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March 28, 2006
#06-23

Contact:
Brigid Quinn
(571) 272-8400 or brigid.quinn@uspto.gov

Press Release, 06-23

U.S. Government Official Educates Northern Virginia Children About Intellectual Property Theft

Official Reminds Kids that Illegal Downloading, Copying is a Crime

Alexandria, Va. — U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property Jon Dudas today asked students at Ft. Hunt Elementary School to help combat piracy,counterfeiting, and copyright violations by refraining from illegally copying and downloading music, movies, software and computer games. Dudas reminded the children that copying or downloading others' property without their permission is a crime and that such theft has real consequences on our economy. Dudas delivered his remarks to more than 400 students at Ft. Hunt Elementary School in Alexandria.

"Intellectual property can be anything-a car, medicine, a toy, a video game or a CD-as long as the product began as an idea," Dudas told the students. "It is important that people—especially children—show respect for others' property. That includes not illegally copying and downloading video games and movies from the Internet. This is not okay—it's breaking the law."

Dudas' visit to Ft. Hunt Elementary School came as part of a two-day "Conference on the Global Intellectual Property Marketplace" sponsored by the USPTO on March 27 and 28 in McLean, Va. The seminar is the sixth in a series that the USPTO is hosting across the county to help educate American small businesses about the realities of piracy and counterfeiting.

Ft. Hunt Elementary School also participates in Camp Invention, cosponsored by the USPTO and the National Inventors Hall of Fame. Camp Invention is a nationwide educational outreach program designed to give children in grades 2-6 an alternative to traditional classroom experiences. Camp Invention's purpose is to stimulate the imaginations of America's next generation of inventors. The weeklong day camp builds on a child's innate curiosity and intuition about the way things work, emphasizing the creative process that leads children to problem solving, discovery and invention.

In sessions such as "I Can Invent," campers take apart old appliances and use the parts to create their own inventions. Then they simulate the process of applying for a patent. The thought-provoking learning experience teaches young people the importance of respecting people's intellectual property just as they would any tangible property, as well as how the patent and trademark system works to support our economy.

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

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