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Building Collapses – possible solutions – brainstorming ideas – and there is a great show with characters and fun sponsored by the US Patent Office May 8 – 9, 2009 called National Trademark Expo in Alexandria, Virginia – no admission charge – Wowsa –

News >

National Trademark Expo Set for USPTO Campus May 8-9, 2009
Trademark Expo to Offer Enhanced Educational Activities

This year’s National Trademark Expo will be a lot of fun, but there will be a serious side as well. The overall goal of the Expo is to educate the public about the vital role trademarks play in the global economy. With this in mind, the 2009 Expo will offer enhanced educational workshops for both adults and children.

There will be three seminars for adults that will cover “Anti-counterfeiting;” “Trademarks 101,” that is, basic information about trademark law and Intellectual Property; and “What Every Small Business Must Know About Intellectual Property.” Each seminar will run 30 minutes. They will be offered twice a day starting at 11 a.m.

The children will be able to enjoy story time provided by the local Alexandria business Hooray for Books!. Children will hear stories about some of their favorite trademark characters who may just stop by during the reading!

In addition to the educational activities, this year’s Expo will feature a record setting 25 costumed characters. The roster of characters includes Curious George, Smokey Bear, McGruff, the Energizer Bunny, Pillsbury Doughboy, Popeye, and Peter Rabbit. The opening for the Expo will be held in front of the Madison Building at 10 a.m. on Friday May 8. The Air Force Band Quintet will provide entertainment.

Colorful opening ceremony by U.S. Airforce

The United States Air Force Band’s brass quintet will join 16 exhibitors and a cast of 25 costumed characters for the gala opening of the 2009 National Trademark Expo. The event will take place on Friday, May 8 at 10:00 a.m. on the USPTO’s campus at 600 Dulany Street in Alexandria, Virginia. Following the ceremony, the Expo will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. No admission is charged and free parking is available on Saturday.

The Air Force will display their federally registered Air Force symbol, the official emblem of the U.S. Air Force, as well as three other important trademarks — the Air Force Coat of Arms, the Air Force Thunderbirds Emblem, and the “Hap Arnold”, which is also known as the Army Air Corps Symbol.” A complete list of exhibitors is available at http://www.uspto.gov/main/homepagenews/2009apr07a.htm. Since its formation in 1941, the United States Air Force Band has played superb music for music lovers around the globe, earning its reputation as “America’s International Musical Ambassadors.”
USPTO Celebrates National Trademark Expo May 8-9, 2009

This year’s collection of costumed trademark characters is the largest in the history of the Expo. Included are some costumes that rarely make appearances outside their home venues. The all star cast, in alphabetical order, includes: Beetle Bailey, Betty Boop, Crayola Crayons, Curious George, Dennis the Menace, Energizer Bunny, Faux Paw the Techno Cat, Hershey’s Kisses, Hershey Bar, Maisy, McGruff, Mr. Jelly Belly, Olive Oyl, Peter Rabbit, Pillsbury Doughboy, Popeye, Smokey Bear, Sprout, the Cat in the Hat and the Grinch. Their host for the two days will be the USPTO’s own character, T.Markey. All characters will be on stage for the opening and will appear periodically throughout the two day Expo.

The National Trademark Expo is designed to educate the public about the vital role trademarks play in our economy, No admission is charged. The Expo will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. Free parking will be available on Saturday.

>> Trademark Expo Photo Gallery

Is there a question about what the USPTO can or cannot do that you cannot find an answer for? Send questions about USPTO programs and services to the USPTO Contact Center (UCC). You can suggest USPTO webpages or material you would like featured on this section by E-mail to the webmaster@uspto.gov. While we cannot promise to accommodate all requests, your suggestions will be considered and may lead to other improvements on the website.

“Tip, Crayola® Crayons costumed character will be one of 25 characters with trademark significance appearing at this year’s Trademark Expo.”

Trademark Expo Photo Gallery


A complete list of exhibitors is available at http://www.uspto.gov/main/homepagenews/2009apr07a.htm


Researchers Study Community Resiliency in Western Illinois 2008 Flood
The information collected will be used to help develop better disaster responses, according to Heather McIlvaine-Newsad, an associate professor of cultural anthropology at Western Illinois University.

UNC Wilmington First College in State to Receive Rare FEMA, NWS Honors
UNC Wilmington is one of approximately 25 institutions nationwide with an approved mitigation plan, which prepares the university to be disaster resistant and resilient during crisis situations involving a wide spectrum of potential hazards

Story Tips from Oak Ridge National Laboratory – March 2009
An Oak Ridge National Laboratory study of structural damage from Hurricane Ike in 2008 shows that buildings with large openings such as garages and loading docks are more prone to hurricane damage- even if the structure’s construction meets



My note –

I was looking at some raw video of the building collapse in Manhattan a couple days ago and it seemed that there have been a lot of building collapses over the past couple years, so I started looking for them. There have also been quite a few crane collapses, as well.

My first thought is that there needs to be an overview of these to better understand why they are occurring but the more I looked at recent ones in the United States, it looks like it could have been prevented in nearly all cases. The ones I found in the US have been happening during the remodeling of buildings and were the direct result of basic safety measures to shore up the building ahead of the remodeling process had not been done appropriately.

Across the world, there have been a number of building collapses also which were not the direct result of an earthquake, monsoon or hurricane and many appear to be caused by poor building practices and / or materials. In all cases, they could have been prevented by greater care and concern for doing it right in the first place and not cutting corners.

I had put in a search through a patent search website, http://www.patents.com to see how their site works and it yielded some interesting results that might help in the retro fit of buildings and building materials. If this were combined with traditional building materials, it could have possibilities for certain compromised structures – probably somebody has already headed in that direction with it.

Using the http://www.patent.com site was very nifty. One of these days when I get ahold of a developer, I’m going to suggest a cross-reference search function would be great on these patent search sites which allows any patent that has been made from another patent to be located as well. It would be nice to call all of them up together to see a progression. Sometimes, it tracks through Google that way, but mostly it is necessary to track it other ways.

Search test and for building materials concept –


polymer fracture resistant tensile strength nano carbon steel

Fiber reinforced spoolable pipe
US7523765 – Apr 28, 2009
Dental releasing materials
US20090093566 – Apr 09, 2009
Tire containing thermally exfoliated graphite oxide
US20090054581 – Feb 26, 2009
Automotive body panel containing thermally exfoliated graphite oxide
US20090054578 – Feb 26, 2009
Emulsifier containing thermally exfoliated graphite oxide
US20090054272 – Feb 26, 2009
Gas storage cylinder formed from a composition containing thermally exfoliated graphite
US20090053437 – Feb 26, 2009
Packaging material and flexible medical tubing containing thermally exfoliated graphite oxide
US20090053433 – Feb 26, 2009
Method of local therapy using magnetizable thermoplastic implant
US20080319247 – Dec 25, 2008
Wire coating containing thermally exfoliated graphite oxide
US20080312368 – Dec 18, 2008
Polymerization method for formation of thermally exfoliated graphite oxide containing polymer
US20080306225 – Dec 11, 2008

* My note – on the top of the second page was the formula I was actually trying to find –


Title: Polymer/carbon nanotube composites, methods of use and methods of synthesis thereof
December 11, 2008


Polymer/carbon nanotube composites including single-wall or multi-wall carbon nanotubes incorporated into the matrix of a polymer are provided.

