January 2012

Patent office expands outreach for innovation honors

The Commerce Department's U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is expanding its nationwide call for nominees for the 2012 National Medal of Technology and Innovation (NMTI). The Congressionally authorized medal is presented each year by the President of the United States and is the country's highest award for technological achievement.

"We want to honor this nation's creative geniuses," said Richard Maulsby, the USPTO's acting chief communication officer and NMTI program coordinator. "This medal goes to innovators whose talent helps guarantee U.S. leadership in technology across the board."

Last year's honorees were awarded the medal for a wide variety of achievements, and the USPTO seeks to build on this diversity in 2012. "There are thousands of U.S. inventors who have produced great ideas.  This is an opportunity to recognize them and showcase their work," said Maulsby.

The medal is awarded annually to individuals, teams (of up to four individuals), companies, or divisions of companies for their outstanding contributions to America's economic, environmental, and social well-being. By highlighting the national importance of technological innovation, the medal is also meant to inspire future generations of Americans to prepare for and pursue technical careers to keep the U.S. at the forefront of global technology and economic leadership.

The USPTO administers the medal program on behalf of the Commerce secretary. Detailed information about the requirements for submitting a nomination, including a nomination form, can be downloaded at www.uspto.gov/about/nmti/guidelines.jsp. All completed nominations must be submitted to the USPTO by 5 p.m. (ET), 31 March.