GIPC Hosts 6th Annual USPTO IP Attaché Program

This week, U.S. Government intellectual property (IP) ambassadors working around the world convened at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to discuss the state of play of IP rights in emerging economies. The event, GIPC’s 6th Annual USPTO IP Attaché Roundtable, featured remarks from eight United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) IP attachés stationed in Brazil, China, Geneva, India, Mexico, Russia, and Thailand.

This event also featured the release of GIPC’s International IP Index, Measuring Momentum, which provides an IP roadmap for countries seeking to accelerate economic growth, create jobs, and improve investment.

Both the report and the presentations of the IP attachés provided objective and candid assessments of the state of IP protection and enforcement in key markets and regions around the globe. In particular, both highlighted that while many IP right holders face significant challenges in a number of countries, 2013 could deliver positive momentum in some of these markets with respect to improving IP rights.

In her comments at the event, USPTO Deputy Under Secretary Teresa Stanek Rea emphasized the need to put the right rules in place:

“From factories in Beijing, to garages in Boston—our global interconnectedness allows businesses and inventors of all types and sizes to develop, market, and distribute their products on a scale never before deemed imaginable. But without a clear, consistent and enforceable set of rights to protect those technologies in multiple jurisdictions, innovation—no matter how novel—effectively translates into a royalty free donation to the global labor arbitrage.”

Ms. Rea’s sentiments were later echoed by former Senator Evan Bayh from Indiana, who said we must “[h]arvest the fruits and benefits of IP creation,” which in turn provide an absolute win for everyone: new innovations, safe marketplaces, and social progress. We couldn’t agree more.

Both this event and the Index highlight that as we continue to recover globally, it is critical that we establish the right IP rules from the outset. Just this week, 11 countries wrapped up another round of negotiations in Auckland, New Zealand on an Asia-Pacific trade deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP). A robust and commercially meaningful IP chapter in the TPP will support 21st century jobs and innovation in economies of all levels of development.

Equally important to having the right rules in place is making sure that these rules are implemented and enforced. The USPTO IP Attaché program is an essential component of U.S. efforts to collaborate closely with our trading partners to improve IP systems for innovative and creative industries around the globe.

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