Creativity: The Next Generation

Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for IP and Acting USPTO Director Teresa Stanek Rea

World IP Day Welcoming Remarks

USPTO Headquarters, Alexandria, Va.

April 26, 2013

Remarks as Prepared for Delivery

Thank you, Todd. I would like to welcome all of you to the United States Patent and Trademark Office. It is a great honor to be here to celebrate World Intellectual Property Day. I would like to extend special thanks to Ambassador Konji Sebati, WIPO Director of the Department of Traditional Knowledge and Global Challenges; and Rebecca Kamen, sculptor and professor of art from Northern Virginia Community College, for taking the time to join today's conversation. I would also like to welcome our distinguished panel of presenters. We are honored to have you all here.

Every year we take a moment to draw special attention to the historical significance and continuing importance of intellectual property. It is essential to the health of the global economy. We embrace the opportunity to increase the public's understanding of the value of IP. We also emphasize how strong IP systems foster creativity and advancement in the arts and sciences. IP rights are a global currency that creates value for products and services, benefiting innovators in all markets.

The protection that IP laws provide will help future innovators write the next chapter of global technological advancement. Those future innovators are the central focus of this year's World IP Day theme - "Creativity: The Next Generation." Predicting the next big idea is not easy. But with ever greater access to information, instant communication, and crowd-sourcing, what was once considered science fiction; what was once considered impossible; and what was once considered the stuff of dreams; has become our new reality.

Knowing this, one can only imagine what future innovations will have a profound effect on how we live, how we think, how we work, and how we learn. That is why we all have a responsibility to encourage our next generation of innovators, a responsibility the United States Patent and Trademark Office shares by providing domestic education outreach, knowledge enhancement, and capacity building. And you will hear more about these during today's panel discussion. Our education and outreach team-with the support of senior leadership and volunteer employee organizations at the USPTO-perform yeoman's work laying the seeds for our next generation of creative minds across our great country. They are helping inspire today's youth to embrace the power of the so-called "STEAM" fields-Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math. And they are helping educators and students connect what happens in the classroom to the innovation we see in incoming patent and trademark applications.

Recently, with the help of our education czarina Joyce Ward-who you will hear from today-we collaborated with the National Science Foundation and NBC learn to launch the "Science of Innovation" video series. These outstanding short yet informative videos were developed with curriculum support from the National Science Teachers Association. Educators across the nation can now share these engaging videos with middle and high school students so they can learn about innovations in a variety of fields: from healthcare to transportation, from energy to advanced manufacturing.

Our goal is not just to entertain students with stories of remarkable scientists, engineers, and inventors. We aim to inspire them, as Isaac Newton once said he did, to stand on the shoulders of giants and advance their insights to new heights. Our nation's innovators are central to everything we do at the USPTO. A strong IP infrastructure is critical to our nation's economic growth, and to our future as a leader in global innovation. Time and again, history teaches us the profound impact that one good idea-once patented, manufactured, and delivered to the marketplace-has on our quality of life. The USPTO remains committed to the next generation of America's innovation community.

Thank you once again to Todd and our AIPLA colleagues who worked so hard to make this program happen, as well as our friends at the Licensing Executives Society and at WIPO. Thank you to the Patent and Trademark Office Society and Supervisory Patent Examiner and Classifiers Organization for helping us put on this program today. And thank you all again for joining us here at the United States Patent and Trademark Office! I look forward to hearing from our guest speakers and panelists today.