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Protecting Intellectual Property


Intellectual Property (IP) Attachés (Photo: USPTO)

The United States Patent and Trademark Office, or USPTO, held its annual Intellectual Property (IP) Attaché meetings during the week of December 15.

The United States Patent and Trademark Office, or USPTO, held its annual Intellectual Property (IP) Attaché meetings during the week of December 15.

Each year since 2007, participants from the USPTO and other government agencies, organizations, associations, and universities attend the event to exchange information about international IP issues and the work of USPTO’s IP attachés.

The meetings provide a platform for all 11 IP attachés to share their accomplishments; participate in briefings on patent, trademark, and copyright developments in the United States; brief stakeholders on the conditions in their regions; and collaborate with other organizations, stakeholders, and foreign IP attachés. The discussions facilitate information exchange and coordination with U.S. stakeholders, with a goal of improving IP protection and enforcement abroad.

The USPTO IP Attaché Program assigns experts to U.S. embassies and consulates overseas to represent the USPTO, advocate U.S. government policy positions on IP, and help countries improve their administration and protection of IP. IP attachés have assisted many industry associations, businesses, and other U.S. stakeholders in their efforts to protect and enforce their IP rights and navigate local IP laws in regions around the world.

Each IP attaché has expertise in the fields of international IP law, policy and enforcement.

In the week prior to the Alexandria meetings IP attachés met with the public in San Francisco and San Jose, California, including representatives from high tech organizations, legal associations, and universities. These interactions provided education and built contacts with a broad range of organizations interested in learning more about the IP Attaché Program and U.S. government IP policy overseas.

As part of the event, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce sponsored a half-day discussion, where IP attachés exchanged views with chamber members and the public. The discussion centered on ensuring that IP systems help protect U.S. interests abroad while reducing trade barriers and encouraging strong economic growth.

Protecting the intellectual property rights of U.S. citizens is an important goal of United States policy. The world is a better and more productive place when inventors, artists, writers, scholars, performers, and others are guaranteed the rewards their labor and ingenuity have earned for them.

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