Patent, Trademark and Copyright Research Foundation
The PTC was the brainchild of the patent bar itself, created as a Trust at George Washington University in 1954 in furtherance of a February 15, 1949 resolution and later referendum vote of the American Patent Law Association and the Section on Patent Trademark and Copyright Law of the American Bar Association, and approved by the House of Delegates of the American Bar Association and endorsed by 15 state and city patent law associations throughout the country.
Its purpose is to serve as America's academically-based, but practically oriented, intellectual property research institute.
Conducting the research activities under academic aegis is considered essential to assure competence and impartiality. To make the research efforts "meaningful in terms of the national and international economic and social organisms", the Foundation's activities are interdisciplinary, thus providing a balance between theory and practice and avoid the doctrinaire approach.
In its public information roles, the Foundation is charged with not only the dissemination of published material, but also with furthering understanding about the patent system in both adults and children.
From its inception it was considered important for scholars and practitioners in diverse fields to forge an understanding and create improvement in the intellectual property arena, including fair trade, international technology transfer and joint venturing and other areas of technical and business interchange.
This was to be accomplished with the help of an advisory council drawn from various fields, with ex officio membership from the chairpersons of the House and Senate committees concerned with intellectual property legislation, and the Commissioner of Patents.
The research staff has been led by outstanding academic and practitioner researchers assisted by faculty and student research assistants drawn from the sponsoring and other academic institutions.
Initially, and importantly, the members of the Foundation were to assume the responsibility of financial sponsorship of the Foundation by seeing the annual contribution to its support by their respective companies or organizations (ranging from $100 annual memberships to $10,000 life memberships).
Following a period of time wherein our nation experienced the culmination of less than hospitable treatment of the patent system by the Courts and the declining understanding of the importance of intellectual property in American industry and certainly academia, interest in and support from the Foundation diminished. As a result, the George Washington University terminated the Trust. Though visiting many prestigious universities and law schools throughout the land during 1972, the Foundation faced considerable challenges in finding a receptive new academic home.
The Academy of Applied Science and the Franklin Pierce Law Center
During this time, the Academy of Applied Science, a growing nonprofit educational institution, was involved in the founding of the Franklin Pierce Law Center as New Hampshire's law school, with a specialty in training lawyers in the area of intellectual property law.
The Academy was vitally concerned with the plight of the inventive and entrepreneurial communities and the decided lack of quality of science and mathematics education in the U.S. The Franklin Pierce Law Center was one of the Academy's hoped-for solutions to the problem of reinvigorating the patent system. On the educational front, below graduate law school, the Academy was administering national programs sponsored by the U.S. Army Research Office, as its contribution to youth science encouragement, through the Junior Science and Humanities Symposia program - urging and rewarding creative research by high school science juniors and seniors, with recognition awarded at university-based symposia throughout the land.
In addition, the Academy was serving as a trusted interdisciplinary forum for private and public sector discussion of the problems of the patent system, innovation, and declining scientific and mathematics educational support and in the researching of ideas for improvement.
As the the important aspects of the PTC Foundation matched those of the Academy, the Foundation Transition Committee explored the possibility of the Academy serving as the new home for the Foundation; but the newly minted Franklin Pierce Law Center itself was (at that time) deemed a more appropriate home, closer to the tradition of the initial George Washington University parentage.
And so, the PTC Foundation found a new home, and the Academy arranged for George Washington University to transfer the mantle of the Trust and the institute assets, programs and the journal IDEA to the Franklin Pierce Law Center.
The Law Center opened its doors in the fall of 1973, and one of its first acts was t o continue with the PTC tradition and Trust charter function of holding conferences on significant issues and problems in the intellectual property and related areas.
In 1999, the Academy adopted the PTC Foundation as its research and educational arm in all areas of intellectual property law, as well as addressing cutting edge technology issues of broad concern. The Foundation is emerging as a forum for global issues to be discussed and debated among scholars, inventors, business and government decision-makers - - gathered to interact in symposia or virtual settings.