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United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Launches Small-Business Intellectual Property Protection Web Site at StopFakes.gov; U.S. Government Urges Businesses to Protect Their Intellectual Property from Overseas Piracy and Counterfeiting

WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 5, 2005--The Department of Commerce's United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has launched a Web site -- StopFakes.gov/smallbusiness -- dedicated to small businesses and protecting their intellectual property (IP), both in the U.S. and abroad. Specifically designed to answer common questions of small businesses so they can better identify and address their protection needs, the new online resources are part of a nationwide awareness campaign to help educate small businesses on IP protection.

 

The Web site provides information to help small businesses, home business owners, inventors and other entrepreneurs decide when, where and how to file for intellectual property protection, covering patents, trademarks and copyrights. "Piracy and counterfeiting are on the rise around the world, and all American businesses are at risk," said Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property Jon Dudas at a recent USPTO-sponsored small-business conference in Arizona.

While theft of intellectual property poses a serious threat to all American businesses, small businesses may be at a particular disadvantage because they may lack the resources and expertise available to larger corporations. In addition, small businesses typically may not have personnel or maintain large operations in other countries; therefore, theft of their intellectual property overseas can go undetected.

The Web site is part of a much larger USPTO and federal government effort. The Strategy Targeting Organized Piracy (STOP!) initiative (http://www.stopfakes.gov) is aimed at combating criminal networks that traffic in fakes; stopping trade in pirated and counterfeit goods at America's borders; and helping small businesses secure and enforce their rights in overseas markets. As part of the initiative, the USPTO maintains a toll-free telephone hotline, 1-866-999-HALT that helps businesses leverage the resources of the U.S. government to protect their intellectual property rights.

For more information about the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's effort to educate American businesses about intellectual property rights, visit http://www.uspto.gov. For small business-specific inquiries visit the small business link at http://www.stopfakes.gov or the issue-specific links noted below.

Resources:

Stop Fakes Small Business General Information: http://www.uspto.gov/smallbusiness

Stop Fakes Small Business Patents: http://www.uspto.gov/smallbusiness/patents/

Stop Fakes Small Business Trademarks: http://www.uspto.gov/smallbusiness/trademarks/

Stop Fakes Small Business Copyrights: http://www.uspto.gov/smallbusiness/copyrights/

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