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The Commerce Blog

USPTO to Hold Live Online Chat for Independent Inventors

Photo of inventors with large-screen monitor. Clcik to go to home page of USPTO Web site.

File Photo

Senior officials of the Commerce Department’s United States Patent and Trademark Office USPTO) will be available live online Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2010 from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. (EST), answering questions and offering tips for independent inventors. Instructions for taking part in the online chat will be posted on the USPTO Web site at 10 a.m. (EST) Tuesday. Inventors can begin logging on for the chat at 1:30 p.m. The independent inventor on-line chat is part of the USPTO’s continuing effort to promote and protect America’s independent inventor community. (More)

NOAA Ranks December Snowstorm a Category 3 on Northeast Snowfall Impact Scale

Graphic of snowfall accumulation from Dec. 18-21, 2009 storm. Click for larger image

To the surprise of no one affected by the Dec. 18-20, 2009 system that dumped heavy snow from the mid-Atlantic to southern New England, NOAA has rated the storm a Category 3 or “Major” winter storm on NOAA’s Northeast Snowfall Impact Scale, also known as NESIS. Topping the NESIS scale—and the only storms rated Category 5—are the “Superstorm” on March, 1993 followed by the “Blizzard of ’96” in January, 1996. The scale, developed in 2004, catalogues storms dating back to 1888. (More)

NIST Awards $27 Million in Recovery Act Grants to Construct New Research Facilities

Artist's drawing of proposed facility at Nova Southeastern Niversity. Click for larger image.

The U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has awarded more than $123 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grants to support the construction of new scientific research facilities at 11 universities and one non-profit research organization. With ultimate research targets ranging from off-shore wind power and coral reef ecology to quantum physics and nanotechnology, the 12 projects will launch more than $250 million in new laboratory construction projects beginning early this year. (More)

Secretary Locke Urges New Emphasis on Innovation, R&D, to Increase Competitiveness and Create Jobs

Secretary Locke at podium. Click for larger image.

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke met with the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) to discuss approaches to fixing an "innovation deficit" hindering America's ability to develop new businesses and create new jobs. PCAST is an advisory group of the nation’s leading scientists and engineers who provide advice to President Obama, offering insights and policy recommendations concerning a full range of issues in science, technology, and innovation. PCAST is administered by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). (Remarks)

Commerce Department to Kick Off 2010 Census 'Portrait of America' Road Tour in New York City

Secretary Locke, Director Groves and Meredith Viera, Matt Lauer, Al Roker and AnnCurry from NBC's "Today Show" with 2010 Census NATIONAL vehicle behind. Click for larger image.

Monday, Jan. 4, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke will join the Census Bureau in launching the 2010 Census Portrait of America Road Tour, a cross-country, interactive experience designed to educate the public about the importance of participating in the census and mailing back census forms this March. Locke and Census Bureau Director Robert Groves will kick off the national tour in New York City. Meanwhile, 12 regional tours will kick off across the country, including events in Boston and in Los Angeles with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. (More) (Road Trip vehicles) (2010 Census Web site) (Secretary’s blog) (Boston event photo)

Census Bureau Projects U.S. Population of 308.4 Million on New Year's Day 2010

Image of clock with cartoon of baby with top hat. Click to go to U.S. population clock.

On the eve of the 2010 Census, as the Census Bureau prepares to conduct an actual count of the nation’s population, the bureau projects that on Jan. 1, 2010—three months out from Census Day—the total U.S. population will be 308,400,408. This would represent an increase of 2,606,181, or 0.9 percent, from New Year’s Day 2009. In January 2010, one birth is expected to occur every eight seconds in the United States and one death every 12 seconds. (More) (U.S. Population Clock) (2010 Census)

The 2009 Holiday Season

U.S. Department of Commerce Fourteenth Street main entrance with holiday wreaths and bows above doors. Click for larger image.

The holiday season is a time for gathering with friends and family to reflect and give thanks. At this time of year, the Department of Commerce’s U.S. Census Bureau presents holiday-related facts and figures from its data collection, including the details about mail, retail sales, toys, trees and decorations and much more. The Census Bureau projects the nation’s population at 308 million as we ring in the New Year 2010. Happy Holidays from the U.S. Department of Commerce! (More)

Census: Texas Gains Most in Population, Last Estimates Before 2010 Census Counts

Map of USA (Department of Commerce). Click for larger map.

Texas gained more people than any other state between July 1, 2008, and July 1, 2009 (478,000), followed by California (381,000), North Carolina (134,000), Georgia (131,000) and Florida (114,000), according to the latest U.S. Census Bureau estimates. “This is the final set of Census Bureau state population estimates that will be published before the official 2010 Census population counts to be released next December," said Census Bureau Director Robert Groves. "We are focused now on ensuring we get a complete and accurate count in 2010." (More) (2010 Census)

Under Secretary Blank Locke Statement on November 2009 Personal Income and Outlays

Under Secretary Blank on podium.

The U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis today released personal income and outlays data for November 2009. Personal income rose 0.4 percent, real disposable personal income increased 0.2 percent and real personal consumption expenditures advanced 0.2 percent. The saving rate in November was unchanged at 4.7 percent. “Consumer spending continues to expand in the fourth quarter of this year in sharp contrast with the declines a year ago,” said Commerce Department Under Secretary Rebecca Blank. (More) (Release)

Census: Nationwide Movement of Goods Reached 12.5 Billion Tons in 2007

Census Bureau seal.

Total shipments of goods in the United States accounted for nearly $11.7 trillion in revenue and 12.5 billion tons in 2007, according to new data released jointly by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics and the U.S. Census Bureau. That is up from $8.4 trillion and 11.7 billion tons in 2002. These figures come from the 2007 Commodity Flow Survey, conducted every five years as part of the Census Bureau’s 2007 Economic Census. (More)