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what to do with patent plaques and other work awards?

Posted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 7:49 pm
by anoop
I have a bunch of patent plaques from my current employer and also some random awards (like 5 years of service or completion of some random project). These things have no meaning for me. I don't put them on display and right now they are just sitting in a box. As a part of my urge to purge, I'm thinking of just tossing them in the trash, but thought I'd check and see if folks here have any other ideas.

I'm sure some of you must have run into similar issues, so what do you do with your awards?

Re: what to do with patent plaques and other work awards?

Posted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 7:52 pm
by livesoft
I've tossed them except for my "Coach of the Year" awards which have nothing to do with my career.

Re: what to do with patent plaques and other work awards?

Posted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 7:54 pm
by jimmyq
I can tell you what I did with a few useless plaques... I disassembled them and recycled all the individual components. All the frames were made of aluminum (nicely recyclable), and the faces were generally either plastic or glass which I also recycled.

Re: what to do with patent plaques and other work awards?

Posted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 7:54 pm
by bloom2708
Do they have your name engraved on them?

I have 5, 10, 15 year awards that are similar. Right now they are in the attic of my garage on a shelf.

Take photos of each. Donate the ones with no name on them to a thrift store. Someone might find them interesting.

The ones with your name on them, probably garbage or recycle. Stuff can't own us if we don't let it. :wink:

Re: what to do with patent plaques and other work awards?

Posted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:01 pm
by anoop
bloom2708 wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 7:54 pm
Do they have your name engraved on them?
Yes they all do.

I wish they offered an option to not order these. Apparently they get ordered automatically when a patent is granted.

Some are glass.

If my city already offers recycling, would they do the disassembly?

Re: what to do with patent plaques and other work awards?

Posted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:19 pm
by island
I toss

Re: what to do with patent plaques and other work awards?

Posted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:30 pm
by quantAndHold
When I left the job, I left the junk behind.

Re: what to do with patent plaques and other work awards?

Posted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:37 pm
by staythecourse
Funny my wife and I still have our med. school diplomas, residency graduation diplomas, fellowship diplomas, and board certifications in a box in the basement. Only reason I even keep them around is because every once in a while some licensing board or state medcal board or malpractice carrier requests a copy.

If I was you scan all them on a USB then toss them all out. I would have done the same, but have NO CLUE which box they are currently sitting and that seems like more work right now then just letting them continue to sit there.

Good luck.

Re: what to do with patent plaques and other work awards?

Posted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:43 pm
by nisiprius
I kept and keep a certain amount of clutter "for the memories." It's by no means a perfect solution, but now that digital photographs cost close to zero, I find that it is easier to let go of the memorabilia-clutter if I photograph them first.

Re: what to do with patent plaques and other work awards?

Posted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:47 pm
by anoop
staythecourse wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:37 pm
If I was you scan all them on a USB then toss them all out. I would have done the same, but have NO CLUE which box they are currently sitting and that seems like more work right now then just letting them continue to sit there.
These are plaques, so hard to scan. I could take pictures. But that doesn't seem necessary since I could go to uspto.gov and search my name and bring up all of the patents there with the entire text.

I will definitely hold on to things like degrees and transcripts. When I got my present job, I was asked to submit copies. I guess there's so much fraud out there that employers (esp large ones) have a process for doing their due diligence.

Re: what to do with patent plaques and other work awards?

Posted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:55 pm
by rob
Mostly junk em. A couple the kids played with for a while. One I had in a fish tank for a bit :-)

Re: what to do with patent plaques and other work awards?

Posted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:56 pm
by btenny
Mine are in a box in the garage along with some coaching trophies. I keep a lot of kid stuff (sports trophies) out there as well. Someday I may toss it all if I am forced to declutter. But once in a while I look at them when we are searching for stuff. It is fun to think about those good times.

Oh and I took a world globe with a thermometer and humidity gauge in lieu of a plaque one year. That is on my desk in my office and gets used often.

Enjoying my clutter.

Re: what to do with patent plaques and other work awards?

Posted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:58 pm
by Jack FFR1846
Work awards got tossed when I left the job. None of my employers gave me anything but a check for patent awards. My wife got me a plaque for my first one and it's on the wall at home.

Re: what to do with patent plaques and other work awards?

Posted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:11 pm
by anoop
OK, I tossed all the patent plaques. Today is trash pickup.

For other stuff, I will do a second purge. Fortunately I don't have too many of those.

Re: what to do with patent plaques and other work awards?

Posted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:22 pm
by DaftInvestor
Mine are in a box in the attic along with yearbooks and other junk. At some point I will junk it all..

Re: what to do with patent plaques and other work awards?

Posted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:29 pm
by TravelGeek
My patent plaques and some sort of recognition plaque from one of our national laboratories are in a box somewhere. If I come across them, I will hang’em up on a wall in our guest room.

:twisted:

Re: what to do with patent plaques and other work awards?

Posted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:31 pm
by anoop
TravelGeek wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:29 pm
My patent plaques and some sort of recognition plaque from one of our national laboratories are in a box somewhere. If I come across them, I will hang’em up on a wall in our guest room.

