Information Dissemination

IMTEC-92-73R: Published: Jul 20, 1992. Publicly Released: Jul 20, 1992.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the Patent and Trademark Office's (PTO): (1) compliance with a mandated compact disk-read-only memory (CD-ROM) demonstration program; and (2) efforts to disseminate patent information to the public. GAO noted that: (1) PTO is implementing the CD-ROM demonstration project; (2) PTO works closely with an industry association in establishing technology definitions, enhancing search capabilities and increasing advertising; (3) delays in the availability and evaluation of the CD-ROM disks include the time required to select the technology sets, extraction of data from the existing PTO database, and a lack of user information due to delays in survey implementation; (4) other PTO programs to facilitate public access to patent information involve access to the on-line Automated Patent System full-text search system at depository libraries and federal agencies, public access to the electronic bulletin board of newly issued patents and public access to image retrieval systems.

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