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February 05, 2002
#02-08

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

Press Release, 02-08

USPTO Hosts Chairman of House Intellectual Property Subcommittee

Washington - James Rogan, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), today provided an insider's view of USPTO's pioneering e-government patent and trademark systems to Congressman Howard Coble, Chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property of the U.S. House of Representatives.

"Little in the world of intellectual property goes forward without Chairman Coble's imprimatur," said Rogan. "He is a good friend and I am honored that he has taken the time to experience, first-hand, the important work being done by our dedicated staff to encourage innovation," he continued.

Chairman Coble was given a demonstration of the agency's award-winning trademark electronic filing system, which is used by more than 25% of the agency's trademark customers to file their applications. During his visit, Chairman Coble also saw a presentation of the desk top search systems used by patent examiners to electronically access nearly 20 million U.S. and international patents and more than 1,000 non patent data bases. Examiners use these search systems to find information that will help determine the novelty of an invention. Patent Examiners performed 10 million electronic searches last year.

"I am amazed at the speed and efficiency of the systems USPTO has developed to process patents and trademarks," noted Congressman Coble. "The agency has an overwhelming mandate. Last year alone, USPTO received over 350,000 patent and 300,000 trademark applications. I am encouraged by the range of state-of-the-art systems the USPTO is using to improve quality and reduce pendency. I look forward to working with Under Secretary Rogan and President Bush to secure the necessary funding to help the agency reach its goals," he added.

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 187,824 patents and registered 102,314 trademarks.

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