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This story first appeared in the October 2000 issue of Entrepreneur. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

USPTO TODAY is a newsletter by the U.S. Patent Office that offers insights into new patent legislation and the workings of the office itself. The newsletter also includes tips on making claims more effective and understanding what types of products are covered by competitors' patents.

Subscribe to the free monthly newsletter via e-mail at, or by sending a letter addressed to Editor, USPTO TODAY, Office of Public Affairs, United States Patent and Trademark Office, Washington, DC 20231. Or read the newsletter by going to and clicking on the "USPTO TODAY" button on the right side of the page.

Don Debelak is a new-business marketing consultant and the author of Bringing Your Product to Market(John Wiley & Sons). Send him your invention questions at

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