[0033]The composites of the subject invention comprise carbon nanotubes that are incorporated into the matrix of a polymer. Advantageously, the carbon nanotubes can be single-wall, multi-wall, or a combination of both. Preferably, the carbon nanotubes are single-wall carbon nanotubes. Advantageously, carbon nanotubes are 100 times stronger than steel, exhibit excellent electrical and mechanical strength, and are light in weight. Due to their weight, CNTs are thought to be ideal fillers in a polymer matrix in order to produce a composite with GCR resistant properties, as well as with enhanced electrical and mechanical properties. Lighter weight materials exhibit superior GCR resistance while limiting secondary radiation.

[Note – right now this invention has been being used to shield NASA projects from radiation for deep space applications, and other things along the same lines. Without researching further, I’m guessing there are applications here and there that are using it “on planet” also. These excerpts are what I briefly found interesting.]


[0079]Carbon nanotubes were successfully incorporated into poly(4-methyl-1-pentene). The processing technique employed was found to be effective in dispersing the nanotubes in the polymer. Further, analysis of the composite confirmed that the nanotubes did in fact serve as a good reinforcement agent for the polymer. The composite sample exhibited an increase in modulus and glass transition temperature. The crystalline region as noted in the loss modulus data was found to enhance with the addition of carbon nanotubes, indicating good interaction between the polymer-nanotube interface.

(Includes a number of significant conclusions, as well)

[0074]In semi-crystalline polymers, the glass transition region is restricted by crystals and exhibit broader relaxations than in the T.sub.g region of fully amorphous polymers (Gedde 1999). Thus, glass transition temperatures are difficult to decipher in differential scanning calorimetry plots. However, DMA is a useful tool in determining these values. Moreover, being that relaxations are time, temperature and frequency dependent, T.sub.g values reported from DMA must specify the frequency in which the temperature is reported. The glass transition temperatures for the neat and composite samples taken at 60 Hz were found to be 37.degree. C. and 43.degree. C.

[0108]Hill, D. E. et al. “Functionalization of Carbon Nanotubes with Polystyrene”, Macromolecules, 2002, p. 9466, Vol. 35.

[0109]Jia, Z. et al. “Study on Poly(methyl methacrylate)/Carbon Nanotube Composites” Materials Science & Engineering, 1999, pp. 395-400, Vol. A271.

[0111]Jin et al. “Interaction Of Fullerenes And Carbon Nanotubes With Diatomic Molecules”, Synthetic Metals, 2001, pp. 1221-1222, Vol. 121, Issues 1-3.

[0099]Emran, S. K. “Viscoelastic Properties of Dendrimers, Dendrimer Blends, and Dendrimer Gels”, Doctoral Dissertation, University of South Florida 2000.

[0106]Haggenmueller et al. “Aligned Single-Wall Carbon Nanotubes In Composites By Melt Processing Methods”, Chemical Physics Letters, 2000, pp. 219-225, Vol. 330, Issues 3-4.

[0116]Liu, J. et al. (1998) “Fullerene Pipes”, Science. 280(5367):1253-1256

[0117]Lopez et al. “Synthesis, Structure, and Properties of Poly(4-Methyl-1-Pentene)”, Journal of Macromolecular Science, 1992, pp. 301-406, Vol. C32, Nos. 3-4.

[0134]Siochi et al. “Design and Characterization of Caron Nanotube Composites”, Advanced Materials and Processing Branch, NASA, 2003, Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va.

US Application: 20080306184



Journal of Macromolecular Science



Some of the recent building collapses –
March 03, 2007
Building Collapse – shallow engineering
Phillippines Apartment Building – steel and concrete


Building Collapses in Lower Manhattan – 04-29-09
raw video – see related clips listed below


April 25, 2006
A building collapses after the structure is weakened by an earthquake.

building in India collapses – 101 weeks ago (what is that two years?)

Contractor fined in Chester Village building collapse
Gwen Sadler

The Virginia Department of Labor and Industry has fined McBar Industries, the general contractor of a Chester Village Green project, $83,500 for alleged violations that contributed to the collapse of a two-story building last year.

The bulk of the fine, $70,000, was imposed for not following manufacturing specifications when installing and bracing metal studs used in the building, which exposed workers to potential injuries, according to a citation letter.

[ . . . ]

An investigation revealed that the building fell when heavy materials were deposited on the second floor, causing metal studs without bracing in a first-floor bearing wall to give way.



Building collapse hurts 4
ISTANBUL – Four workers were injured when a four-story building under construction in Istanbul’s central Kag(?thane district collapsed yesterday, reported the Anatolia news agency.

The building belongs to an automotive company and it collapsed while the workers were installing concrete on the third floor. Workers Mehmet Yas,ar, Said Güler, Mehmet Güler and Mustafa Yalç?n were injured and went to hospital. The injured workers’ health conditions were not serious. The mayor of Kag(?thane came to the scene and took information.



Segun Olutade, Executive Director, Shelter Watch Initiative.

NGO blames cement companies for building collapse

By Allwell Okpi

April 29, 2009 01:34AMT

LAGOS – Shelter Watch Initiative, an NGO, has blamed cement companies for the collapse of buildings in Nigeria.

The Executive Director of the NGO, Segun Olutade, while making a presentation at the 9th Lagos Housing Fair on Tuesday, said the cement companies are making a lot of money at the expense of people’s lives.

Government should beam more light on these cement companies. The cement they make are substandard and unnecessarily costly. Some import cement that is not compatible with our weather, he said.

[ . . . ]

“Cement is very important because it makes up about 70 per cent of the building and binds all other aggregates,” he said.



Update: One killed in building collapse
04:19 – 13 days ago video.yahoo.com
Houston firefighters have discovered a body in the rubble of a collapsed apartment complex in Southeast Houston. Two injured victims were pulled out by rescue crews.


Major Building Collapse In East Harlem
A building under construction has collapsed in East Harlem. Joe Bierman and Chopper 2HD are live over the scene with the latest.

Channel:WCBS New York

March 27, 2007


1 Killed, Several Trapped in Houston Apartment Building Collapse

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A Houston apartment building undergoing construction collapsed Tuesday afternoon killing at least one person and trapping two others, MyFOXHouston.com reports.

