Agricultural-Related Intellectual Property Rights Issues (Agenda)


U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

USPTO Contact: Amy P. Cotton
Phone (703) 308-5378
FAX (703) 305-8885
U.S. Department of Agriculture

USDA Contact: Roger Minami
Phone 202 277-9475


Informational Listening Session on Agricultural-Related Intellectual Property Rights Issues

Listening Session: Thursday, June 6, 2002
Orange County Board of Supervisors' Hearing Room
1 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.


A number of agricultural organizations in California have requested that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) consider matters of interest to the California agriculture industry through an information exchange. Therefore, USPTO and USDA will hold an event on Thursday, June 6 in Santa Ana, Calif., at 1 p.m. to discuss intellectual property right issues faced by U.S. food producers and the agricultural industry.

Those taking part include: Under Secretary James E. Rogan of the USPTO, State Executive Director John Smythe of the Farm Service Agency, District Representative Young Kim from the Office of Congressman Ed Royce, state officials and local representatives.

The USPTO and USDA are seeking to learn about intellectual property right issues faced by the U.S. food and agricultural industries through an informational "Listening Session." The initial session will take place in Southern California at the Orange County Supervisors' Hearing Room. A future session is planned for Northern California. USPTO and USDA would greatly appreciate your attendance and welcome your comments during this Listening Session. We hope that it will greatly enhance the ability of the U.S. Government to assist food producers, farmers and ranchers to effectively protect their intellectual property both domestically and abroad.

In an attempt to include as many interested parties as possible in this session but recognizing time constraints, the Session will include five-minute oral presentations from 15 participants. These participants will be chosen so as to include a broad spectrum of issues for consideration by the U.S. government. For those not chosen to speak but still wishing to participate, written comments will be accepted. Speakers may also submit written comments.

The session will be recorded and transcribed. Written comments and copies of exhibits will be included in the final transcript. The USPTO and USDA are interested in hearing issues of concern to the agricultural community as they relate to intellectual property rights. These topics could include: 1) issues of trademark counterfeiting, which would include the copying of labels, packaging, logos, etc. by unauthorized users who are selling competing goods in commerce in the United States or abroad; 2) unauthorized use of geographical indications; 3) the unauthorized release of confidential product information, either trade secret information or data subject to data exclusivity laws, during marketing approval; or 4) issues pertaining to the intellectual property protection of plant varieties, food products, chemical entities or processes of making these products.

The Informational Listening Session will have the following format:

1 - 1:05 p.m. Introduction by Host

1:05 - 1:15 p.m. Introductory Remarks

1:15 - 1:25 p.m. Introductory Remarks by Under Secretary James E. Rogan, Director, USPTO


1:25 - 2:20 p.m. First Session of Eight Speakers

2:25 - 2:35 p.m. Break

2:35 - 3:20 p.m. Second Session of Seven Speakers

3:20 - 3:30 p.m. Concluding Remarks by Under Secretary Rogan

Written comments should be submitted by mail, FAX, or e-mail to:
Attention: Amy P. Cotton, United States Patent and Trademark Office, Box 4, Washington, D.C. 20531 Fax (703) 305-8885