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Life of the Library

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Patents on Your Mind?

posted: , by Sonya Durney
tags: Recommended Reads | Adults | Business | Government

On March 16, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)  is changing the patent system;  switching from a first-to-invent to a first-to-file standard. The change intends to simplify the process and to bring the U.S.  in line with global standards.

According to Mainebiz, “has some Maine companies and inventors scrambling to file under the current system, which patent law authorities in the state say is a more forgiving process.” To learn more about the upcoming changes and how Mainer’s are reacting, read this article from Mainebiz. 

In other breaking patent news, if you are interested in how long a patent lasts, the USPTO  has recently introduced a downloadable patent term calculator (beta version) as a resource to help the public estimate the expiration date of a patent.

Interested in more on patents? Check out some of these great books available at PPL:

man who invented

The man who invented the computer : the biography of John Atanasoff, digital pioneer by Jane Smiley

the knockoff economy

The knockoff economy : how imitation sparks innovation by Kal Raustiala and Christopher Sprigman

complete guide

Your complete guide to making millions with your simple idea or invention : insider secrets you need to know by Janessa Castle

the inventors bible

The inventor’s bible : how to market and license your brilliant ideas by Ronald Louis Docie, Sr.


The telephone gambit : chasing Alexander Graham Bell’s secret / Seth Shulman


the art

The art of invention : the creative process of discovery and design b

The New Business Gateway

posted: , by Sonya Durney
tags: Online Services | Adults | Business

PPL’s  Business and Government Team would like to introduce the new  Business Gateway  (also linked from PPL’s homepage).

New additions to this page include:

  • LegalForms (Thousands of legal forms;Official, State Specific, Federal, Business, Personal, Real Estate and General forms covering hundreds of legal subjects and issues)
  • DemographicsNow – Featuring  Demographics – Access a demographic report on any geography – or compare multiple geographies – for information including income, housing, race, age, education, retail spending, consumer expenditures, businesses and more.  Maps – Access the maps tab to view a simple map or use the advanced mapping tools for thematic coloring or additional customization of your maps. And 2010 Census Information – Access the 2010 census files as they are released by the U.S. Census Bureau. Look here to for easy access to other data files in the future.
  • Small Business Resource Center – small business management resources via a combination of periodicals and reference content. Includes business plan samples from the Business Plans Handbook
  • Business Insights Global (which all Marvel libraries will migrate to in late July from Business Company Resource Center).

All the familiar resources are still here, e.g. ReferenceUSA, ValueLine, Business Source Complete and Morningstar Investment Research Center.  Also, the “FURTHER RESOURCES’  links on the right hand side of the page will take users to the “old” business research page – should there be any links  you are accustomed to using.

Questions? Comments? Contact Sonya Durney at

Greater Portland Business Expo

posted: , by Sonya Durney
tags: Adults | Business

Yesterday a group from the PPL headed to the Holiday Inn by the Bay for the Greater Portland Business Expo hosted by Portland Regional Chamber. Our goal was to promote business resources available at the library.
Upon learning that exhibitors were encouraged to be creative with their displays, we thought…YES! A monetary theme was decided upon; our table was covered in jewels, gold chains, tops hats and boas to represent all of the bling business owners could attain by saving money utilizing free resources provided by the  library. Of course, there was a photo booth to capture photos of conference goers in said bling.

We hoped all of the fun would draw people to our booth so we could then discuss the library’s resources and sign them up for library cards. As it turns out, people were equally excited about the library’s resources (to learn more click here ), obtaining a library card and the chance to wear a mustache and funny glasses while having their picture taken. People were genuinely interested to learn ways they can research business issues  using library services right from their desktop. The library website provides access to online business directories, investment research,  country reports, industry reports, demographics, SWOT analysis, online full-text business magazines, newspapers and trade journals, the list goes on…

On May 09, Matt Wickenheiser of the Bangor Daily News, wrote a great blog, “Exchanging business cards for library cards at the Portland Biz Expo” about business resources provided by the PPL.

A heartfelt thank you to the Portland Regional Chamber for hosting the event, to Matt Wickenheiser  for the great press, to the folks who visited the PPL booth and were excited to learn more about the library and to all of the PPL staff who contributed in making this event such a success.

Please contact the library ANYTIME to learn more about how we can help your business succeed!

Like our Facebook page to check out all of the fun pictures!

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