The 149-unit apartment complex, made up of around eight buildings, was in the process of being renovated when one of its two-story structures collapsed.



updated 10:57 p.m. EST, Tue March 3, 2009

Collapsed building traps 2 in Germany

* Story Highlights
* Rescuers say three trapped under collapsed building in Cologne
* Number of people missing reduced after six people contacted officials
* Media: Firefighters are using dogs to help search the rubble at city’s archive
* Reporter: Archive building evacuated, those trapped were in gambling hall

COLOGNE, Germany (CNN) — Rescuers in Germany reduced the number of people they were searching for in a building collapse from nine to two, a fire department spokesman said late Tuesday.

The building, which housed the city’s historical archive, collapsed, damaging two other buildings — possibly because of nearby construction underground, CNN’s Ben Brumfield reported from the scene.

The building itself was an unremarkable 20th century structure, but the archives it contained were very valuable, said Brumfield, who has done research there.

Some of the earth underneath the building that collapsed slid into the construction space, which caused a hole under the building, he explained. The building fell literally into that hole and fell forward into the street.

[ . . . ]

The main building which collapsed is the Historic Archive of the city of Cologne, which houses documents up to 1,000 years old.



No injuries in ‘minor’ Bucktown building collapse

April 15, 2009
No one was injured Wednesday morning in what was described as a very minor collapse of a residential building in the Bucktown neighborhood on the Near Northwest Side.

Shortly before noon, a still-and-box alarm was called for a report of a structure collapse on the 1900 block of North Wolcott Avenue, a one-and-a-half-story residential building.

The building was reportedly undergoing some sort of renovation.

According to an online search of real estate listings, the building was built in 1900.



Part of vacant NYC building collapses, wounding 3
The Associated Press – ?10 minutes ago?
It appeared the front half of the building at 71 Reade St. was sheared off in the collapse, and interior floors were visible from the street. …
Landmarked Manhattan Building Collapses
NY1 – ?25 minutes ago?
The Department of Buildings is investigating this morning’s collapse of a vacant, five-story building in Lower Manhattan. Witnesses say the sound of the …


« Possible Asbestos Exposure at Tennessee VA Hospital
Tribeca Building Collapses, Covering Street in Dust

A building on Reade Street between Church and Broadway streets collapsed this morning, ripping almost clear apart from the building next door. The collapse apparently shook surrounding buildings, and tremors could be felt by neighbors.
Following the collapse, the street and sidewalks, as well as all vehicles parked nearby, were covered in dust, which may contain asbestos fibers.

Older buildings – those built before the 1980s – likely contain potentially harmful levels of asbestos within attic insulation and floor or ceiling tiles.

These asbestos materials are not dangerous unless they are disturbed or damaged from a collapse such as the event in Tribeca this morning.

For a video of the collapse aftermath, visit http://www.ireport.com/docs/DOC-252252

This entry was posted on Thursday, April 30th, 2009 at 12:09 pm and is filed under New York, News.



2 killed in Georgian TV building collapse
Associated Press
2009-04-26 10:56 PM
A Georgian television station says two of its employees have been found dead in the rubble of a collapsed building that housed participants in a reality show.

Emergency officials say 12 other people were removed from the ruins of the five-story building , which collapsed about 5 a.m. Sunday in the capital, Tbilisi. The cause of the collapse has not been determined.

The show’s station, Rustavi-2, announced about 13 hours after the collapse that two of its cameramen had died.

[ . . . ]



Developer fined after building collapse
April 28, 2009
Developer fined after building collapse
Construction developers need to exercise better control of risks on refurbishment sites, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has said.

The watchdog highlighted the importance of protecting the safety of workers and the public after a developer was fined £10,000 for a house collapsing, which may interest those undergoing construction health and safety training.

Bukan Singh Hothi, of Glen Parva, Leicester, was also ordered to pay costs of £7,500 after pleading guilty to a charge under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 at Nottingham Crown Court.

The court case related to an incident in January 2007, when 235a Radford Road, Nottingham, collapsed while it was being refurbished by 426 Leicester Ltd, of which Mr Hothi was the director.

Find out more about Construction safety ADNFCR-1336-ID-19143492-ADNFCR



Building Collapses in Arlington, VA – (under construction – Year?) – steel and concrete

Rescuers Comb Istanbul Collapse – Apartment Building (Year? Date?) – steel and concrete

2nd collapse of school building in Haiti – this one 8 injured – recent previous collapse – killed 90 – five days earlier (year?)

garage partially collapses in Queens NY – kills one and injures one – (year?)

Dozens feared dead in New Delhi collapse – apartment building – top floor collapsed first in the early morning hours while residents were inside asleep (date?)

Crews Called To Partial Building Collapse
No One Injured As Vacant Building Started To Collapse

POSTED: 11:02 am CDT April 27, 2009
UPDATED: 2:53 pm CDT April 27, 2009
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Police dispatch said crews were sent to a vacant building that partially collapsed on Monday morning.

The building at 2940 Brooklyn Ave. started collapsing about 10 a.m. No one was injured in the collapse.

Police called in dangerous building inspectors, who surveyed the damage. The inspectors have tried to get in touch with the owners of the building.

They said the building is too dangerous to let it stand like it is now. The beam that supports the structure is unstable.

Police officers are securing the building until the planned teardown at 2 p.m. Monday.




HOUSTON (KTRK) — Authorities have confirmed the identity of the construction worker killed in yesterday’s massive building collapse in southeast Houston.

[PHOTOS: See images from Tuesday’s building collapse]
[VIEW BLDG. SCHEMATIC: See the blueprints]
[MAP: See location of accident]
[IMAGE: What the motel looked like before]

The collapse killed one worker and trapped two others inside. The victim has been identified as 24-year-old Ramiro Sigala. Now investigators are trying to find out why it happened.
A witness told Eyewitness News there were four people on the first floor of the structure that was being renovated when it collapsed. One got out, three others did not.

Firefighters got the call around 4:15pm Tuesday afternoon. Construction crews were replacing a floor joist in what used to be an old motel. Fire officials believe there wasn’t enough lateral bracing, causing the wood frame to fall like a domino. Underneath the rubble were three people trapped by the debris.

(Has video on this page – date – Victim killed in building collapse identified
Wednesday, April 15, 2009 | 5:19 PM)


Published: April 23, 2009
SLIDESHOW: Chesterfield building collapse

The state has issued two citations against the Chesterfield County building inspector’s office and one citation each against a construction company and an engineering firm for violating occupational safety laws in last year’s fatal collapse of a building under construction in Chester.

In all, 17 citations have been filed by the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry in the case and $160,500 in fines have been levied against contractors, who are challenging the penalties. The county also is contesting its citation.

The two citations issued against Chesterfield, both of which are termed serious, allege that the building inspector’s office failed to follow up on required corrective actions identified during inspections, properly retain and maintain construction files for the project and thoroughly examine all documents submitted by the builder.

[ . . . ]

The two-story building at 4301 Fountain Square Plaza fell Sept. 10 when Sheetrock and other materials being loaded onto the second floor caused the unbraced metal studs in a bearing wall on the first floor to collapse, the state investigation determined.

