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Office of Policy and International Affairs

The USPTO leads efforts to develop and strengthen both domestic and international property protection and advises the Secretary of Commerce, the President of the United States, and the Administration on patent, trademark, copyright, 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 Policy and International Affairs carries out the functions authorized by the AIPA. 

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The Office of 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.

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Notable Quotes

President Barack Obama 

"Our single greatest asset is the innovation and the ingenuity and creativity of the American people."

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United States Patent and Trademark Office
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Last Modified: 10/1/2013 2:04:52 PM