Welcome

Inventors Network of the Capital Area 

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The Inventors Network of the Capital Area is a non-profit educational organization founded in 1993. Our members are interested in patents, the innovation process, product design, marketing, licensing, prototyping and other product development issues. Visit the Contact Us page if you have questions.

See the Meetings page for a schedule of upcoming meetings, directions, and more information. For announcements about additional upcoming events join the Inventors Network of the Capital Area Meetup Group or join/visit the INCA Google Group.

Meetings are free and open to the public. We invite you to attend our next meeting to participate in networking over pizza, snacks, and drinks.  If you are interested in speaking at an upcoming meeting, or would like to recommend a speaker, visit our Speakers page.

If you are interested in prototyping your invention check out TechShop in Arlington, Virginia or Fab Lab Baltimore in Catonsville, Maryland.

 

Current Meeting Schedule:

 

The Monday February 22, 2016 Inventors Network of the Capital Area meeting will be at the US Patent & Trademark (USPTO) headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia. The address for the meeting is USPTO Madison Bldg, 600 Dulany St, Alexandria, VA 22314. Networking will be from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm. Announcements will start at 6:30 pm and the speaker, Robert Brooke of Virginia’s Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) will be introduced thereafter. See below for more information on Mr. Brooke’s presentation. Meetings generally go to 8:30 or 9:00 pm. Pizza, drinks, and snacks will be available at this meeting.

MEETING LOCATION INFORMATION

Venue:

The meeting will most likely be held in an auditorium in the sub-level of the Madison Building. If an auditorium is not available the meeting will be in the  USPTO’s cafeteria seating space adjacent to the auditorium. The auditorium is in the sub-level below the large atrium. If you use the front entrance off of Dulany Street you will have to descend stairs or take an elevator to the sub-level. If you use the entrance off of Eisenhower Avenue you will arrive on the same level as the meeting.

Paid Parking:

The USPTO has the East and West parking garages which charge a fee. “Daily and hourly parking is available on a first-come, first-served basis in the East and West Garages from 5 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., Monday to Friday, except Federal holidays. Use the John Carlyle St. entrance only. The parking garage is locked at 10:30 p.m.” There is also on street parking with meters. Some pay to park meters last only an hour, while others are for two hour parking.

Free Parking:

If the weather is good free parking is about a twelve-minute walk from a parking lot, off of Mill Road or Mandeville Lane, just north of the AMC Theaters at Hoffman Town Center.

Metro:

The closest Metro rail stations are King Street and Eisenhower Avenue.

MEETING SPEAKER AND HOST INFORMATION

This meeting will be co-hosted by Mike Razavi  and the USPTO’s Office of Innovation Development. Special thanks to the USPTO for co-hosting this meeting.

Robert Brooke of Virginia’s Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) will be speaking on Small Business Innovation Research Grants. Robert is the CIT’s Director of Federal Funding Programs. A description of his talk is below.

“Intro to the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Programs

Small Business Innovation Research Grants (SBIR) constitute up to 25% of all early stage seed funding in the US.  SBIR provides early stage, startup, and even larger companies (up to 500 employees) with critical funding for high risk R&D.  There are 11 participating federal agencies that provide $150K to $1.5M in funding for projects that meet their missions.  This SBIR Intro session will discuss these agencies, how they differ, what the goals of the program are, and tips to start exploring this funding option for your innovation.  A brief discussion of the support offered by the Center For Innovative Technology and their Federal Funding Assistance Program will also be given.”

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE USPTO HEADQUARTERS

If you get to the USPTO early you may be interested in visiting the National Inventors Hall of Fame and Museum, also in the Madison Building (first level – on the right as you arrive off of Dulany Street). The museum is usually open to 5:00 pm on weekdays. The Madison building also houses the public patent search facility, which is opened 8 am to 8 pm Monday to Friday. If you wish to visit or use the public search facility visit the USPTO security office on the same level of the search facility in order to get a badge. Also bring a photo ID in order to get a badge. The security office is open from 8 am to 4:30 pm Monday to Friday.

Please note that future INCA meetings will not be at the Tysons-Pimmit Regional Library as the library is undergoing renovation for about eighteen months. INCA meetings may be at other local Virginia libraries, NOVA Labs, or the US Patent & Trademark Office in Alexandria, Virginia.

More About Our Monthly Meetings:

Every month we host a meeting with a speaker and time for experienced and beginning inventors to network. Private sector speakers at past meetings have included successful inventors, and experts in: marketing, branding, patenting, licensing, prototyping, venture capital, and entrepreneurship. Speakers at previous meetings have also included officials from the US Patent & Trademark Office of Independent Inventor Programs and representatives of government small business assistance programs. For more details on past speakers and meeting topics see the Past Meetings page.

