Skip over navigation

Office of Policy and International Affairs

The USPTO leads efforts to develop and strengthen both domestic and international intellectual property protection and advises the Secretary of Commerce, the President of the United States, and the Administration on patent, trademark, and copyright protection.

The Role of PTO and Intellectual Property Policy

The passage of the American Inventors Protection Act of 1999 (AIPA) (P.L. 106-113) set the stage for the USPTO to advise the President, through the Secretary of Commerce, and all Federal agencies, on national and international IP policy issues, including IP protection in other countries. USPTO is also authorized by the AIPA to provide guidance, conduct programs and studies, and otherwise interact with international IP offices and international intergovernmental organizations on matters involving the protection of intellectual property. Our established Office of IP Policy and Enforcement carries out the functions authorized by the AIPA.

Back to top


The Office of the Administrator for Policy and International Affairs:

  • Assists the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in advising the President, through the Secretary of Commerce, and Federal agencies on domestic and international IP issues as well as on United States treaty obligations;
  • Formulates U.S. domestic and international policy regarding protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights;
  • Promotes the development of intellectual property systems, nationally and internationally, and advocates improvements in and more effective means of protecting and enforcing intellectual property rights of United States nationals in the United States and throughout the world;
  • Consults with foreign governments and other United States Government agencies on the substantive technical analysis of intellectual property rights enforcement laws, legal and judicial regimes, civil and criminal procedures, border measures, and administrative regulations relating to the enforcement of intellectual property laws;
  • Supports the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), Department of State and other U.S. Government agencies in international negotiations and consultations, and assists with the drafting, reviewing, and implementation of intellectual property obligations in bilateral and multilateral treaties and trade agreements;
  • Provides and participates in technical assistance and capacity-building programs and conferences to foreign governments seeking to develop or improve their intellectual property laws and regulations; and to improve the level of expertise of those responsible for intellectual property rights enforcement and the overall environment for enforcement;
  • Examines the adequacy and effectiveness of intellectual property rights protection under the Special 301 provisions of the Trade Act of 1974.

Back to top

Notable Quotes

President Obama: Innovation key to improving the economy - August 1st,2009.

The “spirit of innovation” is essential to America’s future prosperity

From the President’s Saturday August 1, 2009 radio address

“Innovation has been essential to our prosperity in the past, and it will be essential to our prosperity in the future,” Obama emphasized in his August 1, 2009, radio and Internet address to the nation.

“Even as we rescue this economy,” the President noted, “we must work to rebuild it stronger than before. We've got to build a new foundation strong enough to withstand future economic storms and support lasting prosperity.”

“It is only by building a new foundation that we will once again harness that incredible generative capacity of the American people,” the President said. “All it takes are the policies to tap that potential — to ignite that spark of creativity and ingenuity — which has always been at the heart of who we are and how we succeed.”

Back to top

United States Patent and Trademark Office
This page is owned by Office of Policy and International Affairs.
Last Modified: 10/4/2013 2:04:50 PM