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May 08, 2000
#00-29

CONTACT:
Brigid Quinn
Kim Byars
703-305-8341

Press Release, 00-29

USPTO Marks 15th Anniversary of VIsiting Scholars Program

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will host intellectual property officials from 15 countries, ranging from the Philippines to Kuwait, from May 8-19, 2000. Scholars will receive two weeks of classroom and hands on study of the United States intellectual property system. The Visiting Scholars Program, which began in 1985, is the most thorough introduction to the U.S. intellectual property system offered annually. While the program includes substantial review of copyright and related topics, the emphasis is on patents and trademarks.

This year’s session will feature presentations by U.S. government representatives specializing in patents, trademarks, and copyrights. Visiting officials will tour the patent and trademark examination operations, visit the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and the U.S. Copyright Office. They will also participate in substantive discussions regarding international intellectual property treaties.

"Fostering a worldwide appreciation for patents, trademarks and copyrights is a must if the U.S. economy is to continue to thrive in a global marketplace," said Q. Todd Dickinson, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

USPTO, a user fee-funded agency of the United States, within the Department of Commerce, administers laws relevant to granting patents and registering trademarks. The Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office advises the Secretary of Commerce and other Federal departments and agencies on intellectual property policy matters. Over 6 million patents have been issued since the first patent in 1790. Last year USPTO issued 161,000 patents and registered 104,000 trademarks.

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