(a lot more info in this story . . . )



April 24, 2009
20 buried in building collapse
BEIJING – MORE than 20 people were buried when the roof of a clothing factory in northern China collapsed Friday, state press reported.

The collapse occurred in Langfang city, about 50 kilometres southeast of Beijing, Xinhua news agency reported, citing local officials.



April 25, 2009
Crane crash kills tourist

TAIPEI – ONE tourist from mainland China was killed and five others were injured when a construction crane fell on their bus in Taiwan’s capital on Friday, an official said.

The six were part of a tour group of 25, from southern Guangdong province, who had to be pulled from their bus after it was smashed by the falling crane, the official said.

The crane fell on the bus from the 37th storey of a building under construction near Taipei 101, once the world’s tallest skyscraper.




M. Saiidi1, F. Gordaninejad2, B. Gopalakrishnan3, and E. Reinhardt4
1Department of Civil Engineering, University of Nevada, Reno, NV 89557; Email:
2Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Nevada, Reno, NV 89557
3California Department of Transportation, San Diego, CA 92121
4Department of Civil Engineering, University of Nevada, Reno, NV 89557
A new construction concept for structural frames consisting of concrete, steel, and carbon fiber composite fabrics was developed and implemented in a two-column bridge pier. Two new ideas are incorporated in the system.

One is that the pier has pre-assigned column plastic hinges that are shifted away from column ends. Outside plastic hinges, the pier is to remain elastic. The other innovative concept incorporated in the frame is that where plastic hinging and ductility is required, steel reinforcement is used as the longitudinal reinforcement and where elastic behavior is required carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) sheets are used as the longitudinal reinforcement. FRP fabrics provide for confinement and shear capacity at all locations. A quarter-scale, two-column drop-cap pier with square columns was designed and constructed based on the aforementioned concepts. Normal strength concrete and Grade 60 mild steel were used in the frame. Unidirectional Replark carbon composite fabrics manufactured by the Mitsubishi Corporation were placed on the frame.
The frame was studied using computer programs DRAIN 3-DX and RC-Shake and a shake table testing program was developed. The shake table tests were completed in 2001. The frame was subjected to successive runs of the 1994 Northridge-Sylmar record with increasing amplitudes until failure. The plastic hinges behaved as planned, and the failure occurred after the rupture of the FRP fabrics in one of the plastic hinges. The strain data confirmed the location of plastic hinges and the relatively small strains in areas that were intended to remain elastic. Minor cracking of the beam-column joints revealed after the removal of the CFRP fabrics indicated a need for slight refinement of the CFRP design in the joint regions.
A large number of bridges in the United States are considered to bedeficient. A substantial number of them suffer from deterioration due to environmental effects. The high cost of maintenance and repair in addition to issues related to public safety and disruption of traffic during repair work has necessitated an examination of nontraditional materials for possible
adaptation in bridge engineering. One of the promising solutions for durable and reliable designs of future bridges can be the use of FRPs with superior characteristics instead of conventional civil engineering materials.

Therefore, the development and application of advanced composite materials for design, repair, and retrofit of bridges are key issues that are being considered by researchers. To date, the application of FRPs in structural design of new construction (as opposed to retrofit application) has been relatively scarce. Glass and carbon fiber reinforced plastic sections and bars have been used for specialized applications (Ballinger (1991), Mirmiran et al. (1999)). Their use in new structural systems has been limited primarily due to the lack of sufficient research data and standards.
An innovative concept was explored in the present study, wherein steel reinforcement was used to provide ductility capacity and to control the failure mode, and CFRP fabrics were used to provide shear reinforcement, confinement and longitudinal reinforcement where elastic behavior is needed. In addition, the hinge zones were relocated (Abdel-Fattah and Wight (1987), Galunic and Bertero (1977)) away from member ends to ensure that damage can be limited and controlled within plastic hinge zones which are specially detailed, while all other portions of the structure remain essentially elastic at all times. The primary goal of the study was to determine if a conventional civil engineering material, such as reinforced concrete, would work with an advanced composite material like carbon fibers, to provide an alternative to bridge substructure construction.


CFRP Jacket Strains
Peak strains in gages on the transverse composite layers on the columns at the hinge regions were about 4,000 microstrains, less than the assumed design strain of 10,800 microstrains. The strain hysteresis curves for transverse fibers in the lower plastic hinge of the left column are shown in Fig. 8. The force-strain relationship was nearly linear until the 1.9xSylmar motion was applied. At the end of this run a permanent strain of 1170 microstrains was observed. As mentioned in previous sections, the jacket on the lower plastic hinge in the right column failed during 2xSylmar. No strain gages were installed at the location of jacket failure, and, hence, the
maximum strain could not be determined.
The tensile strains in composite fabrics parallel to the column were less than 2,000 microstrains, well below the failure strain of 14,000 microstrains. Strain in composite layers on the beam parallel to the beam axis were less than 3,000 microstrains, implying that the beam composite fabrics did not suffer any damage, as planned. Also, strains in the beam composite fabrics
perpendicular to the beam, which were used for shear reinforcement, were less than 1,500 microstrains, meaning that the beam shear design was adequate.

The exploratory study presented in this article demonstrated the feasibility of using CFRP fabrics in combination with concrete for eventual application in new highway bridge piers. The new design is particularly attractive in bridges where durability is of concern, and where steel reinforcement congestion is a problem. The pattern of damage observed after removal of the CFRP jackets showed that the design was generally successful. The strains were relatively high in the preassigned plastic hinges and relatively low elsewhere. Failure occurred in the transverse composite jacket in one of the preassigned plastic hinges.
The study showed that, to completely eliminate damage in the joint region and to keep the beam bars strains in the elastic range, the number of CFRP fabric layers in the joint and the beam would have to be increased.



April 30 – 2009

April 30, 2009
A Lush cityscape
By April Chong

The Urban Redevelopment Authority’s (URA) LUSH programme will encourage developers to up the greenery factor on their buidlings. –PHOTO: URA
SKYRISE greenery is set to grow lusher, with a new programme launched on Wednesday in support of the government’s blueprint for sustainable development.

The Urban Redevelopment Authority’s (URA) Lush programme, or Landscaping for Urban Spaces and High-Rises, will encourage developers to up the greenery factor on their buidlings.

New developments within the Downtown Core, Kallang Riverside and Jurong Gateway will have to provide a landscaping equivalent to to the area of the development site.

Also, existing buildings in Orchard and the Downtown Core will be allowed additional gross floor area above what is permissible for developing rooftop outdoor refreshment areas if rooftop landscaping is done

In tandem, the National Parks Board will throw in $8 million over the next three years to fund up to half the cost of setting up green roofs on existing buildings in these areas.

These cash incentives will be available from September.



Another building has collapsed in part of Northumberland County, scattering debris everywhere. Residents said something needs to be done to prevent more buildings from tumbling.

