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August 02, 2001
#01-34

Contact:
Kim Byars
703-305-8341
kim.byars@uspto.gov

Press Release, 01-34

Deputy Commerce Secretary Celebrates USPTO's Many Facets of Diversity

First Official Event as Deputy Secretary

Today U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Sam Bodman gave the keynote address at the Department of Commerce's United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) sixth annual community day, recognizing the agency's diverse workforce. The yearly celebration was attended by over two thousand USPTO employees.

Anne Chasser, USPTO's Commissioner for Trademarks and agency staff joined Deputy Secretary Bodman in celebrating the diversity of an agency where there is no majority race.

"I'm truly delighted to make my formal debut at this very special celebration—with what I know to be one of the most diverse groups of talented, dedicated, and hard working people in government," said Secretary Bodman.

Vendors selling a broad array of foods from around the world, and a health fair featuring representatives from metropolitan area health facilities offering free massages, blood pressure screenings, and breast cancer awareness literature, were among the exhibitors attracting sizeable crowds.

"Community Day provides USPTO's employees, who have roots from around the world, an opportunity to celebrate the rich diversity that is an integral part of the agency," noted Commissioner Chasser.

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 a 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 6 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 182,223 patents and registered 127,794 trademarks.

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