Laura Hammel is the intellectual property (IP) attaché based at the U.S. consulate in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She covers Argentina, Brazil, French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay, Suriname, Uruguay, and Venezuela.
Ms. Hammel’s responsibilities include representing U.S. intellectual property interests in her region through advocacy of high standards of intellectual property protection and enforcement, engaging with countries in her region to improve their intellectual property regimes, and serving as the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s representative on U.S. delegations to international meetings on intellectual property in the region.
Prior to becoming an attaché, Ms. Hammel was an attorney-advisor in the USPTO’s Office of Policy and International Affairs from 2012–2016, where her work focused on international and domestic trademark law. She worked on matters in Latin America and the Caribbean, China, the Middle East and North Africa, Japan, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and the TM5.
During her tenure at the USPTO, Ms. Hammel also held the position of acting senior attorney, where she supervised a law office of approximately 25 trademark examining attorneys. She also completed a work project in the copyright group in the Office of Policy and International Affairs, where her work focused on research in the field of resale royalties for visual artists, broadcasters’ rights, and miscellaneous copyright issues in the Middle East and North Africa. She began her tenure at the USPTO in 2005 as a trademark examining attorney.
Ms. Hammel holds an LL.M. in intellectual property law from the George Washington University Law School and a J.D. from the University of Maryland School of Law. She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, where she studied 19th and 20th century art history and theory.
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.