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The NWC Interview: Jon W. Dudas, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Jon W. Dudas

What's the significance of intellectual property for the global market?

Intellectual property is critical to the growth of every nation. In the United States, we have $5 trillion to $5.5 trillion worth of intellectual property [IP]. That figure is 45 percent of our whole GDP [gross domestic product], and that's more than the size of any other economy in total throughout the world.

The U.S. PTO [Patent and Trademark Office] has a budget of about $1.7 billion. Do you think that's a fair ratio given the amount of money invested in IP?

Our budget right now is helping us get done what we need to get done in terms of examining patents and registering trademarks. We have a backlog of applications that we would like to overcome. Quite honestly, it's not just an issue of money because we hired 1,200 new examiners in 2006, a thousand in 2005, and we'll hire 1,200 again in 2007. We need to have better information coming in from those seeking intellectual property rights.

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