Police tape lines the perimeter of the building on Market Street in Shamokin to warn people about the fallen debris. Neighbors said they’ve known all along the building was a hazard and it was just a matter of time before it collpased.

People were lining up Friday to get a glimpse of the old, four-story apartment building that came down on Market Street Thursday evening.

Another Building Collapse in Shamokin
March 20, 2009
http://video.wnep.com/global/video/popup/pop_playerLaunch.asp?vt1=v&clipFormat=flv&clipId1=3570575&at1=News&h1=Another Building Collapse in Shamokin


On Sunday, January 18, 2009 at 8:56 PM, 9 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, [ . . . ]

under the direction of Battalion Chief Gary Clark, responded to a reported Collapsed Structure at 1625 S. Westmoreland Av. in the Korea town area.

The first arriving Firefighters on scene found a 30 foot by 25 foot section of a 2 story four-plex, had collapsed at the front of the building. Firefighters were alerted by residents, 3 people were trapped within the rubble and natural gas was leaking. Additional resources, including 2 Urban Search & Rescue teams and Heavy Rescue 56, were immediately requested by the IC. As Firefighters gingerly sifted through the rubble, 2 of the occupants self extricated, while the 3rd needed minimal assistance. Other Firefighters were deployed to shut down disrupted utilities, lessening the hazard to all at the scene.

A Building & Safety Inspector condemned the extensively damaged structure. The building leaned precariously towards an 8 unit exposure to the south, which was evacuated until stabilization efforts could be made to the damaged structure.

[story by d’Lisa Davies Los Angeles Fire Department/photo by H. Garvin]


Four people killed near Aleppo in building collapse [UPDATED]
March 18th, 2007

Accident, Aleppo

Four people have died after a building collapsed near Aleppo.

Witnesses say the bodies of a five-year-old child, two women and a man were removed from the rubble in the poor area of Bustan Al-Basha in the province of Aleppo.

Cracks appeared an hour before, and most of the residents rushed outside – it could’ve been far worse.

The five-storey apartment block was completely destroyed and a neighbouring building was damaged. A firefighter has also been injured, and one person is missing.

It’s thought to have happened because of poor construction, and a sewage leak in the basement. The building was put up quickly, during the construction rush in the early 1970s. An investigation is underway.



Mexico City building collapse injures 13 people
2009-04-24 10:20

Mexican policemen remove rubble from a building where an auditorium inside collapsed in Mexico City April 23, 2009. At least 13 people were injured in Mexico City on Thursday when the roof of a concert hall collapsed in the central neighborhood of Roma, the city’s Civil Protection Department said.

At least 13 people were injured in Mexico City on Thursday when the roof of a concert hall collapsed in the central neighborhood of Roma, the city’s Civil Protection Department said.

The accident took place in the so-called Palacio de la Musica in Durango Street on the corner with Salamanca Street. Two people with serious injuries were taken to the nearby Durango Hospital and the Dalinde Clinic, said department head Jose Elias Moreno.

Rescue workers look for survivors after a roof collapsed above a music hall in Mexico City, Thursday, April 23, 2009. At least 13 people were injured in Mexico City on Thursday when the roof of a concert hall collapsed in the central neighborhood of Roma, the city’s Civil Protection Department said.

The collapse occurred just as the audience were leaving a concert held in the building. Although some 150 people had attended, most of them had been able to leave before the roof caved in, he said.

[ . . . ]

Firefighters and other rescue staff are at the scene removing rubble to make sure that no one is trapped inside. Civil protection officials said that they had already begun to check the rest of the three-storey building to ensure that they are not at risk of collapse.

Mexican policemen gather in front of a building where an auditorium inside collapsed in Mexico City April 23, 2009.



Death toll from Nigeria building collapse rises to 11
25 Mar 2009 13:26:21 GMT
Source: Reuters
LAGOS, March 25 (Reuters) – The death toll from the collapse of a four-storey building in Nigeria’s biggest city Lagos rose to 11 on Wednesday, some of them children, a police spokesman and Reuters witnesses said.

The residential building in the densely-populated Idi-Araba neighbourhood collapsed late on Tuesday. Its concrete floors concertinaed, trapping scores of people inside and sending twisted metal and rubble onto surrounding streets.

There are 11 dead, Lagos police spokesman Frank Mba said.



5 dead in Uganda building collapse; dozens trapped
March 13, 2009 – 12:06pm
Associated Press Writer

KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) – A two-story building collapsed in the Ugandan capital on Friday, killing at least five people and leaving dozens trapped under the rubble.

[ . . . ]
The commercial building in Kampala collapsed when nearby construction loosened the foundation, Okot said.



01/07/2009 – Kingston MA firefighters responded to this partial building collapse at the L. Knife Company , which distributes Budweiser products, located at 35 Elder Avenue. The collapsed occured on the D side of the original building, approximately 300×100. An addition is being placed on the same side as the collapse. No injuries were reported. The Massachusetts Fire Services Incident Support Unit and the Rehab Unit responded to assist.


Building Collapse Kills Local Historian
Frank Klein
By Edward Ericson Jr. | Posted 3/31/2008

A city-owned rowhouse collapsed yesterday, killing an amateur historian who was attempting to renovate it. The tragedy again raises questions about the city’s monitoring and policing of building permits and its own huge stock of vacant buildings, which have been collapsing at an alarming rate for years.

Alvin Kirby Brunson owned the house at 562 Wilson St. for years before the city took it for back taxes in September of 2005. He did not sell it to the city for $218,000, as The Sun reported. According to news reports, the building collapsed at about 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 30, as Brunson and two other men were working in it. The two workers fled the building in time; Brunson, City Paper’s Best Community Historian in 2005, was trapped in the basement.

Brunson operated the Center for Cultural Education from 541 Wilson, a house across the street from the collapsed building. Though his center only lasted two years before being forfeited for nonpayment of state taxes in 2003, Brunson was a tireless neighborhood booster, and he led City Paper reporter Christina Royster-Hemby on a tour for her 2005 feature about the history of Pennsylvania Avenue.

City records indicate that someone pulled permits to reframe interior walls, construct new subfloors, replace floor joist, construct new stair steps in June 2006, nearly a year after Brunson lost the building for nonpayment of taxes (or water bills). A second permit requesting a time extension of the first was granted in January, 2007, and a third, to reframe walls & floor in basement using 2 x4 studs on walls & 2 x 8 floor joist as per code was granted on Feb 21 of this year.

Builders and engineers have told City Paper in the past that removing all the floor joists from a rowhouse weakens the structure and can lead to collapse.

There were no plans filed with the permits, and no building inspector visited the project,

[ . . . ]




ALL THAT REMAINS: Buildings around Baltimore, like this one located at Hollins and South Calhoun streets, are falling down before the city can demolish them.
DO THE COLLAPSE: 1634 N. Port (above) was one of eight buildings that collapsed over the weekend of Jan. 14-15; P&J Contracting, owned by Pless Jones Sr. (below), was hired by the city to finish taking the structure down.

