Washington - The USPTO University, the after-hours college of the Department of Commerce's United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) held its 2002 closing ceremony today for 80 students. USPTO-U, which began in 1994, is a tremendously successful on-site program that helps USPTO employees develop skills that will maximize their opportunities at the agency.
This year's graduating class received certificates and degrees from Northern Virginia Community College, University of Virginia, Marymount University and Syracuse University Maxwell School of Advanced Public Management. The certificates and degrees awarded in this year's ceremony included: career studies certificates in business information technology; associate degrees in applied science in business management, applied science in legal assisting, and in general studies; bachelor of arts degrees in liberal arts; and graduate certificates in information resources management, and human resources management.
"USPTO University enhances the personal and professional development of our employees, helping the agency function more effectively and efficiently," said James E. Rogan, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property. "Patents continue to increase in number and complexity. Thus, our work demands a highly-skilled workforce. USPTO-U carries on our agency's rich tradition of honoring creativity and education, exemplifying government at its very best," he added.
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. By protecting intellectual endeavors and encouraging technological progress, USPTO seeks to preserve the United States' technological edge, which is key to our current and future competitiveness. 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 six 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 187,824 patents and registered 102,314 trademarks.
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