The Department of Commerce's United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is sponsoring its sixth enforcement training program on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS) the week of October 22, 2001. TRIPS is a 1995 multi-national agreement designed to advance international trade. Since 1997, the USPTO, along with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), has helped law enforcement and other government officials from over 24 developing countries formulate TRIPS-compliant international property rights enforcement regimes.
Participants include directors and deputy directors of intellectual property and industrial property offices, trade policy officials, judges, customs officials and other experts from developing countries.
The goals of the program are to provide government officials with an in-depth review of the TRIPS standards for enforcing intellectual property; to assist government officials in developing effective IP rights enforcement systems based on an interdisciplinary approach in which civil, criminal, administrative and border measures work both together and separately; and to familiarize government officials with the challenges posed by enforcing intellectual property on the Internet.
USPTO administers patent and trademark laws protecting intellectual property and rewarding individual effort. Intellectual property is a potent force in the competitive free enterprise system. By protecting intellectual endeavors and encouraging technological progress, USPTO seeks to preserve the United States' technological edge, which is a key to our current and future competitiveness. USPTO also disseminates patent and trademark information that promotes an understanding of intellectual property protection and facilitates the development and sharing of new technologies worldwide.
Over 6 million patents have been issued since the first patent in 1790 and more than 2.3 million trademarks have been registered since the first in 1870. Last year USPTO issued 182,223 patents and registered 127,794 trademarks.