Commerce Under Secretary Kappos to Speak to Independent Inventors

WASHINGTON – Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) David Kappos will deliver the keynote address today at this year’s Annual Independent Inventors Conference. The conference, co-sponsored by the USPTO and the National Inventors Hall of Fame® Foundation, will be held in Alexandria, Va., at the USPTO campus on November 5-6. Conference attendees will receive practical tips and information on marketing and licensing, patent application preparation, patent and trademark searching, local resources, and lessons learned from successes and failures. Attendees will also have the opportunity to network one-on-one with experts and to provide feedback on how the USPTO can better serve them.

"Independent inventors have always been drivers of innovation in America," notes Under Secretary Kappos. "I am committed to dialoguing with them as often as possible and to making sure their concerns are heard. I am also committed to ensuring a level playing field for them as they seek the strong protection that the law accords to their innovations."

His lunch-time presentation today, as well as the Thursday and Friday morning general sessions, will be streamed on the USPTO home page

A pre-conference workshop for anyone interested in learning about the basics of patents and the importance of intellectual property protection, will be held on November 4 from 5 to 7 p.m., and is included with the $120 registration fee. This workshop is for beginners and is a good foundation for the conference.

General session speakers include Louis Foreman, the Executive Producer of the Emmy award winning PBS series, Everyday Edisons; Michael Lee, Vice President of the Licensing Executive Society; Thom Ruhe, Director of Entrepreneurship for the Kauffman Foundation; Jay Hedley, Managing Director of SMART Buildings at Accenture; and Don Skomsky inventor and winner of NASA's International Create the Future new technology competition, among others.

The Commerce Department offers a wide array of resources to assist businesses, but too few businesses take advantage of these and other government services. In a session on Navigating Commerce Agencies, attendees will learn how "CommerceConnect" is piloting a new way of delivering all the agency’s services in an integrated approach and how Commerce is bringing together manufacturers, federal labs, universities, large companies and independent inventors in an open innovation marketplace.

Session leaders and attendees will examine the fundamentals of selecting a strong trademark name for an invention and discuss the interplay between patents and trademarks. Participants also will learn about invention marketing companies, the benefits and pitfalls of filing a provisional patent application, and things for the inventor to consider when finding, selecting, and working with a patent attorney/agent. Sessions will offer Advanced Tips for the Seasoned Inventor as well.

For more information on the conference or how to register, see:

Media who are interested in attending should contact either Peter Pappas at or Richard Maulsby at There is no charge for media to attend the conference.