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September 14, 2000
#00-53

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Press Release, 00-53

USPTO Director Dickinson Encourages Countries in Asia and the Pacific Region to Maintain Strong Intellectual Property Protection Systems to Prosper in Knowledge-Based Economy

Q. Todd Dickinson, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), will give the keynote address on September 18, 2000, at the Conference on Intellectual Property Enforcement in a Knowledge-Based Economy in Chiang Rai, Thailand. Industry and government leaders from over 20 countries in Asia and the Pacific Region are expected to attend the September 18-19, 2000, conference that is co-sponsored by USPTO and the World Intellectual Property Organization.

As of January 1, 2000, most countries in the Asia-Pacific Region are obligated to have domestic laws and effective enforcement of intellectual property rights in accordance with the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). In his remarks, Under Secretary Dickinson will stress the close relationship between building effective civil and criminal intellectual property enforcement mechanisms and thriving in the knowledge-based global economy .

"Increasingly, effective intellectual property protection requires enforcement efforts designed to combat the growing use of the Internet and other digital technologies in the development and distribution of pirated and counterfeit goods," said Under Secretary Dickinson.

Under Secretary Dickinson will also travel to Vietnam to meet with the Director General of Vietnam's National Office of Industrial Property, other government officials, and representatives of American industry interested in intellectual property protection matters. Among the topics on the Under Secretary's agenda during this three day meeting is the important role strong intellectual property protection will play in the success of the recent bilateral trade agreement between the United States and Vietnam.

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 and 2.3 million trademarks have been registered since the first in 1870. Last year USPTO issued 161,000 patents and registered 104,000 trademarks.

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