U.S. Government Official Educates Texas Children About Intellectual Property Theft

September 13, 2005
Press Release #05-45

Brigid Quinn


Official Reminds Kids that Illegal Downloading, Copying is a Crime

Round Rock, Texas - U.S. Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property Stephen Pinkos today asked elementary students attending Camp Invention to help combat piracy, counterfeiting and copyright violations by refraining from illegally copying and downloading music, movies, software and computer games. Pinkos reminded the children that copying or downloading others' property without their permission is a crime and that such theft has real consequences on our economy. Pinkos delivered his remarks to more than 80 students at Gattis Elementary School in Round Rock, Texas.

"Intellectual property can be anything-a car, medicine, a toy, a video game or a CD-as long as the product began as an idea," Pinkos told the students. "It is important that people-especially children-show respect for others' property. That includes not illegally copying and downloading video games and movies from the Internet. This is not okay-it's breaking the law."

Camp Invention, cosponsored by the USPTO and the National Inventors Hall of Fame, is a nationwide educational outreach program designed to give children in grades 2-6 an alternative to traditional classroom experiences. Camp Invention's purpose is to stimulate the imaginations of America's next generation of inventors. The weeklong day camp builds on a child's innate curiosity and intuition about the way things work, emphasizing the creative process that leads children to problem solving, discovery and invention.

In sessions such as "I Can Invent," campers take apart old appliances and use the parts to create their own inventions. Then they simulate the process of applying for a patent. The thought-provoking learning experience teaches young people the importance of respecting people's intellectual property just as they would any tangible property, as well as how the patent and trademark system works to support our economy.

Pinkos' visit to Gattis Elementary School came as part of his visit to Austin, where he and the USPTO are hosting a two-day "Conference on the Global Intellectual Property Marketplace" on September 12-13, 2005. The seminar is the third in a series that the USPTO is hosting across the county to help educate American small businesses about the realities of piracy and counterfeiting.

For more information about the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's effort to educate Americans about intellectual property rights, visit www.stopfakes.gov/smallbusiness or www.uspto.gov .

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