Joel Blank serves as the intellectual property (IP) attaché at the U.S. embassy in Beijing, China. In this capacity, Mr. Blank serves as the principal officer within the embassy on matters related to the protection and enforcement of IP rights in China and as a primary liaison between the embassy and relevant offices of the Chinese government for such matters. Mr. Blank’s duties include helping to develop, promote, and implement U.S. government policies that will facilitate the ability of rights holders to protect and enforce their IP rights in China; apprising the ambassador and other embassy officials of important IP developments; and serving as a point of contact for U.S. companies that have questions on China’s IP environment.
Prior to his appointment as the IP attaché, Mr. Blank was an attorney-advisor in the Office of Policy and International Affairs at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). As a member of the office’s Enforcement Team, Mr. Blank specialized in developing the USPTO’s policy on China-related IP matters, particularly those concerning enforcement. Prior to joining the USPTO, Mr. Blank was a senior attorney in the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Office of the Chief Counsel for International Commerce (OCCIC), where he advised the International Trade Administration on international trade law issues. While at OCCIC, Mr. Blank specialized in international intellectual property, investment, competition, and China-related legal issues.
Mr. Blank graduated magna cum laude from American University’s Washington College of Law, where he served as the editor-in-chief of the American University International Law Review. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business from Drake University, where he graduated magna cum laude with majors in international business, accounting, and management.
About the USPTO and the Office of Policy and International Affairs
Aside from the issuance of patents and registration of trademarks, the USPTO has a statutory mandate to advise the President and all federal agencies, through the Secretary of Commerce, on national and international intellectual property (IP) policy issues, including IP protection in other countries. In addition, the USPTO is authorized by statute to provide guidance, conduct programs and studies, and interact with IP offices worldwide—and with international intergovernmental organizations—on matters involving IP.
The USPTO’s Office of Policy and International Affairs fulfills this mandate by leading negotiations on behalf of the United States at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO); advising the Administration on the negotiation and implementation of the IP provisions of international trade agreements; advising the Secretary of Commerce and the Administration on a full range of IP policy matters, including in the areas of patent, copyright, trademarks, and trade secrets; conducting empirical research on IP; and providing educational programs on the protection, use, and enforcement of IP.