(photo story with a two-part feature about collapsing structures)

A house had crashed. The two-story side wall of 2016 W. Franklin St. had buried the alley and four small backyards on the 500 block of North Pulaski Street under an avalanche of bricks and rotten timber.

[ . . . ]

A few days later, Stewart spotted a city inspector in the alley, looking for code violations in the occupied homes while a city contractor cleaned up the rubble left from the house that had collapsed, which was owned by the city of Baltimore.

[ . . . ]

The house at 2016 Franklin had been on the city’s list of buildings condemned and recommended for demolition for six years, 11 months, and 14 days. And it had lots of company.

In fact, 2016 W. Franklin was one of eight buildings that collapsed in high winds that weekend in Baltimore–six of which had been condemned by city building code inspectors as unsafe and put on a list of buildings to be razed years before. Three of these long-condemned buildings were owned by the city. The unplanned toppling of eight buildings on Jan. 14 and 15, 2006 was an apparent record for most collapses over a weekend.

[ . . . ]

Next week’s story will focus on the permitting office and building collapses in some of Baltimore’s more expensive neighborhoods. This week we take a closer look at the collapses in the city’s more run-down areas and the contractors that demolish the remains.

In the northwest neighborhood of Central Park Heights, a building collapses and city inspectors don’t hear about it for months–until another nearby building goes up in flames. On the east side, the city takes the chimney off a building in December, and returns a month later to demolish the rest of the structure. After a building collapses in Union Square, the city demolishes the remains and then rebuilds the shell and boards the windows.

[ . . . ]

(my note – an’ on down in the story – )

But the $300 million demolition and rebuilding program was also a magnet for scandal: A federal HUD inspector general’s report in September 2003 found that the city’s then-housing director, Daniel Henson III, steered $221,764 in work to his sister. Henson also steered the Lexington Terrace housing project redevelopment to his former employer, Struever Bros. Eccles and Rouse, to which he was in debt. Henson was also involved in other business partnerships with several of the firm’s principals, according to the inspector general’s report.

Mismanagement and conflicts of interest wasted more than $28 million, the inspector general reported–and that was just for the two projects it examined.

[ . . . ]

That’s because, after a spate of collapses in 2000, Philadelphia officials jumped on the problem just as Baltimore had done years earlier, creating a database of buildings in need of quick demolition. Additionally and shortly thereafter, the Mayor’s Neighborhood Transformation Initiative was developed and implemented, which focused on cataloging and removing blighted properties that evidenced a potential of collapse, Evans says.

That program cost $275 million, including $117 million just for demolition. The pace of demolitions has slowed since the 2000-’04 period, when Philly was razing 1,500 buildings per year, Evans says.

John Cole, Baltimore’s superintendent of building inspection, estimates that a serious demolition program to knock out Baltimore’s backlog would cost $33 million–a figure Karimian says is probably closer to the mark than Dorich’s $15 million estimate. Whether $15 million or twice that, Dorich says the money just isn’t in his budget, and so Baltimore’s demolition program remains piecemeal and reactive. All around the city, thousands of properties targeted for demolition, many of them years ago, still stand. Until they don’t.

[ . . . ]



Iran building collapse kills 19
From Wikinews, the free news source you can write

Monday, June 30, 2008
A building in Iran’s capital Tehran collapsed today and killed at least 19 people. The fate of a twentieth person is unknown.

The victims were all labourers living inside the building, which is reported to have been in a seriously unstable condition for a month, with occupants refusing to comply with evacuation requests. The early morning disaster in the Sa’adatabad district reduced the building to rubble in seconds.

The seven story building was described by The Canadian Press as ‘dilapidated’.

Five people have been arrested, including the owner and contractors. Iranian state media promised that those responsible would be dealt with severely.

* 19 die as building collapses in Iran . CNN, June 30, 2008
* Dilapidated, 7-storey building collapses in Tehran, 19 labourers killed . The Canadian Press, June 30, 2008


Building collapses in Manhattan
From Wikinews, the free news source you can write

Monday, July 10, 2006

New York City – A four-story building on 62nd Street in Manhattan collapsed after an explosion Monday. Both the White House and New York Fire Department have said the explosion was not caused by a terrorist attack. The New York Fire Department said that the owner of the building, Dr. Nicholas Bartha, might have deliberately caused the explosion in a suicide attempt after a difficult divorce.
Wikipedia has an article about 2006 62nd Street explosion.

According to the latest reports, five people were injured by the blast, one of whom was hospitalised in critical condition. An additional ten firefighters were injured in the following rescue operation. No deaths have been reported.

Most sources give the cause as a natural gas leak that ignited; a ConEd spokesperson said that someone had reported a gas leak to them about one and a half hours before the explosion took place. The resulting fire, which began in the basement, burned strongly for some time, but was later brought under control by firefighters.

Numerous people described the shockwave from the blast as being similar to an earthquake.


* Katy Byron, Allan Chernoff, Delia Gallagher, Cheryl Bronson New York building collapse injures 15 . CNN, July 10
* John Holusha Gas Explosion Blamed for N.Y. Building Collapse . New York Times, July 10
* Joan Gralla NY building collapses after apparent suicide bid . Reuters, July 10


Residents evacuated after partial building collapse in Buffalo, New York
From Wikinews, the free news source you can write

This is the latest sighted revision, approved on 24 February 2009.

The side of the building collapsed in a ‘V’ shape.
Image: Jason Safoutin.

June 12, 2008

Buffalo, New York – At least two homes have been evacuated, and 14 or more are on standby to evacuate in Buffalo, New York after a very large three-story building partially collapsed on the city’s West Side.

According to the Buffalo Fire Department, the number four side of an old horse stable at 428 Jersey Street off of Richmond Avenue collapsed from the roof line half way down the side. Material from the building fell into the yards of at least three neighbouring houses. Some of the bricks landed inside the building, while some fell into the yards of some houses behind homes on Richmond Avenue, leaving a ‘V’ shape.

[The building] is well worth the designation as a historical landmark, states Tim Tielman of the Buffalo Preservation Board. Tielman states that he will likely bring the incident before the Board as early as Thursday, June 12 to discuss the issue.
A view of the front of the building.
Image: Jason Safoutin.

We don’t want to demolish it until it is talked about and we consider options, added Tielman.

So far there are no reports of injuries. Firefighters plan on getting an aerial shot to determine if the building is in danger of totally collapsing. A detail will remain on scene until at least Thursday afternoon.

The building was first owned by a company called White Bros. and was used as a stable for a farm which once covered the land around the building for several blocks. Servants and workers of the farm were housed inside resident quarters situated at the rear of the building.

The building, the current owner of which is not known, covers nearly a half block. Much of the building’s sides are home to vines, and a variety of gardens are planted along the perimeter of the building. Residents state that they will be very disappointed to see the building be demolished.

