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January 10, 2002
#02-02

Contact:
Brigid Quinn
703-305-8341
brigid.quinn@uspto.gov

Press Release, 02-02

USPTO Launches Media Campaign to Counter Patent Scams

Exploitation of U.S. inventors costs small business people $200 million annually

This week, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) unveils a television and radio campaign in five media markets to counter the flood of deceptive advertising aimed at America's independent inventors. USPTO's spots, which will run through March 31, 2002, in San Francisco/San Jose, Tampa, Pittsburgh and New York, and in Spanish in Southern Florida, warn small inventors about organizations who offer, but do not deliver on, costly schemes to patent and market inventions. The agency also will be placing print ads in Popular Science, Popular Mechanics, The Family Handyman and Inventors Digest in late January.

"USPTO's ads caution inventors that 'if it sounds too good to be true, it is,'" said James E. Rogan, Under Secretary Of Commerce for Intellectual Property. "Our ads offer practical information, guiding inventors to USPTO's Office of Independent Inventor Programs, where they can get real help with patenting and marketing their inventions."

Every year invention promotion scams cost U.S. inventors an estimated $200 million. The USPTO's Office of Independent Inventor Programs has set up a special toll-free number, 866-767-3848, to provide information to inventors about invention promotion firms.

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