes, in particular, should be patented or kept open source, Kappos noted. Open source keeps hardware and software freely available, so anyone can build upon the ideas. Many of the robotics seen at the Maker’s Fair were open source.