Repairs on the building were ongoing. The building is believed to have been built in the mid-1800’s.



At least twelve killed after building collapses in Alexandria, Egypt
From Wikinews, the free news source you can write

Thursday, October 9, 2008
At least twelve bodies have been recovered from the rubble of an apartment building in Alexandria, Egypt. Ten people were hospitalized after the four-storey structure, which was illegal, collapsed in at around 1:00 a.m. Tuesday. No survivors have been pulled out since an eleven year old girl was rescued this morning. Search and rescue operations hare scheduled to end tonight.

The 53-year-old building was illegally modified in 1997 with the addition of two extra floors by owner Majdi al-Ishaqi. Two years ago, a court ordered the extra floors to be demolished but this never happened. Another subsequent order for renovations was also ignored. Structural alterations were demanded but never made.

It was not in keeping with housing regulations. This is the third building to collapse in the district. The municipality cannot be exonerated, said Saleh Subhi of the opposition Muslim Brotherhood. The building was already ready to collapse.

Two neighbouring apartment blocks were also evacuated, one suffering a partial roof collapse. One survivor, Samih Nazmi, said he and his parents escaped their ground floor dwelling relatively unscathed as the ground floor remained largely intact. He also described a sound akin to that of an exploding gas canister as the building came down.

* Deaths in Egypt building collapse . Al Jazeera English, October 8, 2008
* Twelve dead in Egypt building collapse . Agence France-Presse, October 8, 2008


At least eight dead as building collapses during construction in China
From Wikinews, the free news source you can write

Sunday, July 6, 2008

At least eight construction workers have died and thirteen more are injured after a building collapsed during construction in Qiuzhigou Village, a suburb of China’s Wuhan City. It is unclear how many more if any are trapped as the project’s coordinator fled and is being sought by police.

The collapse occurred at 5 p.m. local time yesterday and reduced the four-story structure to a five-metre pile of rubble. The building was a private residence and was illegal as authorities had not been informed of it. Its location in an area accessible only via narrow alleys is hampering search and rescue efforts as heavy equipment such as cranes is having difficulty reaching the scene.

Around 100 rescuers continue to pick through the rubble in the rain. An investigation has been launched.

Have an opinion on this story? Post it


* Death toll from central China building collapse rises to 8 . Xinhua, July 6, 2008
* 8 dead, 13 injured in China building collapse . Associated Press, July 6, 2008


New Jersey apartment building collapses after explosion
From Wikinews, the free news source you can write

Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Bergen County, N.J.

An apartment building located in Bergenfield, New Jersey partially collapsed today around 9:30 a.m. EST. The collapse occurred after an explosion was heard and a cloud of smoke was said to be visible from nearby Manhattan.

It was an apartment building, unknown origin for the explosion, stated a police spokesperson located in the city. However, preliminary reports suggest that a gas line may have contributed to the explosion.

Thirty families are going to be homeless throughout the holiday period, said Sheriff Leo P. McGuire, referring to the number of families that the building houses. The apartment building appears to be three stories high and firefighters are still trying to put out fires.

According to news reports, at least two people have been hospitalized. Eyewitness March Chance had the following to add: The building is in flames… and there are a lot of ambulances.


* Building ‘explodes’ in New Jersey . BBC News Online, December 13, 2005

* Explosion Rocks N.J. Apartment Building . Associated Press, December 13, 2005

* Gas explosion rips N.J. apartment block . United Press International, December 13, 2005

* New Jersey apartment building collapses . Reuters, December 13, 2005



No injuries reported in Lakeview building collapse

April 2, 2009

No injuries are being reported after a building partially collapsed Thursday on the North Side in the Lakeview neighborhood.
A still-and-box alarm was called about 10:15 a.m. after a building collapse was reported on the 700 block of West Melrose Street, Fire Media Affairs Asst. Director Eve Rodriguez said.

Part of the building collapsed, she said. No one was injured but crews remain on the scene as of 10:25 a.m.


Posted: Friday, 06 March 2009 6:18PM

At Least 11 Hurt in Partial Building Collapse in Harlem

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) — The Fire Department says five workers and six customers are being treated for minor injuries after an internal wall collapsed in a Harlem building into a pizzeria.

The cause of the collapse Friday afternoon isn’t immediately clear. The Fire Department says construction work was under way when the wall collapsed on the first floor of a five-story building on West 123rd Street and Frederick Douglas Blvd.

Apparently, cement from the construction site crashed through a wall into the pizzeria which was occupied at the time with workers and customers.


And on a couple very interesting notes –

April 24, 2009
Sandstorms in northern China

BEIJING – YELLOW clouds of dust and sand shrouded large parts of north and northwest China on Friday, the state weather bureau reported, snarling traffic and suffocating locals.

‘The sixth sandstorm to hit our nation’s northern regions struck today, causing the biggest and most wide-ranging storm of the year,’ the China Meteorological Administration reported on its website.

Visibility dropped to less than 100 metres in parts of Gansu, Ningxia, Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia provinces, where the storms were worst, it said.

In Xinjiang, highways were shut down due to the low visibility caused by the storms, while flights in and out of Gansu’s tourist oasis of Dunhuang were suspended on Friday, press reports said.
‘Even the buildings a kilometre away were not visible.’ Scientists have attributed worsening sandstorms to desertification that is often caused by excessive human activity, such as overgrazing and tree-felling. — AFP



China, Taiwan open talks 5:07 PM

April 25, 2009
China, Taiwan open talks

Chairman of China’s Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) Chen Yunlin (extreme left) shakes hands with Taiwan’s Straits Exchange Foundation Chairman P.K. Chiang (left) in Nanjing for the third round of cross-straits talks.
BEIJING – ENVOYS from rivals China and Taiwan began talks on Saturday on a trade agreement and prepared to sign pacts to increase economic cooperation amid efforts by Taiwan’s president to improve relations with Beijing.

Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou is pushing for an agreement to ease trade barriers, which he says is needed to keep Taiwan competitive.

The Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement, expected to be signed during the talks in the eastern Chinese city of Nanjing, would permit the free flow of many goods, services and capital. In a concession to Taiwanese farmers, agricultural produce would be exempt.



And some of the best news of all – lately –

British forces end combat operations in Iraq

April 30, 2009 – 5:05pm
In this photo made available by the British Ministry of Defence, Brigadier Tom Beckett, right, the commander of the British army 20th Armoured Brigade, U.S. army Maj. Gen. Michael Oates, second right, and unidentified military personnel salute, as British Secretary of State for Defence, John Hutton, left, looks on during a handover ceremony in Basra, 550 kilometers (340 miles) southeast of Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, April 30, 2009.

