Thursday, September 11, 2008


Erin Z. R.

On the last day we heard about FDsys, GPO’s Federal Digital System. FDsys is a digital content management system that will allow for the electronic submission and ordering of GPO documents for printing, publication, and inclusion in the Depository Library Program. It will also enable authentication and version control for government documents, and aid in their retrieval and preservation.

Representatives of Head Start talked to us about “Nuggets, Knowledge & News: Effective Strategies for Improving Quality Services to Head Start and Early Head Start Programs Through Online Resources”. In this presentation the speakers explained how they decide which information to make available online through resources like The Early Childhood Learning & Knowledge Center . When deciding what information is of value, they first look at what meets the standards, operations, and regulations of their organization and make sure to include information and resources that support families and professionals by offering toolkits, articles, information on regulations, stories, listings of opportunities for continuing education, financial assistance including grant opportunities, information on promising Head Start programs, and more. Head Start has made sure to identify relevant topics and subjects, consider the type and format needed for the information presented, decide how much information should presented on each page, and to submit their work to others for quality assurance. They also work to make sure that all information includes references and citations to show authenticity and validity and that the content and reading level of information included is appropriate for the intended audience.

The final presentation of the day and the seminar was “Answering Frequently Asked Trademark Questions” and “Answering Commonly Asked Patent Questions” . A trademark is a word, name, symbol, or device used in trade with goods to indicate the source of the goods and to distinguish them from others. In order to keep one’s trademark, you need to keep paying maintenance fees. The owner of a trademark is also responsible for monitoring others’ use of the trademark to make sure they don’t infringe and for filing section 8 every ten years to show that the trademark is being used. The presentation covers types of trademark protection, the Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) and other ways to search for information.

A patent is a property right granted by the Government of the United State of America to an inventor to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling the invention throughout the United States, or importing the invention into the United States for a limited time in exchange for public disclosure of the invention when the patent is granted. The patent presentation covers types of patents and their expiration dates, the USPTO website, researching patents, filing for patents and patent/inventor scams, and instructions for handling patent questions: “Provide information not advice”.

Trademark and patent issues and questions, like those involving copyright, can become quite complex. Fortunately there are libraries designated by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) to receive and house copies of U.S. patents and patent and trademark materials, make them freely available to the public, and actively disseminate patent and trademark information. Minnesota’s Patent & Trademark Depository Library (PTDL) is the Central Library of the Hennepin County Library system. Feel free to contact them with questions or concerns and to refer customers to them.

This seminar went quickly and I was amazed at all the information we covered. I hoped what I have shared with you here is useful. Please contact me at Central if you have any questions about this summary or about using or finding Government information/documents.

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