IP Champions: Expanding the innovation ecosystem by bringing essential intellectual property knowledge to local communities through our nationwide team

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today announced the launch of the Community Outreach Campaign: Intellectual Property (IP) Champions. This program connects our USPTO employees (our designated "IP Champions")—trained in providing IP awareness and educational resources to diverse audiences—with high schools and local community centers. The IP Champions educate local communities on the importance of IP protections such as patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets to innovation. They support local educators, and are available to discuss important IP concepts, share our free online resources, and empower the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs. 

“When I go into schools and communities, I am constantly inspired by the hope, compassion, and energy witnessed,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO Kathi Vidal. “It’s our job as leaders to ensure this incredible potential is realized so that American ideas and entrepreneurialism continue to solve problems and fuel our communities and economy. Thanks to our nationwide team, and our incredible teammates who have stepped up to be IP Champions, we are expanding our ability to have impact at a local level at speed and scale, while enabling our Champions to feel the impact of their work.”  

“As IP Champions, I hope we can pave the way so that future inventors know that there is no ceiling to their creativity,” said Tarun Sinha, a primary patent examiner who also trains new examiners and is a member of the first cohort of IP Champions. “This program has provided me the tools to inform, educate, and inspire a new generation of inventors. I’m excited to get into my community and share the opportunities and resources we have here at the USPTO.”

“I am excited about being an IP Champion and giving back to my community,” said Brandi Thomas, a patent examiner and member of the first cohort of IP Champions. “I want the young people in my neighborhood to see that I was them and that I can relate to them. I want to show them the opportunities out there in engineering, math, and the sciences, especially as a woman.” 

If you’re interested in bringing IP knowledge and the expertise of our IP Champions to your high school or community, please email CommunityOutreachCampaign@USPTO.GOV. To learn more about the IP Champions program and additional educational opportunities available to you and your community, please visit the IP Champions webpage of the USPTO website, or check out USPTO’s educational resource EquIP HQ for K-12 audiences. 

The IP Champions program is an initiative of the Council for Inclusive Innovation. Learn more about the USPTO’s efforts to expand inclusive innovation.