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March 10, 2006
#06-17

Contact:
Brigid Quinn or Ruth Nyblod
571-272-8400
brigid.quinn@uspto.gov
ruth.nyblod@uspto.gov

Press Release, 06-17

Commerce Under Secretary Highlights Florida’s Innovation and Competitiveness

Orlando, Fla. -- Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Jon Dudas today echoed President Bush’s agenda to improve America’s ability to innovate, maintain a competitive edge and make health care more efficient. Under Secretary Dudas also presented an Export Achievement Award to NR Electronics, an Orlando small business.

“Florida is growing in terms of economy, innovation, and intellectual property,” noted Dudas. “In short, Florida and the Orlando area are helping America grow and lead the national and world economies. The president’s American Competitiveness Initiative strategy will increase federal investment in research, ensure that the United States continues to lead the world in opportunity, and help provide American young people with a strong foundation in math and science. What’s happening in Florida is certainly on the leading edge, and the president’s American Competitiveness Initiative will only strengthen what Florida is already doing.”

Dudas lauded the area’s impressive examples of innovation, including a pioneer in feature animation, Walt Disney, who invented the first film to combine animation with synchronized sound. Disney was inducted in the National Inventors Hall of Fame for his “art of animation.” Today, the Walt Disney Company, as well as neighboring large and small businesses, still rely on intellectual property protection to help support every aspect of their business.

The number of patents issued to Floridians has more than doubled in the past 20 years from about 1,100 patents in 1984 to almost 3,000 in 2004. Last year, Florida residents registered almost 3,700 trademarks and filed 17,000 more applications. The Orlando area has been ranked first in the country for gazelle jobs—those jobs in companies with annual sales revenue growth of 20 percent or more for four straight years.

Under Secretary Dudas also recognized the NR Electronics company as an example of how U.S. small businesses are growing through exports. The company, founded in 2003 as a one-man electronics distributor, specializes in obsolete and hard-to-find products. With exports growing, the company has reached almost $1 million in annual sales. In presenting the Commerce Department’s Export Achievement Certificate to the NR Electronics’ managing director, Under Secretary Dudas commended the company for “helping create more U.S. jobs, which strengthens our economy.”

United States Patent and Trademark Office
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