Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property Jon Dudas will travel to China Feb. 29 to March 5 for consultations with senior officials at China's patent and trademark and other intellectual property agencies on issues ranging from ways to meet the challenges posed by the growth in patent and trademark filings in the U.S. and in China to improving the environment for enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPR).
One of the main focuses of Acting Under Secretary Dudas' trip is to help further the administration's goals of improving the environment for U.S. companies doing business in China, and addressing widespread counterfeiting and piracy. This year, the Commerce Department, in conjunction with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, will conduct a high level Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) on trade issues with China, which will be chaired by Commerce Secretary Don Evans and U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Robert B. Zoellick and China's Vice Premier Wu Yi. Intellectual property issues are among the top agenda items of the JCCT. Acting Under Secretary Dudas' visit to China helps pave the way for the April 2004 meeting of the JCCT in Washington, as well as other IPR initiatives in China of the Department of Commerce and other U.S. government agencies.
"China is a major player in the global trading system and an obvious potential market for U.S. goods and services," said Dudas. "Ensuring the protection of U.S. intellectual property in China promotes expansion of U.S. commerce and strengthens the U.S. economy-and has clear benefits for China itself."
While in Beijing, Acting Under Secretary Dudas also will consult with the U.S. Ambassador to China and other officials on additional ways the Department of Commerce's United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) can help improve protection for U.S. businesses holding IP rights in China. He also will host a series of meetings with U.S. businesses and intellectual property organizations, including the Quality Brands Protection Committee, Business Software Alliance, American Chamber of Commerce, U.S. Information Technology Organization, Motion Picture Association, and PhRMA.
Acting Under Secretary Dudas will deliver a speech to one of China's most prestigious universities, Qinghua University, which is located in a high tech zone in Beijing. Qinghua is an active filer of patents in China and the U.S. The university includes a specialized IPR program in its curriculum. University IPR program faculty work closely with U.S. corporations and educational institutions.
This trip marks the first in what Acting Under Secretary Dudas hopes to be an on-going dialogue with the Chinese on IP protection and enforcement issues. Acting Under Secretary Dudas is expected to return to China in May as a follow up to this trip.
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