U.S. Government Official Educates Minnesota Students About Intellectual Property Theft

Official Reminds Kids that Illegal Downloading, Copying is a Crime
Press Release

Brigid Quinn or Ruth Nyblod
(571) 272-8400 or

Bloomington, Minn. - United States Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property Jon Dudas today told students at Westwood Elementary School how they can help combat piracy, counterfeiting and copyright violations. Dudas delivered his remarks to more than 275 second to fifth grade students at Westwood Elementary in Bloomington, Minn.

"Copying and downloading video games and movies is not okay-it's breaking the law because it is stealing someone else's property," Dudas told the students. "It's important to respect other people's property-just like you would want people not to steal something that you invent or create. None of us would steal DVDs or games from our friend's house or a store - and no one should do it just because the DVDs or games happen to be on the Internet."

Dudas' visit to Westwood Elementary came as part of a two-day "Conference on Intellectual Property in the Global Marketplace" sponsored by the USPTO on September 11 and 12, 2006, in Minneapolis, Minn. This seminar is the latest in a series that the USPTO is hosting across the county to help educate American small businesses about the realities of piracy and counterfeiting.

Westwood Elementary School also participates in Camp Invention, cosponsored by the USPTO and the National Inventors Hall of Fame. Camp Invention is a nationwide educational outreach program designed to give children in grades 1-6 an alternative to traditional classroom experiences. Camp Invention's purpose is to stimulate the imaginations of America's next generation of inventors. The summer camp builds on a child's innate curiosity and intuition about the way things work, emphasizing the creative process that leads children to problem solving, discovery and invention.

In sessions such as "I Can Invent," campers take apart old appliances and use the parts to create their own inventions. Then they simulate the process of applying for a patent. The thought-provoking learning experience teaches young people the importance of respecting people's intellectual property just as they would any tangible property, as well as how the patent and trademark system works to support our economy. For more information on Camp Invention, visit www.campinvention.org.

For more information about the USPTO's effort to educate Americans about intellectual property rights, visit www.stopfakes.gov/smallbusiness or www.uspto.gov.