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October 30, 2000
#00-66

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Kim Byars
703-305-8341

Press Release, 00-66

USPTO Hosts International IP Seminar

Today, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) begins hosting intellectual property officials from 14 countries for two weeks of seminars, known as the Visiting Scholars Program. Scholars will receive classroom and hands on study of 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. 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, U.S. Senate 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.

Intellectual property officials from Albania, Bulgaria, China, Egypt, El Salvador, Indonesia, Korea, Kuwait, Macau, Nigeria, Paraguay, Taiwan, and Vietnam are attending USPTO's two-week seminar.

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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