US Patent and Trademark Office


Join the US Patent and Trademark Office for a discussion about what all inventors, entrepreneurs, small businesses, and start-ups should know about Intellectual Property.
Topics include:
• Patents
• Trademarks
• Copyrights
• Trade Secrets
• Why Savvy Startups Care about Intellectual Property
• USPTO Resources Available to Inventors, Entrepreneurs, and Startups
Reserve your spot

Sean Wilkerson
Innovation Development Program Manager, Office of Innovation Outreach, USPTO

Sean Wilkerson works in the Office of Innovation Outreach at the USPTO, creating intellectual property (IP) awareness programs and managing outreach services to independent inventors, small businesses, entrepreneurs, makers, and universities. Mr. Wilkerson previously worked as an outreach coordinator for the programs leading up to the opening of the USPTO’s Silicon Valley and Texas Regional Offices. He also spent a year as part of the New York engagement team that developed the 2015 Future of Urban Innovation Startups Summit in coordination with Columbia University and the USPTO.

From 2011–2013, he served as the program manager of the inaugural Select USA Summit, developing the program, structure, and outreach efforts of a U.S. government-wide program housed in the International Trade Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce. As an education program analyst in the Global Intellectual Property Academy from 2008–2011, he managed international programs focused on providing IP training related to enforcement of patents, trademarks, and copyrights and the U.S. patent and trademark system. Prior to working for the federal government, he served as the Director of Events for the National Association of Homebuilders in Washington, D.C. and as the Ideas Exchange Manager for Accenture in Reston, Virginia.

NIHF (national inventors hall of Fame) Inductee James Wynne Invented the Excimer Laser Treatment


Gwen Blackwell
Supervisory Patent Examiner (SPE) in the Chemical and Material Engineering Technology Center 1700.

Ms. Blackwell also delivers lectures to new examiners at the Patent Training Academy on various topics concerning effective patent examination processes.She has also completed a 9 month detail as a Resource SPE at the Elijah J. McCoy Midwest Regional Office located in Detroit, Michigan where she worked to develop the K-12 outreach program will local school districts.

Ms. Blackwell began her career at the USPTO in December 2000 as an examiner in TC 1700, specifically addressing applications in areas such as semiconductors, nonstructural laminates, glass substrates with coatings, and artificial flora and fauna.In January 2012 she was promoted to a Supervisory Patent Examiner and served as a Trainer for new examiners in the Patent Training Academy. She transitioned in the Fall of 2012 and began supervising an Art Unit of examiners in TC 1700. She has worked in various parts of the USPTO, on temporary assignment, including periods at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, in the office of Patent Cooperation Treaty, as a Training Assistant and Supervisory Patent Examiner at the Patent Training Academy as well as completing a detail in the Office of Enrollment and Discipline with the Patent Pro Bono Program.

Ms. Blackwell received a Bachelor of Science in Engineering in Chemical Engineering from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and a Juris Doctor from the University of Maryland at Baltimore.


NIHF Inductee James Wynne

James Wynne is co-inventor of a process using a short pulse ultraviolet laser to etch tissue in minute increments and in a highly controlled fashion. The technique, discovered with his colleagues at IBM, allows removal of material to a precisely determined depth without thermal damage to surrounding tissue.

Until the early 1980s, lasers were used in eye surgery to create scar tissue that had therapeutic value, as when welding a torn or detached retina. The excimer laser breakthrough is used for delicate surgical procedures, most notably refractive eye surgeries such as PRK, and LASIK, which permanently change the shape of the cornea, the clear covering of the front of the eye.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Wynne, a physicist, received his A.B. in 1964 and his Ph.D. in 1969 from Harvard. He then joined IBM, working at the Zurich Research Laboratory before moving to the Watson Research Center in New York, where he was manager of the laser physics and chemistry group when excimer laser surgery was discovered. The recipient of many honors, including the National Medal of Technology and Innovation and NAE’s Russ Prize, Wynne is presently exploring new ways to apply laser technology to dermatology. He has also been involved with technical education outreach since 1990.

Venue YouTube & Facebook links will be provided
Starts 19th May 2021 8pm EST, 5pm PST