IP Attaché Program


Published on Oct 24, 2018

The United States Patent and Trademark Office's (USPTO) Intellectual Property (IP) Attaché Program works to improve IP systems internationally.



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As American businesses expand into international
markets, they have a unique ally when it comes

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to matters of intellectual property, the United
States Patent and Trademark office's Intellectual

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Property Attaché Program.

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IP attachés provide a number of valuable
services, they advocate to improve intellectual

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property systems primarily, and that's done
in three ways. The first is by meeting with

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senior host government officials to explain
why changes and improvements to policies,

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laws, and regulations would be advantageous
to that country. The second is, they train

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host government officials on intellectual
property issues. This includes judges, prosecutors,

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patent examiners, trademark examining attorneys,
and police. This training helps them to become

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more effective at what these officers do.
And the third prong of this is; they reach

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out to the public through public awareness
programs to help them to understand US perspectives

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on intellectual property, why intellectual
property is important, why it should be protected,

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and why it should be respected and enforced.

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Our relationship with the IP attachés that
we've worked with has been tremendous. They

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have helped us understand issues very quickly,
helped us to prioritize our work, helped our

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members understand how to come into those
countries and do business in IP. Without them

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there, it would take a lot longer for us to
be able to filter through the issues that

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are coming out of the patent offices and the
governments.

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The IP Attaché Program serves businesses
of all sizes. We work with sole practitioners,

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independent vendors, small businesses, to
even multinational companies as well.

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American products are very popular around
the world, and American ingenuity is really

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under attack. Whether it's cyber theft, whether
it's trade secret theft, there's just a myriad

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of ways in which foreign bad actors are causing
a lot of losses to the American economy,

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really in all areas. And so that's why an attaché
can be critically important and help a company

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navigate a foreign market

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From IP protection
to preventing online piracy, to licensing

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issues and combating counterfeit trade, the
IP attachés provide assistance across a broad

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range of intellectual property.

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A business can contact an IP attaché really
at any time, they can contact an attaché

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before they're thinking about going into that
foreign market, or once they're actually in

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that foreign market and they're having challenges.
They can contact us at any time.

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Talking with the attachés, understanding
what protections are available in a given

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country, and importantly what are not, is
crucial to being able to access and market

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in a safe way, because the last thing we want
is to see our companies go into a market prematurely,

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put their intellectual property at risk, often
in a joint venture where maybe there hasn't

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been the proper due diligence, and to lose
the rights to their intellectual property

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in that market.

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The services that we provide to rights holders
and businesses do actually go a little bit

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beyond just intellectual property. We are
the officers that represent the United States

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government overseas, and so of course our
core mission is to discuss intellectual property,

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but we also encompass questions about the
economic environment, what it's like to do

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business in China, what are the cultural or
governmental differences, or how does one

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access a government agency, that sort of thing.

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The IP attachés provide information about
the intellectual property landscape, both

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with regard to how to protect intellectual
property, and also how to enforce intellectual

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property. Our expertise is indeed in the intellectual
property field.

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To learn more about the IP Attaché Program,
or for IP Attaché contact information, please visit

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www.uspto.gov/ipattache.

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