Intellectual Property (IP) Attaché Program

 

10th Annual IP Attaché Roundtable

Thursday December 15, 2016 

Noon - 3pm

Hosted by the Global Intellectual Property Center (GIPC)

at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington DC

Learn more and register at the GIPC website 

 

The United States Patent and Trademark Office's (USPTO) IP Attaché program works to improve intellectual property systems internationally for the benefit of U.S. stakeholders.

 
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IP Attachés serve at U.S. embassies, consulates and missions throughout the world. Select a country/city on the map to identify the IP attaché, his or her contact information, related IP climate information and related links. 

You may also access a country/city using the text links below the map.

Beijing Guangzhou Shanghai Thailand India Russia Kuwait Brazil U.N. W.T.O. BelgiumMexicoPeruUkraine

Primary Goals and Objectives of the IP Attaché Program

  • To promote U.S. government IP policy internationally, including helping to secure high standards in international agreements and host country laws
  • To encourage effective IP protection and enforcement by U.S. trading partners for the benefit of U.S. stakeholders

IP Attaché Services

Advocate to improve IP policies, laws and regulations abroad, for the benefit of U.S. stakeholders, including:

  • Raising issues with foreign government officials
  • Providing training on IP law, enforcement, and administration
  • Conducting public awareness programs
  • Presenting and explaining U.S. government positions

Provide information to help U.S. stakeholders entering foreign markets or conducting business abroad, including:

  • How to navigate foreign laws and regulations
  • How foreign courts and governments work
  • How to protect and enforce IP abroad

Career Information

Watch this video to learn more about IP attachés and the work they do in other countries.

 

Q: How to apply for an IP attaché position?

A: Vacancies are announced through USAJOBS.gov. Interested applicants should follow the application procedures outlined in the vacancy announcement. Please note that vacancies will be advertised as "Attorney Adviser (Intellectual Property Rights)".

Q: What are the roles and responsibilities of the IP Attachés?

A: The IP attaches primary roles and responsibilities include:  

  • Advocating for U.S. government IP policy, interests, and initiatives
  • Assisting U.S. businesses on IP matters including protection, enforcement, use, and licensing
  • Improving IP protection and enforcement by conducting training activities with foreign governments
  • Advising officials at all levels of the USPTO and other U.S. government agencies on the host governments' IP systems
  • Advising representatives of the host government or region on U.S. intellectual property law and policy
  • Helping to secure high-quality IP provisions in international agreements and host country laws, and monitoring the implementation and application of these provisions
  • Advising U.S. companies on the local IP environment

Q: How long does the IP attaché serve?

A: IP attachés will serve an initial two-year limited appointment, which may be extended for up to three additional years. The International Trade Administration/Global Markets (ITA/GM) Assignments Office, in consultation with the USPTO, will determine whether or not to grant the extension. USPTO employees selected for these positions are eligible to return to USPTO at the end of the assignment.

Q: Is intellectual property knowledge and experience required?

A: Yes. While expertise in every area of intellectual property is not required, a good general knowledge of IP is necessary. Attachés are placed in foreign countries for the purpose of improving intellectual property protection and enforcement for the benefit of U.S. interests. The attachés serve as liaisons to their foreign counterparts and work to engage these counterparts in an ongoing dialogue about IP issues. Additionally, the attachés conduct and help organize IP-related training and technical assistance for host country officials.

Q: Is fluency in a foreign language required to apply?

A: No, there is no foreign language fluency requirement. For certain posts, however, foreign language fluency may be an advantage in being considered.

Q: After a candidate is selected, what training is required?

A: All incoming IP attachés begin their assignment with orientation and training.

Orientation at the International Trade Administration (ITA) will introduce new employees to the structure and function of the ITA, the employee's role in the development and implementation of U.S. foreign policy, terms of employment, and core skills needed by all Foreign Service employees. Orientation at the USPTO will introduce the attaché to colleagues from other U.S. government agencies who work on IP-related matters; engage representatives from trade associations with knowledge of the host country's intellectual property rights environment; and acquaint the attaché with the functioning of the USPTO.

Training consists of several course hours and a detail to USPTO's Office of Policy and International Affairs (OPIA). The IP attaché will attend programs at OPIA's Global Intellectual Property Academy to enhance his or her knowledge of intellectual property. The length and nature of training depends on the depth and breadth of knowledge of the attaché's prior knowledge.

Attachés must also complete several mandatory classes prior to deployment overseas. These classes are a combination of classroom and online training offered by the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) Transition Center in Arlington, Va. The FSI offers Foreign Service life skills courses (e.g., diversity, security, protocol, logistics, realities) to U.S. government employees and their spouses preparing for, or returning from, an overseas assignment.

Q: Does USPTO offer language training?

A: While language training is not mandatory for attachés, USPTO may offer language training to those selected for overseas assignments. Attachés are also encouraged to participate in language training classes offered at post.

Q: Can spouses and children go to post?

A: Yes, eligible family members (EFMs) may travel with the Attaché.

Q: Are non-citizens eligible for employment?

A: No. Only U.S. citizens may apply for an appointment to the overseas IP Attaché program.

Q: What is the background investigation in the security clearance process?

A: Applicants who are selected will be asked to submit forms for the Top Secret security clearance required for appointment to the overseas IP Attaché program. EFMs include a spouse; same-sex domestic partner; unmarried children under the age of 21; and a sibling or parent at least 51 percent dependent on the employee or the employee's spouse.

Publications and Videos

What Can Your IP Attaché Do For You?

IP attachés discuss how they assist brand owners to effectively address IP policy and protection issues based on their in-depth understanding of foreign country practices.  [ Courtesy of Managing Intellectual Property ]

Copyright and the Digital Economy

IP Attaché Ann Chaitovitz, based in Lima, Peru, talks about how new technologies are changing the distribution of creative materials in this interview conducted at the Bogotá International Book Fair in April 2016. [ Courtesy of the Copyright Clearance Center ]

Basic Tips on IP Rights for a New Business

IP attaché for the Middle East and North Africa, Aisha Salem, discusses the importance of Intellectual Property (IP) protection for startup companies. [ Courtesy of Communicate Kuwait Magazine ]

Intellectual Property Attachés Discuss Protecting U.S. Interests Abroad

IP attaches participated in Consultations in Alexandria, Va. More information is available on Department of Commerce website

Intellectual Property Attachés Participate in Annual U.S. Chamber of Commerce Roundtable Discussion

Please click the links below to view videos:     

Global Intellectual Property Center’s 9th Annual IP Attaché Roundtable (Dec. 2015)

Global Intellectual Property Center’s 8th Annual IP Attaché Roundtable (Dec. 2014)