13 July 2010

Patents and Trademarks (52 Weeks to Better Genealogy, no.28)

Better Genealogy Challenge no.28 was essentially 'Visit your national Patent and Trademark Office web site, and also try Google Patent Search.'

The Australian Government site, http://www.ipaustralia.gov.au/, has a drop-down list to select whether you want to search patents or trademarks. I seemed to wade through many pages before I reached one where I could do a search. An unusual feature is the ability to drag and drop data labels to change their order in your results. You can also add or remove a label by dragging it into or out of the list of unused labels. I recommend including the label 'Agent Name', because in my search it revealed the inventor's address.

On the IPAustralia site I searched for 'Cunnamulla' (my home town) and found that in 1981 Stuart Charles BARKLA applied for a patent for a folding stock feeder. I did not find a similar reference using Google Patent Search, but I was pressed for time and may have missed it.

The Trademarks section has a link to 'Search for Australian Surnames'. (I quote) 'This is a tool used to assess how common a surname is in Australia. Trade Marks that consist of common surnames may be difficult to register.' I tested this tool with surnames from my mother's family, and the counts were RIENECKER=46, STEINKE=146. For my friend Helen, who is doing a one-name study, I found QUESTED=67.

In last week's challenge - using Google Scholar - I found a United States patent issued to William Stewart BENTLEY, Mooning, Cunnamulla, Queensland, Australia, for inventing an ornamental design for a bread bun.

('52 Weeks to Better Genealogy' is a series of tasks devised by Amy Coffin for Geneabloggers.)

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