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Bulldog News

SC State's Miller F. Whittaker Library designated as U.S. Patent and Trademark Resource Center

Author: Sam Watson, Director of University Relations|Published: April 23, 2024|All News, Faculty & Staff News

Library computers

ORANGEBURG, S.C. – South Carolina State University’s Miller F. Whittaker Library has been designated as a Patent and Trademark Resource Center (PTRC), becoming only the fourth historically Black college or university (HBCU) to achieve the distinction.

PTRCs are part of a national network of public, state, and academic libraries designated by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to offer trademark and patent assistance to the public.

Previously, Clemson University’s R.M. Cooper Library was the sole PTRC in the state for many years.  Now, South Carolina has two PTRCs.

“As a PTRC, the Miller F. Whittaker Library aims to partner with other entities on-campus and within the Orangeburg region to help implement its PTRC initiatives,” said Dr. Ruth Hodges, library dean.  “Thus, the library’s PTRC's outreach focus aligns with the U.S. PTRC in helping historically underserved communities gain greater access to the patent and trademark system to protect their ideas, brands, and companies.”

As a PTRC, the Miller F. Whittaker Library will enable its customers and innovators in South Carolina to tap into the rich resources provided by the U.S. PTRC network of intellectual property experts and increase the diversity of the inventors, entrepreneurs, and small business owners who access the innovation ecosystem.
Doing so will foster greater equity, stimulate the national economy, create jobs, and ensure America’s competitiveness

Among the 91 PTRCs in the U.S., four are located at HBCUs:

  • Howard University’s Founders Library, designated on Dec. 8, 1986.
  • John B. Cade Library at Southern University and A&M College, designated on Oct. 12, 2023.
  • John B. Coleman Library at Prairie View A&M University, designated on Oct. 16, 2023.
  • Miller F. Whittaker Library at SC State, designated on Dec. 6, 2023.