:twisted:
Trying to drive the guests away? :)

Re: what to do with patent plaques and other work awards?

Posted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:37 pm
by runner3081
I sold most of mine on eBay. Assuming you work for a decent sized, or well-known company, there is a small amount of value to industrial collectors.

Otherwise, they are thrown away.

Re: what to do with patent plaques and other work awards?

Posted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:46 pm
by dbr
I have a pile of patent plaques put away somewhere. I guess they will eventually be thrown out. Honestly the whole thing just got to be one more obnoxious chore that is part of corporate work. Some of them I don't even know why I am on them (well, I do know it is to cover the legal bases) and other stuff that seemed really important when it was done never did see the light of day.

Re: what to do with patent plaques and other work awards?

Posted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:49 pm
by Runner01
We hang unwanted patent plaques in our conference rooms that customers and vendors will be in. We often end up with a bunch of duplicates but we spread them out so it isn’t as noticeable.

Re: what to do with patent plaques and other work awards?

Posted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:53 pm
by dbr
Runner01 wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:49 pm
We hang unwanted patent plaques in our conference rooms that customers and vendors will be in. We often end up with a bunch of duplicates but we spread them out so it isn’t as noticeable.
Interestingly one of the things considered confidential around my place of work was acknowledging any specific relationship between a particular patent and a particular process or product. Many patents, of course, are actually a defensive wall designed to prevent other people from finding a way to compete in your business.

Re: what to do with patent plaques and other work awards?

Posted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:53 pm
by anoop
runner3081 wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:37 pm
I sold most of mine on eBay. Assuming you work for a decent sized, or well-known company, there is a small amount of value to industrial collectors.

Otherwise, they are thrown away.
Interesting. I didn't know there was a market for this stuff. I see some on eBay now.

Re: what to do with patent plaques and other work awards?

Posted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:55 pm
by TallBoy29er
Too much time to list online, converse about, and ship, all for a few bucks. I would (and have) chuck'em all.

Re: what to do with patent plaques and other work awards?

Posted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:20 pm
by privateer79
I had a bunch that were the same size.... made a nice birdhouse!

Re: what to do with patent plaques and other work awards?

Posted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:10 pm
by runner3081
TallBoy29er wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:55 pm
Too much time to list online, converse about, and ship, all for a few bucks. I would (and have) chuck'em all.
Depends on how proficient you are at listing :)

Re: what to do with patent plaques and other work awards?

Posted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 2:12 am
by Mudpuppy
I have one shelf on a work bookcase for all manner of display items, such as work awards. I've only got one plaque on the shelf though. My work has a tendency to go to either extreme with a paper certificate (low end) or an engraved acrylic disc (high end), but rarely do they award plaques. The certificates go straight into my evaluation file, but the discs and similar awards are limited to just the one shelf. And they have to share that shelf with my more geekly display items like my Galileo thermometer and 3D wooden puzzles, so they don't get out of hand.

Re: what to do with patent plaques and other work awards?

Posted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 4:12 am
by sport
My last employer solved this problem for me. They did not give me anything to recognize a patent. In fact, when I signed over the patent rights "for ten dollars and other valuable consideration" they did not even give me the ten bucks. Stingy $%^&*s. When I learned of this policy (or lack thereof), I took the trouble to write a proper recognition policy. Management was not at all interested.

Re: what to do with patent plaques and other work awards?

Posted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 7:22 am
by UpperNwGuy
Put them in a box. Put the box in storage.

Re: what to do with patent plaques and other work awards?

Posted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:21 am
by truenorth418
I dropped mine on the top of my trash baskets and left them outside my office door on my last day at the office before retiring. It made a statement re: the way I had been treated there the last couple of years.

Why keep those awards? I had thrown away my many awards from my previous jobs after I left them, too.

Re: what to do with patent plaques and other work awards?

Posted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:25 am
by truenorth418
My dad kept some of his work awards and plaques until he day he died. He loved his work (industrial sales) and was proud of his company. He had worked there for more than 40 years. That was a different time when "loyalty" was a two way street in the corporate world.

Re: what to do with patent plaques and other work awards?

Posted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 9:00 am
by multiham
Don't know your family situation, but I would keep a couple of them. My grandfather passed away when I was 5. I'm proud to own 2 things that got passed down from my grandfather to my father and than to me. One is a plaque from Western Electric when my grandfather retired. The second is his retirement watch. While neither has much dollar value, I enjoy displaying them. I think it's pretty cool to have a piece of history from my family.

Re: what to do with patent plaques and other work awards?

Posted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 9:08 am
by lthenderson
I take a picture of them and trashed all the certificates. For the plaques, I sold them to a local trophy shop that buys them and either grinds down the brass and reuse it or puts new brass on them and then resells them, probably to other companies wishing to give out employee awards. I think I got about $10/plaque. The only item I kept was the watch that I got on my way out the door.

Re: what to do with patent plaques and other work awards?

