The USPTO's national network of libraries that provide patent and trademark information to the public has a new name. The libraries formerly called Patent and Trademark Depository Libraries will know be known as Patent and Trademark Resource Centers. There are currently more than 80 PTRCs in 46 states and Puerto Rico.
WIPO will phase out its PatentScope "Classic" search system on Oct. 13, 2011. All searches will be directed to the new PatentScope, which was introduced in 2009. WIPO launched the original PatentScope in 2003.
Australia and New Zealand have agreed to implement a streamlined patent application process that would allow inventors in both countries to file a single patent application by 2013 and request a single patent examination by 2014. Details about the Trans-Tasman Patents Plan were announced in July.
I'm the librarian for research services in the Engineering and Science Library at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. I've been working with patent information since 1991, including seven years at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. I believe that the dissemination of patent information is a public good and should be promoted, especially in the education of science and engineering students.