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July 07, 1999
#99-20

Contact:
Maria V. Hernandez
Brigid Quinn
703-305-8341

Press Release, 99-20

Patent Commissioner to Chair Public Hearings on Official Insignia of Native American Tribes

Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Acting Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks Q. Todd Dickinson will chair hearings designed to obtain views of the public on issues surrounding trademark protection for the official insignia of federally and/or state recognized Native American tribes. Interested members of the public were invited to testify at this hearing. The full hearing notice can be found on the agency's website at www.uspto.gov/web/offices/com/sol/notices/fr990603.htm.

On October 30, 1998, President Clinton signed Public Law 105-330. Title III of this law requires the PTO to study how official insignia of Native American tribes may better be protected under trademark law. The new law requires that the PTO complete the study and submit a report to the chairman of the Committee on the Judiciary of the Senate and to the chairman of the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives not later than September 30, 1999. The final study must address a variety of issues, including the impact of any changes on the international legal obligations of the United States, the definition of "official insignia'' of a federally and/or state recognized Native American tribe, and the administrative feasibility, including the cost, of changing current law or policy in light of any recommendations.

Who: Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Acting Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks Q. Todd Dickinson

What: Patent and Trademark Office Hearings on Official Insignia of Native American Tribes

When: Thursday, July 8, 1999, 9 a.m.

Where:

Indian Pueblo Cultural Center
Silver and Turquoise Room
2401 12th Street, NW
Albuquerque, New Mexico

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