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      Patent and trademark center opens in Houghton

      A new patent and trademark resource center opened on Wednesday in Michigan Tech's Van Pelt and Opie Library to assist community members in gaining their own patents and trademarks.

      The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has a network of 84 centers nationwide, including the new center in Houghton. The USPTO funds the center with a small yearly fee from the university of about $50.

      Part of the patent and trademark process includes proving a potential invention hasn't already been patented or trademarked. The resource center will allow anyone to research inventions before spending money on the USPTO application process.

      "Ultimately, if we have more patents and trademarks granted in the area, that will help build up the innovation and entrepreneurial communities as well," said PTRC representative Sarah Lucchesi. "So, we really hope that it will be a good economic investment for the community."

      The patent and trademark resource center is open and free to the public, and no affiliation with the university is required to utilize the services.