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May 03, 2002
#02-35

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

Press Release, 02-35

USPTO Hosts International IP Officials

Washington - The Department of Commerce's U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) begins hosting intellectual property officials from nine countries for two weeks of seminars beginning May 6, 2002. This year's 31 participants, known as visiting scholars, will receive classroom and hands-on training about 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.

This spring's session will feature presentations by U.S. Government representatives specializing in patents, trademarks, and copyrights, with an emphasis on patent and trademark issues. Visiting officials will tour patent and trademark examination operations. They also will participate in substantive discussions regarding international intellectual property treaties.

"Fostering a worldwide appreciation for intellectual property is a must for the U.S. economy to thrive in the global marketplace," said James E Rogan, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. "Seminars like this provide a means for moving one step closer to achieving our objective - a truly international patent system."

Intellectual property officials from Korea, Vietnam, Egypt, Mexico, Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Romania, and Serbia Montenegro will be attending USPTO's two-week seminar.

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 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 t 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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