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May 24, 2005
#05-26

Contact:
Karen Sewell
571-272-8400
karen.sewell@uspto.gov

Press Release, 05-26

Chief U.S. Intellectual Property Official Asks For Utah Schoolchildren’s Help in Fighting Illegal Downloading and Other Kinds of Piracy and Counterfeiting

PRESS RELEASE


Illegal Downloading and Other Kinds of Piracy and Counterfeiting
Bush Administration Official Addresses American Fork Graduating Class

American Fork, Utah – U. S. Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property Jon Dudas today asked the help of Legacy Elementary School’s 6th-grade graduating class in combating global intellectual property theft, beginning with the illegal copying and downloading of software and computer games popular with children.

Dudas singled out Lucas Entertainment’s new ‘Revenge of the Sith’ video game as the type of product that is often illegally downloaded. Dudas reminded the graduating class that copying or downloading others’ property without their permission is a crime and that they have a responsibility to help stop it.

“Illegally copying computer games, DVDs and other products is just as wrong as stealing these items from the store,” Dudas said. “Copying and downloading Star Wars video games and movies is not okay—it’s breaking the law because it is stealing someone else’s property. It’s important that people—especially children—show respect for others’ property, whether it’s your next door neighbor, your classmate or a company that’s far, far away.”

Dudas is the lead policy advisor to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce on intellectual property matters. As director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), he is responsible for administering the laws relevant to granting patents and trademarks to America’s inventors and innovators, and the day-to-day management of the agency’s $1.3 billion budget and 7,000 employees.

Dudas used his remarks to educate the graduates and their parents about intellectual property, explaining that the term ‘intellectual property’ can be used to describe many products—a car, a medicine, a toy, a video game or a CD—as long as the product began as an idea. Dudas talked about patents, trademarks and copyrights and their importance to our nation’s economy and our daily lives: “The jobs of the future depend on our nation’s ability to continue to generate new inventions and innovations and to stay one step ahead of other nations in today’s global marketplace,” he said.

Dudas’ visit to Legacy Elementary came as part of his visit to Salt Lake City, where he and the USPTO are hosting a two-day “Conference on the Global Intellectual Property Marketplace” on May 23 and 24, 2005. The seminar is the first in a series that the USPTO is hosting across the country to help educate American small businesses about the realities of piracy and counterfeiting. Intellectual property experts from the agency are providing attendees with details and useful tips about protecting and enforcing their intellectual property rights in the United States and around the world.

The Salt Lake City seminar and Dudas’ visit to Legacy Elementary represent just two of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s many efforts to educate the American public about intellectual property protection.

For more information about the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s effort to educate Americans about intellectual property rights, visit www.uspto.gov .

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