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The Commerce Blog

Locke Statement on President Obama's Intent to Nominate David Kappos as Patent and Trademark Director

Photo of Kappos.

President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate David Kappos, an experienced patent professional with more than 20 years of experience, as the new Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the U.S Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). “The United States Patent and Trademark Office faces significant challenges, and it needs an experienced leader like David at the helm,” U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said. “He will be a strong voice for patent reform and I have tasked him to reduce dramatically the unacceptably long time the office takes to review patent applications.” (More)

NIST Releases Report on Smart Grid Development

NIST logo.

The U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology today released for public review a report* that identifies issues and proposes priorities for developing technical standards and an architecture for a U.S. Smart Grid. The Smart Grid is a planned nationwide network that will use 21st century information technology to deliver electricity efficiently, reliably and securely, while allowing increased use of renewable power sources. The nearly 300-page report, developed and delivered to NIST by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), is available on the NIST Smart Grid Web site. (More)

Locke Announces First Indian Company to Receive Express Lane Status for U.S.-Indian Trade

Secretary Locke speaking from podium. Click for larger image.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke announced an important step forward in the strategic partnership between the United States and India during remarks to the U.S.-India Business Council’s 34th Anniversary “Synergies Summit.” General Electric India (GE India) has been tapped as the first Indian company to qualify as a validated end-user (VEU) in India, allowing the company to enter a pre-approved, export express lane as a trusted end user. That the VEU program was opened for India is an indication of the increased importance of the U.S.-India bilateral and commercial relationship. (More)

Secretary Locke Announces Administration's New Initiative to Aid American Businesses

Department of Commerce seal.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announced a new Obama Administration initiative designed to streamline government bureaucracy and bring services and solutions directly to businesses and entrepreneurs creating and sustaining jobs. Locke made his announcement at the Detroit Economic Club’s National Summit. The new initiative will be launched this summer in the Detroit area. Responding both to President Obama’s call to make government more responsive and a once-in-a-generation economic crisis, Locke initiated the effort after seeing how complicated it can be to navigate the alphabet soup of Commerce agencies and programs. (More) (Remarks)

Report Released on National, Regional Impacts of Global Climate Change

Image of washed-out highway by flood waters. Click for larger image.

A new report, “Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States,” compiles years of scientific research and takes into account new data not available during the preparation of previous large national and global assessments. It was produced by a consortium of experts from13 U.S. government science agencies and from several major universities and research institutes. A product of the interagency U.S. Global Change Research Program, the definitive 190-page report, produced under NOAA’s leadership, is written in plain language to better inform members of the public and policymakers. (More) (Report Information)

Secretary Locke Meets with Korea's Minister of Knowledge Economy, Signs Memorandum of Understanding

Secretary Locke and Minister Lee are pictured signing document with U.S. and South Korean flags in background. Click for larger image.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke hosted a meeting and signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on commercial cooperation with Korea’s Minister of Knowledge Economy Mr. Lee Youn Ho at the Commerce Department today. This was the first meeting between the Secretary and Minister Lee. Secretary Locke and Minister Lee confirmed the importance of further strengthening the U.S.-Korea commercial relationship and continuing to deepen cooperation on trade and investment issues. (More)

NIST Seeks Proposals for $20 Million Recovery Act Program

NIST seal. Click to go to NIST home page.

The Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has announced that it is establishing a financial assistance program to help selected institutions develop and implement a NIST measurement science and engineering fellowship program. The new program is funded under the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009. "Measurement science and engineering research is critical to fostering innovation," NIST Deputy Director Patrick Gallagher said. "This fellowship program will create jobs and promote long-term investments in the nation's science infrastructure, which is important for future economic prosperity." (More)

FCC and Commerce's NTIA Offer Continuing Consumer Assistance for DTV Transition

DTV Converter Box Coupon logo. Click to go to dtv2009.gov Web site.

As the nation concludes its transition to digital television today, the Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration will continue providing consumer assistance after the June 12 transition. TV converter box coupons will be available to consumers who apply until July 31, while supplies last. In addition, the FCC is offering assistance over the phone and free in-home installation for consumers in most areas.

One Day Until DTV Transition

On the eve of an historic technological transition to digital television, the focus for the two federal agencies managing the switch is on helping Americans who are at risk of losing their TV signals. The digital TV (DTV) transition began over two decades ago as engineers set an ambitious technological goal: moving broadcast television into the digital age. Efficient digital technology would provide consumers with a better picture and sound and more channels, while at the same time clearing valuable airwaves to meet the explosive demand for advanced wireless services, including first-responder radio. (More) (6-10 C-SPAN White House video and Transcript)

NIST, DOD, Intelligence Agencies Join Forces to Secure U.S. Cyber Infrastructure

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Photo: Shutterstock

Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), in partnership with the Department of Defense (DOD), the Intelligence Community (IC), and the Committee on National Security Systems (CNSS), has released the first installment of a three-year effort to build a unified information security framework for the entire federal government. Historically, information systems at civilian agencies have operated under different security controls than military and intelligence information systems. This ongoing effort is consistent with President Obama’s call for “integrating all cybersecurity policies for the government” in his May 29 speech on securing the U.S. cybersecurity infrastructure. (More)