Washington - The Department of Commerce's United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) hosted government officials and intellectual property professionals from Asia, Africa, Europe, and Central America for two weeks of seminars October 27 - November 7, 2003. The participants, known as visiting scholars, received classroom and hands-on training about the U.S. intellectual property system. The annual program, which began in 1985, is the most thorough introduction to the U.S. intellectual property system offered by the U.S. government. It provides a forum for sharing the USPTO's expertise with representatives from various industrial property offices worldwide and fosters a better understanding of international intellectual property obligations and standards.
"Developing a worldwide appreciation for intellectual property protection is a must for the U.S. economy to thrive in the global marketplace," said James E Rogan, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property. "Seminars like this provide a means for moving one step closer to achieving a truly international patent system."
Over the two-week course, the visiting scholars heard presentations by U.S. government representatives specializing in patents, trademarks and copyrights on conditions for patentability, e-government, patent and trademark search techniques, as well as issues involving copyright protection. Visiting officials toured patent and trademark examination operations, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and the U.S. Copyright Office. They also participated in substantive discussions regarding international intellectual property treaties.