British forces handed over military control of the Basra area to U.S. commanders Thursday to clear the way for America’s main battlefield ally to exit Iraq after more than six years of war. (AP Photo/Cpl. Dylan Browne, MoD)
Associated Press Writer

BAGHDAD (AP) – The Iraq war formally ended for British forces on Thursday as America’s main battlefield ally handed control of the oil-rich Basra area to U.S. commanders and prepared to ship out most of its remaining 4,000 troops.

A U.S. flag was raised over the British base outside the southern city of Basra in a ceremony held after a memorial for the 179 British military personnel who died in more than six years of warfare.

Today marks the closing chapter of the combat mission in Iraq, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said in London after meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.



And, not so good news regardless which I stumbled over finding the other things –

WASHINGTON (AP) – An attorney who served in the Clinton administration has been found dead in an apparent suicide at a Washington law firm.

The Atlanta-based firm Kilpatrick Stockton LLP says attorney Mark Levy died Thursday. In a statement, Co-Managing Partner Bill Dorris says Levy was a highly respected for his appearances before the Supreme Court.

Levy served as deputy assistant attorney general in the Department of Justice between 1993 and 1995.

The death comes after the chief financial officer of mortgage giant Freddie Mac killed himself last week.



* My Note –

Recently when I was looking into earthquake resistant building new applications and materials, there was a news story I found about wrapping buildings – they appeared to be one-story homes – in a composite fabric which made them earthquake resistant. I couldn’t find where it is on the internet right this minute – so I will look it up in my notes and post it later.

– cricketdiane


US Application:      20080306184
Advanced Search | Expert Search | Bulk Search | Browse Patent By Date | The Community | Exchange | About Patents.com


Patent title: Polymer/carbon nanotube composites, methods of use and methods of synthesis thereof
Inventors:  Julie P. Harmon  LaNetra M. Clayton
IPC8 Class: AG21F102FI
USPC Class: 523136

found at Patentdocs


USPTO Issues Request for Information

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is seeking information from interested parties to participate in policy studies, conferences, and other development programs in support of fair international protection of intellectual property rights. The USPTO intends to competitively issue/award joint projects and/or cooperative agreements to conduct these programs. Interested parties are advised that information is requested subject to the authority contained in the FY2009 Omnibus Appropriations language and no contractual awards subject to the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) will be issued.

On March 11, 2009, the President signed the Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009 (H.R. 1105) into law (P.L. 111-8). The law, in part, provides that no less than $4 million of appropriated amounts shall be available only for the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) contribution in a cooperative or joint agreement or agreements with a non-profit organization or organizations to conduct policy studies, conferences, and other development programs, in support of fair international protection of intellectual property rights.

In accordance with the law, three requirements must be met in order for an organization to be eligible to enter into an agreement with the USPTO. First, the organization must be a non-profit organization. Second, the non-profit organization must have been successfully audited within the previous year. Third, the non-profit organization must have previous experience in such programs.

The text of the relevant provision of P.L. 111-8 reads as follows:

Provided further, That from the amounts provided herein, no less than $4,000,000 shall be available only for the USPTO contribution in a cooperative or joint agreement or agreements with a non-profit organization or organizations, successfully audited within the previous year, and with previous experience in such programs, to conduct policy studies, including studies relating to activities of United Nations Specialized agencies and other international organizations, as well as conferences and other development programs, in support of fair international protection of intellectual property rights.

Additional requirements apply depending on the underlying authority for the agreement. The USPTO is authorized to engage in the various agreements described below:

1. 15 U.S.C. 1525, which provides that the Department of Commerce may enter into joint projects with nonprofit, research, or public organizations on matters of mutual interest with costs equitably apportioned;
2. 35 U.S.C. 2(a)(2), which provides that the USPTO may disseminate to the public information with respect to patents and trademarks;
3. 35 U.S.C. 2(b)(6), which provides that the USPTO may use an international organization to perform functions on its behalf; and
4. 35 U.S.C. 2(b)(11), which provides that the USPTO may conduct programs or studies regarding domestic and international intellectual property law and the effectiveness of intellectual property protection domestically and throughout the world.

It is anticipated that any agreement(s) will be structured as either a Joint Project Agreement or a Cooperative Agreement. It will need to be clear in your submission which you intend to pursue.

Joint Project Agreements, which are under the authority of 15 U.S.C. 1525, require substantial participation on the USPTO’s part as well as an equitable distribution of costs, though your share of costs may be paid by a third party or parties. Funds provided by the USPTO are to pay for actual costs only; generally, there may be no element of profit in the USPTO’s payment to you.

Cooperative Agreements entered into under the USPTO authorities listed above do not require an equitable distribution of costs and do not involve significant efforts on the part of the USPTO.

The following information is requested in response to this RFI:

1. A statement describing how the organization meets the initial eligibility requirements (e.g. non-profit status, successful audit, previous experience). Such description is limited to one (1) page.
2. A statement of preference for which type of agreement the organization would like to pursue and a description of how the organization meets the requirements associated with entering into such an agreement. If proposing a joint project agreement pursuant to 15 U.S.C. 1525, you should address the amount and type of shared contribution your organization will provide. Such description is limited to one (1) page.
3. A summary of possible programs (i.e. policy study, conference, other development program) that the organization has an interest in conducting. Summaries should include as much of the following information as possible: The program type, topic, purpose, audience, objective, measurements for success, and approximate costs. Such summaries are limited to one (1) page each.

This notice will be open for 3 weeks from the date of publication. Information must be electronically transmitted by April 30, 2009.

Responses and inquiries regarding this Request for Information should be sent electronically to Angela Maldonado Office of Procurement, USPTO or call (571) 272-6550.


Is there a question about what the USPTO can or cannot do that you cannot find an answer for? Send questions about USPTO programs and services to the USPTO Contact Center (UCC). You can suggest USPTO webpages or material you would like featured on this section by E-mail to the webmaster@uspto.gov. While we cannot promise to accommodate all requests, your suggestions will be considered and may lead to other improvements on the website.


(This call for information – Information must be electronically transmitted by April 30, 2009.)

As part of the efforts of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (Office) to implement its Strategic Plan, the Office is pleased to announce a pilot to determine the extent to which the organized submission of documents together with comments by the public will provide useful prior art for examiners.

Advances in Internet-based methods of collaboration have produced both technological and business models that have greatly increased productivity in the American economy.  Recently a group of academic and business professionals have proposed a collaborative, online process in which members of the public pool together their knowledge and locate potential prior art.  This pilot will test whether such collaboration can effectively locate prior art that might not otherwise be located by the Office during the typical examination process.

[This pilot program had been done in 2007 – ought to go see how it worked]

The effective date for this Pilot is : 15 June 2007.

Peer Reviewed Prior Art Statistics
Frequently Asked Questions (18 July 2008)
Office Publications

* Text of Official Gazette Notice, Expansion/Extension of Peer Review Pilot (signed 17 July 2008) [PDF]
* Text of Official Gazette Notice (signed 04 June 2007, to be published in the 26 June 2007 issue) [PDF]