h1

Helping Small Business Owners Identify their Vital Intellectual Property

August 20, 2018

This post contains external links. Please review our external linking policy.

This post originally appeared on the Minority Business Development Blog.

Rachel S. Salzman is an International Trade Specialist in the Office of Intellectual Property Rights in the Industry & Analysis Bureau of the International Trade Administration

Benjamin N. Hardman is an Attorney-Advisor with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on detail with the Office of Intellectual Property Rights in the Industry & Analysis Bureau of the International Trade Administration

Intellectual property (IP) is a key commodity in U.S. trade. Each year more than 50 percent of U.S. merchandise exports and more than 10 percent of total U.S. services exports come from IP intensive industries. The United States has become the global leader in cutting-edge sectors in part due to strong IP protection regimes. We know that IP is how the U.S. economy will continue to grow, and that protection both at home and abroad is critical for our industries to flourish worldwide.Photo of professionals working together.

As part of the Department of Commerce’s overarching commitment to helping the American economy grow, commerce agencies, including the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, International Trade Administration (ITA), and Minority Business Development Agency:

  • Work with stakeholders to increase the effectiveness of the U.S. IP system domestically and abroad;
  • Provide U.S. stakeholders with information and training on best practices to protect and enforce intellectual property; and
  • Provide minority businesses with information on intellectual property protection.

The International Trade Administration’s Office of Intellectual Property Rights (OIPR), Industry & Analysis, is committed to educating U.S. business, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, including minority-owned businesses, about protecting IP at home and in foreign markets. We work to make sure that when U.S. businesses export or otherwise work with foreign partners and suppliers, they know how to do so in a way that protects innovative technology and keeps American intellectual property safe and secure.

The cornerstone of OIPR’s educational outreach is the signature STOPfakes Roadshow program. Roadshows are interagency programs led by OIPR and coordinated in partnership with local U.S. Export Assistance Centers that bring IP experts from across U.S. agencies to cities around the country to help educate small and medium-sized enterprises about protecting their intellectual property. Roadshow participants hear from representatives of agencies including ITA, Customs and Border Protection, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center, the Small Business Administration, and the Copyright Office, with other partners, including MBDA, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and Naval Sea Systems Command participating at select locations. In addition, participants can apply onsite for trademark and copyright recordation with CBP and to register their copyrights with the Copyright Office. Agencies have experts onsite to provide personalized assistance. Finally, each Roadshow concludes with the opportunity for one-on-one consultations with agency representatives. N 2018, ITA relaunched the STOPfakes Roadshow program with Roadshows in Seattle and Portland on July 24 and July 26. The next events will be in Dallas on August 21 and in Austin on August 23. A full schedule of upcoming Roadshows, along with agendas and further information about speakers is available at http://www.stopfakes.gov/roadshows.

In addition to the STOPfakes Roadshows, OIPR makes a wide variety of educational material available on www.STOPfakes.gov to assist U.S. entrepreneurs in understanding the ins and outs of IP protection. Materials include industry toolkits, country IP Snapshots, and in-depth country toolkits, in addition to webinars and an online diagnostic module to help small business owners identify their vital IP and think about a business plan for protecting it. You can also follow us on Twitter @STOPfakesGov to get the latest information on events and online resources.