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April 30, 2002
#02-30

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

Press Release, 02-30

USPTO Welcomes Vice 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 offered a first-hand look at USPTO's pioneering e-government patent and trademark systems to Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), Vice Chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property of the U.S. House of Representatives.

"Bob Goodlatte is a good friend of America's intellectual property regime," noted Under Secretary Rogan. "He has been a strong supporter of efforts to strengthen the U.S. patent and trademark systems. I am pleased he made the time to visit the agency and to see first-hand the important work being done at USPTO to foster innovation in science and technology. I look forward to continuing our good working relationship," Rogan added.

Vice Chairman Goodlatte was given a demonstration of the agency's award-winning trademark electronic filing system (TEAS), which is used by more than 30% of the agency's trademark customers to file their applications. During his visit, Vice Chairman Goodlatte 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 databases. 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 commend my former colleague, Under Secretary Jim Rogan, on his leadership in bringing the USPTO into the 21st Century," noted Congressman Goodlatte. "There may be no other government agency more important to the growth of innovation and commercial creativity than the USPTO. Its ability to expeditiously and expertly process patent and trademark applications is critical to sustained economic growth," 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 six 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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