Remarks delivered at the Signing Ceremony for the USPTO-IMPI Work-Sharing Agreement
Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Andrei Iancu
January 28, 2020
Secretaría de Economía
Mexico City, Mexico
As prepared for delivery
Good morning Secretary Márquez, Secretary Ross, Ambassador Landau, Director General Lozano, Senator Astorga, and all the distinguished speakers and guests who are here with us this morning.
I am honored to join you as we celebrate the signing of this historic agreement between the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI). This agreement will do so much to help inventors and innovators in both of our countries.
I want to thank all of the individuals from both of our offices who worked so long and hard to make this agreement and signing ceremony a reality. I also want to extend a special thank you to Director General Lozano. This would not have been possible without his visionary leadership and contagious enthusiasm for intellectual property.
The USPTO and IMPI have enjoyed a long and positive relationship. Our offices regularly exchange information in a number of areas. The USPTO and IMPI, for example, implemented one of the first bilateral Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) programs almost a decade ago—one of our first forms of patent work sharing. Today, with the memorandum we are about to sign, we are taking this strong tradition of collaboration one step further.
Today’s agreement establishes the parameters of a new, and unprecedented, form of work sharing between our two offices. Most importantly, it will allow inventors who file corresponding applications in the United States and Mexico to obtain patents in a faster, more efficient, and more consistent manner. This agreement stands as a model for bilateral cooperation.
Today’s memorandum also highlights the enhanced cooperation between our two IP offices made possible through the USMCA. The USMCA establishes a dramatically more robust intellectual property framework than any other previous trade agreement. And in Article 20.15, it expressly calls for increased collaboration between the IP offices in the United States, Mexico, and Canada—as is precisely exemplified by today’s memorandum. So we have actual implementation of USMCA even before full ratification.
Innovation and intellectual property have always been a unifying force between countries: they drive job creation, accelerate economic growth, and dramatically improve the human condition. This is certainly the case of the longstanding friendship between our two great nations. The results are unmistakable, and the examples are myriad.
Take, for example, Guillermo González Camarena. Born in Guadalajara, México, González Camarena invented an early color television transmission system before he turned 20. He was granted a Mexican patent in 1940. And, in 1942, González Camarena was granted a United States patent.
In 1946, González Camarena transmitted his first color broadcast, originating from his lab in the offices of The Mexican League of Radio Experiments, located at 1 Lucerna Street, right here in Mexico City. And then, in 1979, his invention was used on NASA's Voyager mission to take pictures and video of Jupiter.
This is the historical power of invention and cross-border cooperation. This is the impact of intellectual property.
The work-sharing agreement we sign today will lead to even stronger cooperation between the United States and Mexico, to increased innovation in our two countries, and, combined with the creativity and ingenuity of our people, to a more prosperous North America.
As a token of our long-standing friendship, I’d like to present IMPI with a framed copy of United States patent no. 2,296,019, issued to Guillermo González Camarena on September 15, 1942, by the United States Patent Office.