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Intellectual Property Enforcement

The Office of International Intellectual Property Enforcement (IPE) promotes American and global innovation by advocating for the effective protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPR) around the world. The IPE team works closely with economic officers at the State Department’s embassies, consulates, and missions to ensure that the interests of American right holders are represented overseas, and to highlight the integral role of IPR protection in the development of the global economy.

IPE leads the U.S. Government’s innovation and intellectual property related initiatives in the G8 and the U.S.-China Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED); engages in IPR negotiations in the world’s international organizations; oversees the distribution of training and technical assistance funds to help developing countries build IPR law enforcement capacity; and undertakes public diplomacy programs to generate awareness of the importance of IPR protection. IPE also actively participates in interagency efforts to strengthen the fight against trade in counterfeit and pirated goods worldwide, including the Administration’s Strategy Targeting Organized Piracy (STOP!).


Office Director: Robert M. Watts
Contact Info: Email: wattsrm@state.gov
  Phone: (202) 647-3985
  Fax: (202) 647-1537

Bob Watts has been Acting Director of the Office of International Intellectual Property Enforcement since May 2008, having served as Deputy Director since 2006.  A career Foreign Service Officer, Mr. Watts has served overseas in Portugal, Brazil, Peru, Canada and most recently in Uzbekistan as the Regional Environment, Science and Technology Officer for Central Asia.  Mr. Watts served several tours in the Bureau of Economic, Energy and Business Affairs prior to his tour in IPE, working on energy, agricultural trade, investment, and communications and information policy.  Mr. Watts earned degrees from Stanford University (M.A.), Columbia University (Masters of International Affairs), and New College of Florida (B.A.).


Click on photo for a larger version and caption.

U.S.-Nigeria Intellectual Property Working Group Meeting
Date: 10/28/2008 Description: U.S. government officials pose with the Registrar and staff of the Nigerian Trademarks, Patents and Designs Office, at a meeting of the U.S.-Nigeria Intellectual Property Working Group in Abuja, Nigeria. State Dept Photo
USG and Nigerian Government Officials meet to discuss trademark, patent and design protection in Nigeria.

UNCITRAL Negotiations
Date: 10/21/2008 Description: U.S. Delegation members to the UNCITRAL Negotiations for Working Group VI on Secured Finance, in Vienna, Austria, October 20-24, 2008.   State Dept Photo
USG Officials Negotiate Language on Intellectual Property Rights and Secured Finance at the UN.

2008 European Region IPR Officers Training Conference
Date: 10/16/2008 Description: U.S. government officials from are pictured at the 2008 European Region IPR Officers Training Conference at the International Law Enforcement Academy in Budapest, Hungary. State Dept Photo 
Participants at the 2008 European Region Intellectual Property Rights Officers Training in Budapest.

World Intellectual Property Day
Thai Government Officials, Deputy Assistant Secretary Manisha Singh, National Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator Wayne Paugh, and Ambassador Eric John and his family at 2008 World Intellectual Property Day in Bangkok, Thailand. Commerce Dept. photo.
USG and Thai Government Officials celebrate World Intellectual Property Day 2008 in Bangkok.

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