Other Current Events:

The US Patent & Trademark Office is hosting its 16th Annual Independent Inventors Conference this August 15 & 16, 2014 at their headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia. To register and see the conference agenda see the following link.

http://www.uspto.gov/inventors/events/Alexandria_Main.jsp

INCA member and patent attorney Raymond Van Dyke gave testimony March 13, 2014 at the United States Patent & Trademark Office Public Meeting on Notice of Public Rulemaking “Changes to Require Identification of Attributable Owner.” You can view his testimony one hour and twenty seven minutes into the video provided at the link below.

http://www.uspto.gov/patents/init_events/attributable_ownership.jsp

An important inventors’ rights case, PICTURE PATENTS, LLC v. AEROPOSTALE, INC, is before the US Supreme Court. See the following links for more information.

 

In The News


TechShop Opens Location in Arlington, Virginia

TechShop opened a new location June 17, 2014 in Arlington, Virginia. TechShop is a workspace users can rent by the day or longer that gives them access to a huge host of prototyping hardware and software.  See www.techshop.ws/arlington.html for more information.

Community College of Baltimore County Catonsville Opens MIT Fab Lab

The Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) Catonsville in Catonsville, Maryland opened an MIT Fab Lab (fabrication lab) in January 2011. The first open house was Thursday January 13, 2011. An MIT Fab Lab is a workshop open to the public where inventors and product developers can get help making prototypes of their inventions. After taking safety and other training classes users will have access to a ShopBot CNC milling/routing machine, UPrint 3D printer, Roland vinyl cutter, laser scanners, and CAD (computer aided design) software. Check back here or watch the INCA Google group and the CCBC MIT Fab Lab Meetup group page for announcements on Fab Lab classes and the times the lab will be opened to the public.

The CCBC MIT Fab Lab will have its first training classes on February 7, 201. Right now three classes are planned for this date. One class will be in the morning at 8am, another in the afternoon at 12pm, and the last in the afternoon at 4pm. All three classes are 3 hours and 15 minutes long. The class will cost $99. Contact Bill Werneke at wwerneke @ ccbcmd.edu or 443-840-4401 and let him know if you are interested in taking a class and which class time you are interested in. You must register for this class before attending.

Directions:

The community college is located off of interstate 95 at exit 47B, which is about fifteen minutes (no traffic) south of Baltimore and one hour (no traffic) north of Washington DC.
After taking exit 47B you will be on 195 West and will be heading northwest. 195 West continues as the left part of a fork/”Y” you will come to. At this fork follow the sign that says 166 on it (this is a left at the fork). Do NOT take the right part of the fork/”Y” that says “UMBC Only” as the “UMBC Only” exit will take you to the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), not the Community College of Baltimore County, Catonsville (CCBC and UMBC are two different colleges and are located at two different campuses).

195 West ends at/runs into 166/South Rolling Road. You will still be traveling northwest while on 166/South Rolling Road. Once on 166/South Rolling Road look for Campus Drive (Campus Drive will be on your left and is opposite of Valley Road). Turn left onto Campus Drive when you see the sign for the Community College of Baltimore County, Catonsville (this blue sign also includes an electronic messaging display). You will be now heading southwest on a long curvy driveway and up a fairly large hill. When you come to another fork/”Y” in the road take a right. You will then be going counter clockwise on the “ring road” that encircles the CCBC Catonsville campus. Drive until you see the sign for parking lot number 5. Parking lot number 5 is the closest parking lot to building H.

The general physical address of the community college is 800 S Rolling Rd, Baltimore, MD 21228-5317.  The Fab Lab is located in room H145 of building H on the Catonsville campus. A vertical sign in front of the building with an “H” also designates this building. This building also has a blue awning that says “Applied Technology Center” on it. Go in the door with the blue awning. There will be a short jog to the right once you go in this door. After the jog to the right the Fab Lab is at the end of the long hall and on the right side. The Fab Lab is across from a room that has air traffic control and flight simulators.

Buildings on this campus are well marked, but see the campus map for the exact location:http://www.ccbcmd.edu/directory/cat/camp_map.html. You can also find the lab on Google Maps by clicking http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&q=%22CCBC+MIT+Fab+Lab%22

Parking:

Park only in the spaces with white lines (parking in spaces with red, blue, or green paint stripes may result in your vehicle being ticketed). If you have to park in a parking lot that is a bit far from Building H, and you don’t want to walk, you can ride a shuttle bus that runs during normal business hours.

For more Information:

For more on the CCBC MIT Fab Lab events see http://www.meetup.com/CCBC-MIT-Fabrication-Lab/. For general information on MIT Fab Labs see  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fab_lab and http://fab.cba.mit.edu/.

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