U.S. Patent and Trademark Office representatives to speak at Clemson

Representatives from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will be on campus to speak to Clemson students, faculty and staff about patents, trademarks, copyright and other issues related to intellectual property in a workshop on Friday, April 14, at the Watt Family Innovation Center.

Elizabeth Dougherty, the eastern regional outreach director for the USPTO, will serve as the main speaker about what the USPTO does, trademark and patent basics, career opportunities at the USPTO and precautions that young entrepreneurs need to take to protect their intellectual property. Dougherty has more than 25 years of experience at the USPTO and has served in a variety of roles over the course of her career.

The workshop will also feature a panel of Clemson speakers who can assist students and faculty with intellectual property questions.

The workshop is co-sponsored by the Watt Center and Clemson Libraries.

“A lot of Clemson students are interested in entrepreneurial activities and get involved in projects that may lead to developing intellectual property through programs like Creative Inquiry,” said Barbara Speziale, associate director of the Watt Center. “We want to give students and faculty the opportunity to learn directly from the USPTO and our own experts about these issues. Intellectual property can be developed by people in every discipline.”

Jennifer Groff, engineering librarian, serves as Clemson’s representative for the Patent and Trademark Resource Center and is one of the Clemson panelists speaking in the workshop.

“I am excited to host the USPTO and partner with them on this workshop. Educating our students, faculty and staff on intellectual property topics will promote innovation and help Clemson researchers learn how to protect their creative works,” said Groff.

The USPTO representatives will be on campus Thursday, April 13, to hold meetings with students and faculty upon request. To schedule a time to meet, contact Speziale at bjspz@nullclemson.edu.

On Friday, April, 14, the workshops begin at 9 a.m. in the Watt Center auditorium.

Workshop schedule:

  • 8-9 a.m., Coffee and snacks
  • 9-9:15 a.m., Welcome remarks
  • 9:15-11 a.m., USPTO topics:
    • Programs and initiatives within the USPTO – overview of priorities, trends and key issues
    • Trademark basics/TESS
    • Diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives at the USPTO
  • 11:15 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Copyright basics and considerations for entrepreneurs
  • 2-4 p.m., USPTO topics:
    • Patent basics/patent public search
    • Precautions for young entrepreneurs
    • Learning how to protect your technology abroad – international aspects of patent law
  • 4:15-5 p.m., Clemson workshop, featuring:
    • Andy Bluvas, assistant director for IP management, Clemson University Research Foundation – speaking on Clemson’s IP policy and commercialization
    • Jennifer Groff, engineering librarian and Patent and Trademark Resource Center representative – speaking on PTRC services
    • Shontavia Johnson, associate vice president for entrepreneurship and innovation – speaking on Clemson’s new launchpad for entrepreneurs and her experience as an IP attorney
  • 5-6 p.m., Closing reception