The Department of Commerce's United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) begins hosting intellectual property officials from nine countries for two weeks of seminars beginning October 9, 2001. Participants, known as visiting scholars, receive classroom and hands-on learning about the United States' intellectual property system. The program, which began in 1985, is the most thorough introduction to the U.S. intellectual property system offered annually.
This fall's session will feature presentations by U.S. government representatives specializing in patents, trademarks, and copyrights, with an emphasis on patent and trademark issues. Visiting officials will tour patent and trademark examination operations. They also will participate in substantive discussions regarding international intellectual property treaties.
"Fostering a worldwide appreciation for intellectual property is a must for the U.S. economy to thrive in the global marketplace," said Nicholas Godici, Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Acting Director of the USPTO. "By protecting intellectual endeavors and encouraging technological progress, USPTO seeks to preserve the United States' technological edge, which is a key to our current and future competitiveness."
Intellectual property officials from China, Cyprus, Dominican Republic, Eritrea, Guatemala, Korea, Mexico, Nigeria, and Romania will be attending USPTO's two-week seminar.
USPTO administers patent and trademark laws protecting intellectual property and rewarding individual effort. Intellectual property is a potent force in the competitive free enterprise system. USPTO also disseminates patent and trademark information that promotes an understanding of intellectual property protection and facilitates the development and sharing of new technologies worldwide.
Over 6 million patents have been issued since the first patent in 1790 and more than 2.3 million trademarks have been registered since the first in 1870. Last year USPTO issued 182,223 patents and registered 127,794 trademarks.