Welcome Statement of James Rogan at U.S. Senate Nomination Hearing

Statement of

The Honorable James E. Rogan

Nominee to be Under Secretary of Commerce

For Intellectual Property
Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office

Before the

Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate

November 7, 2001

Madame Chairman and Members of the Committee:

It is a great honor to join you today as President Bush's nominee for the position of Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office. I am grateful to the president for nominating me to this important post, and to Secretary Evans for his recommendation and support.

Madame Chairman, I am especially blessed to be joined by my wife Christine and our young twin daughters, Dana and Claire.

I want to thank Chairman Leahy and you, Madame Chairman, for scheduling this hearing. My gratitude is magnified when I reflect upon the unprecedented and grave issues with which this committee must grapple following the cowardly attack on our people two months ago.

Madame Chairman, we cannot overstate the importance of intellectual property in today's global economy. For over 200 years American intellectual property has fueled our economic growth and will continue to do so. We need to do all we can on both the domestic and international level to promote and protect this invaluable resource.

The individual confirmed by this body to be under secretary of commerce for intellectual property plays a significant role in that effort. Not only does the under secretary oversee the issuance of patents and trademarks, but he or she also advises the president, through the secretary of commerce, and our federal agencies, on all national and international intellectual property policy issues. Those issues include the negotiation and implementation of international treaties and improvements to those treaties; review of intellectual property provisions in trade agreements; dispute resolution; and consultation with foreign governments that look to develop or improve their intellectual property systems.

If confirmed, Madame Chairman, my priorities will include working to improve the quality of patents granted and trademarks registered, and to minimize the processing times. USPTO customers deserve a quality product delivered in the shortest possible time. Since that requires substantial human and technical resources, I will work to ensure that USPTO has appropriate funding to do the job. I know the administration and Congress already are working toward that important goal.

On the international side, we need to continue reaching out to our foreign trading partners to encourage their support for strong intellectual property laws and enforcement systems. U.S. industries suffer enormous losses overseas through piracy and ineffective enforcement.

As the record of this committee shows, intellectual property-related matters traditionally are addressed in a bipartisan manner. The same holds true for the House Judiciary Committee, where I was privileged to serve during the 105th and 106th Congresses. If confirmed, I will work diligently to continue that spirit of bipartisanship and cooperation as we deliberate on intellectual property-related policies.

Madame Chairman, we already have the best intellectual property system in the world. If confirmed, I will do all I can to work with your committee and with my former colleagues in Congress to make it even more effective and cost-efficient.

Again, Madame Chairman, thank you for holding this hearing. I thank this committee for its consideration of my nomination. I am pleased to answer any questions.