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May 15, 2006
#06-32

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

Press Release, 06-32

U.S. Government Official Educates Ohio Students About Intellectual Property Theft

Official Reminds Kids that Illegal Downloading, Copying is a Crime

New Albany, Ohio — United States Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property Stephen Pinkos today told students at New Albany Elementary School how they can help combat piracy, counterfeiting and copyright violations. Pinkos delivered his remarks to more than 275 third grade students at New Albany Elementary School in New Albany, Ohio.

"What if you came up with a song, but then someone acted like it was theirs and made all the money from it? Wouldn't that bother you?" Pinkos asked the students. "It's important to respect other people's property—just like you would want people not to steal something that you invent or create. None of us would steal DVDs or games from our friend's house—and no one should do it just because the DVDs or games happen to be on the Internet. You can let your friends know that it's not okay."

Pinkos' visit to New Albany Elementary came as part of a two-day "Conference on Intellectual Property in the Global Marketplace" sponsored by the USPTO on May 15 and 16 in Columbus, Ohio. This seminar is the latest in a series that the USPTO is hosting across the county to help educate American small businesses about the realities of piracy and counterfeiting. As Pinkos noted after the presentation, "These third graders are pretty smart. They really got the message—and they're the ones who will spread the word that it's not okay to illegally copy or download movies, software and computer games."

New Albany 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 1-6 an alternative to traditional classroom experiences. Camp Invention's purpose is to stimulate the imaginations of America's next generation of inventors. The 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 on Camp Invention, visit www.campinvention.org.

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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