USPTO and Smithsonian Launch New Joint Effort to Showcase American Innovation

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the Smithsonian Institution have signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) establishing a five-year collaboration to develop programs and exhibitions showcasing American innovation. Some upcoming joint efforts will include a major new intellectual property (IP) exhibition at the National Museum of American History, as well as an Innovation Festival and educational programs at the Smithsonian’s American Art and National Air and Space museums. The first joint event as part of the MOA will be a weekend festival at the National Air and Space Museum Nov. 1

The USPTO has a rich history of collaboration with the Smithsonian on education programs, curation, and exhibition design and fabrication. Educating the public about the importance of intellectual property rights and protections with the various program offerings and the diverse venue options provided by the Smithsonian also supports the USPTO’s mission of promoting IP literacy. The USPTO will contribute up to $6.4 million to this new collaboration.

“We look forward to implementing this new arrangement with the Smithsonian and conducting forums where innovators of all ages can interact and learn about the patent process while also inspiring future generations of American creativity,” said Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of the USPTO Michelle K. Lee.

“Through this collaboration with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, we will create, over the next five years, programs and exhibitions that celebrate American ingenuity and innovation,” said Smithsonian Secretary Wayne Clough.

The Innovation Festival at the National Air and Space Museum in November will feature breakthrough patented American technology developed by corporations, academic institutions, the federal government, and the independent inventor community. The festival will also include innovation-related programs and hands-on educational events. Additional details will be released once confirmed.