IDFA and nine other food and agriculture organizations last week sent a letter welcoming Andrei Iancu as the new director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). They also asked him to maintain critical department roles and functions to help address inappropriate geographical indications (GIs) and other intellectual property rights concerns.
“We are concerned that internal changes USPTO may be contemplating would disrupt USPTO’s ability to effectively tackle these concerns and represent America’s policy interests as they relate to these issues,” the groups said.
As an example, the groups said consistent collaboration with USPTO’s overseas attachés and US-based policy team has been a key factor in USPTO’s ability to educate foreign governments on GI issues.
The groups said they have worked closely with the department’s Office of Policy and International Affairs (OPIA) and called its staff “expert allies” in advancing their shared goals of reducing trade barriers in foreign markets and curbing predatory efforts by foreign competitors. OPIA also plays an essential role in protecting American companies’ use of common food names, the groups added.
“We appreciate your commitment to strong leadership on IP policy and ask that you keep these concerns in mind as you evaluate how to best structure USPTO resources for efficiency and effectiveness,” the groups said.
IDFA will continue to work with the PTO office and its new leader to ensure dairy products companies can continue to use common food names.
Read the letter here.
For more information, contact Beth Hughes, IDFA director of international affairs, at email@example.com.