FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Commerce Secretary Unveils AIDS Patent Database:
1500 AIDS-Related Patents Accessible Through World Wide Web
CONTACT: Ruth Ford (703) 305-8600 Jim Desler (202) 482-4883
The full text and images of about 1500 AIDS-related patents will be
made readily available to researchers and the public on the Internet by the
Commerce Department as a part of the Clinton Administration's efforts to
combat the spread of the disease, Commerce Secretary Ronald H. Brown
The ready availability of the information contained in the patents also
dramatically demonstrates the important ways in which the administration's
National Information Infrastructure (NII) or information superhighway can
improve people's lives, Secretary Brown said.
"The only way to start slowing down this global epidemic is to break
down the barriers that prevent researchers from sharing technology and
information," Brown said.
"By creating the Office of the National AIDS Policy Coordinator
(ONAPC), President Clinton set a national example in exhorting us to use
every available resource to help end the spread of the disease -- our
electronic AIDS database is one more weapon in our war against AIDS," Brown
According to statistics from ONAPC, more than one million Americans are
infected with HIV. Further, ONAPC reports, between July of 1992 and June of
1994, more than 400,000 new cases of AIDS were reported.
"By putting these AIDS-related patents on the Internet, we not only
marshal the forces of the research community to help us control the spread
of AIDS, but also the thousands of Internet users who are constantly
speaking to one another and sharing ideas and information 24 hours a day,"
the Secretary said.
While representing a leap in making public information available -- the
AIDS database also demonstrates a tremendous advance in computer systems for
networked-based search and retrieval methods within large databases. The
technology developed for this database can be widely used for other database
"It is wonderful to see a case where fundamental research in computer
science so clearly benefits the public," said Paul Young, assistant director
for Computer and Information Science and Engineering at the National Science
Foundation (NSF). The Patent and Trademarks Office (PTO), NSF and MCNC, a
technology-based nonprofit organization located in Research Triangle Park,
NC, formed a cooperative agreement six months ago to create the database.
The AIDS patent project's technical leader is the Clearinghouse for
Networked Information Discovery and Retrieval (CNIDR), an offshoot of MCNC.
AT&T has offered to provide an Internet site for the AIDS patent
database; the company has an ongoing cooperative agreement with NSF to run
Internet databases and directory services.
"President Clinton has committed himself to both working to stop the
continued spread of AIDS and to making the NII a tangible reality," PTO
Commissioner Bruce Lehman said. "By making the wealth of information
contained in the patents available to everyone on the Internet, we are doing
exactly as the President Clinton has asked us: connecting people with
resources and information they previously believed were beyond their reach,"
The AIDS patent database is available on the Internet on the World Wide
Web and also through an electronic mail gateway. Internet users with access
to a World Wide Web client (such as NCSA Mosaic, Lynx, or WinWeb and MacWeb
from EINet) should open the URL http://patents.cnidr.org/welcome.html.
Users without WWW access can query the database through an electronic mail
gateway at CNIDR; for more information send a message containing the single
word HELP to ezgate at cnidr.org.
PTO and CNIDR representatives will be available to answer questions
regarding the database during a open-house demonstration 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Wednesday, Nov. 2, at the PTO, in the Crystal Park 3 Building, Suite 700,
2231 Crystal Drive in Arlington, VA. For more information, contact Art
Purcell at (703) 308-6856 or at purcell at uspto.gov.
Paul Lord, Unix Systems Analyst Garcia Consulting, Inc.
PTO: (703) 308-6873 PTO FAX: (703)308-6879 GCI: (703) 418-0805
On site at uspto.gov standard disclaimers apply