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How to do prior art searches for patents: USPTO Fellow at Mpls Downtown Library

  • Feb 7, 2013 · 5:30 PM
  • This location is shown only to members


Reference librarian, Walt Johnson is well respected by local inventors and scientists in helping them learn how to search patents and publications to find out if their inventions are new or have already been disclosed (and therefore un-patentable).  He was a fellow at the US patent office for two years.  He will review the basics of patents and then teach us how to do online searches.  He works at the Patent & Trademark Resource Center at the downtown Minneapolis library.  He was featured in a November 18th article in the Star Tribune, "Helping inventors chase their dreams".   Like all our meetings, there is no charge.

I've wasted time and money on an invention that was already in the public domain, I can underscore the importance of such a search.  And I had paid specialists to do searchs.

Here is a link to Walt's webpage.  Please pass on this invitation to fellow inventors & entrepreneurs.  Note: no food allowed in library meeting rooms. Covered beverages are allowed.

About the Meetup Group

Meet other entrepreneurs and independent product developers.   Bring your questions and "group-source" the answers.  Hear from specialized experts willing to share their insights.  Get energized and stay motivated to pursue your goals.  Relax and have a beer and interesting conversations.  Participants have found clients and collaborators through this Meetup.

Software, electronics, life sciences, med tech, services, products, materials, designs--innovators of a wide variety of value propositions participate. Both for-profit and non-profit entrepreneurs participate.  Many are starting their second or third business.  A partner in McKinsey & Company (NYC) turned up one evening. We have enjoyed meeting people from China, Korea, Saudi Arabia, Italy, India, Bangladesh and other countries.  Many are newcomers to Minneapolis/St. Paul.  Multi-generational, our age range has been 20 to 70+.  Several investors make periodic visits for those of you looking for capital.

RSVPs on the Meetup website don't include participants from our hosts personal email list and LinkedIn groups.  Many regulars just show up.  We don't cancel a meeting due to low RSVPs on Meetup.  Our largest attendance was about 20 people, but I've enjoyed smaller groups where I get to hear more from each person.

Let the host know what kind of expert you would like to have at a future meeting and feel free to refer speakers.  We look for speakers who have a message that is broader than, "buy my product or service".


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  • Ketan K.

    sorry not able to attend due to last minute issues...

    February 7, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      yeah, sorry, me too

      February 7, 2013

  • Steve S.

    Got a fire to put out :-(

    February 7, 2013

  • G. W. S.

    IMHO, for most innovators & entrepreneurs, "Patenting" (USA, circa 2013) tends toward two outcomes; either a very valuable asset, or an expensive and time-wasting distraction. "Patenting" choices: either search-it/do-it/defend-it/value-it/sell-it very well, or check-it/skip-it/get to market fast. Discuss?

    Also, if Walt has time, some thoughts on Trademark/Servicemark value and limitations?

    February 6, 2013

  • Tom

    Great topic! I used to do it by microfilm! So much easier these days!

    January 8, 2013

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