Posted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 9:46 am
by anoop
multiham wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 9:00 am
Don't know your family situation, but I would keep a couple of them. My grandfather passed away when I was 5. I'm proud to own 2 things that got passed down from my grandfather to my father and than to me. One is a plaque from Western Electric when my grandfather retired. The second is his retirement watch. While neither has much dollar value, I enjoy displaying them. I think it's pretty cool to have a piece of history from my family.
I’m single with no kids unlikely to change. I have one sibling also single with no kids and even more unlikely to change. I have long given up on holding on to things to pass down memories.

Re: what to do with patent plaques and other work awards?

Posted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 10:10 am
by head gamez
I guess I am in the minority. While I will most likely toss the service awards at then end of my journey, I will forever keep the Patent Plaques. All of mine have came from an unlikely position in the company. Not many folks who do what I do have had the opportunity to develop something. For that reason, they are important to me.

Re: what to do with patent plaques and other work awards?

Posted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 10:18 am
by staythecourse
anoop wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:47 pm
staythecourse wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:37 pm
If I was you scan all them on a USB then toss them all out. I would have done the same, but have NO CLUE which box they are currently sitting and that seems like more work right now then just letting them continue to sit there.
These are plaques, so hard to scan. I could take pictures. But that doesn't seem necessary since I could go to uspto.gov and search my name and bring up all of the patents there with the entire text.

I will definitely hold on to things like degrees and transcripts. When I got my present job, I was asked to submit copies. I guess there's so much fraud out there that employers (esp large ones) have a process for doing their due diligence.
My bad. If they are plaques that you have no sentimental attachment to then toss it. I life the idea of debulking and simplifying one's life. If could get my wife to allow me to throw all the old baby stuff we could debulk half our lives. :D

Good luck.

Re: what to do with patent plaques and other work awards?

Posted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 10:43 am
by dbr
This thread appears to be testimony to how far off base companies are regarding how to reward employees.

For me the biggest reward was the degree to which they let us do what we wanted and the biggest punishment was making people work on things that had no chance of success.

Re: what to do with patent plaques and other work awards?

Posted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 12:27 pm
by wrongfunds
I am impressed with this humble brag! Should I start a new topic about what to do with a room full of older stack of $100 bills? :-)

Re: what to do with patent plaques and other work awards?

Posted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 12:35 pm
by JPH
When I retired DW and I took a trip to celebrate. She did a painting of the place, and when we got home I took my service award out of the framed, and she used it to frame the painting. The award is long-gone, but I still have the painting. I've also kept a couple of military coins that were given to me by military colleagues for special favors I did for them.

Re: what to do with patent plaques and other work awards?

Posted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 12:57 pm
by anoop
wrongfunds wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 12:27 pm
I am impressed with this humble brag!
A few years ago, I saw a quote somewhere "Don't try to be humble, you're not that great yet!"

Ever since then, I stopped trying to be humble.
wrongfunds wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 12:27 pm
Should I start a new topic about what to do with a room full of older stack of $100 bills? :-)
I wouldn't. It is likely to elicit a visit from authorities requesting a traceable source of all that money. :)

Re: what to do with patent plaques and other work awards?

Posted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 1:02 pm
by likegarden
I am retired and have college degrees and patent awards stacked up somewhere. Medical doctors would have them up and down the walls in offices.

Re: what to do with patent plaques and other work awards?

Posted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 1:19 pm
by daveydoo
anoop wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 7:49 pm
I have a bunch of patent plaques from my current employer and also some random awards...so what do you do with your awards?
What's a work award? :D

Re: what to do with patent plaques and other work awards?

Posted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 6:03 am
by mouses
truenorth418 wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:25 am
My dad kept some of his work awards and plaques until he day he died. He loved his work (industrial sales) and was proud of his company. He had worked there for more than 40 years. That was a different time when "loyalty" was a two way street in the corporate world.
I have some of my Dad's awards from decades ago. Those were the days.

A company I worked for gave cute little gizmos for awards. I have them on a shelf. The only award-looking things I have are my diplomas, still in their cases, and they live on a shelf with my yearbooks.

Re: what to do with patent plaques and other work awards?

Posted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:02 am
by Soul.in.Progress
Donate some to a museum in your field. They can be inspiring to children. My children have liked to look at the plaques from time to time. I don’t know how long they will do so, but it’s true.

Re: what to do with patent plaques and other work awards?

Posted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:21 am
by siamond
I never saw the point of those thick patent plaques... Waste of material if you ask me. They were the first thing to go to the garbage bin when I left work. And same with the few work awards I got (would have much preferred a bonus!). Water under the bridge.

A new dawn has begun. Early retirement. Let's start clean.

Re: what to do with patent plaques and other work awards?

Posted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 10:12 am
by J295
I toss mine.

I even tossed all but a couple of trophies from my competitive athletic days when doing some "cleaning" a few years ago ..... did find one from grade school where my dad and I did a father/son basketball tourney, and took it to him (now 84) and shared a memory ....

Re: what to do with patent plaques and other work awards?

Posted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 10:15 am
by GraduateStudent
My boss is the most accomplished person that I've ever personally known. He literally has a box of honorary degrees, prestigious medals (our field doesn't have a Nobel Prize, but some of them are at that level), etc. I think he would feel guilty throwing them away. So they're in a box.