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Blog Category: Trademarks

2011: A Great Year for American Inventors and Innovation

Photo of USPTO Headquarters

Guest blog post by David Kappos, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO

As December draws to a close , it’s difficult to imagine a more historic year for the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) than 2011. The dedication and hard work of our talented public servants has enabled the Agency to make significant strides in the quality, efficiency, and certainty of patents and trademarks granted to technological enterprises. And our collaboration with the small business community has allowed us to level the competitive playing field by offering new tools and resources for independent inventors to acquire intellectual property rights with more ease. As this year comes to an end, I want to take a moment to recount what our extended USPTO family has helped accomplish for American inventors and American innovation, through the lens of a few numbers and key dates that were important this year.

That ® Means More Than You May Think

Chubby Checker along with the Pillsbury Dough Boy and a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup at the USPTO 2011 National Trademark Expo

Guest blog post by Debbie Cohn, Commissioner for Trademarks at the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Learning about the value of intellectual property may not sound like fun and games, but for more than 15,000 people who visited the United States Patent and Trademark Office last Friday and Saturday, that’s exactly what happened.

The 2011 National Trademark Expo featured exhibits and seminars designed to educate the public about the importance and value of trademarks in the marketplace. Trademarks help inspire confidence in a brand and build an identity for thousands upon thousands of companies making products and providing services across America. Brand and identity are both vital components for spurring growth and promoting economic development.

The United States has been registering trademarks since 1870. Through the federal registration system, the USPTO is able to assist business in protecting their valuable investments, promoting goods and services and safeguarding consumers against confusion and deception in the marketplace.

At the National Trademark Expo, the public learned about intellectual property rights for small businesses; counterfeiting and piracy; filing for a trademark registration with the USPTO; and why trademarks are important to business. And they learned this firsthand from the many exhibitors showcasing their marks and discussing the critical role they play.

And while children and adults were wowed by a variety of characters most Americans would immediately recognize as trademarked, special guest Chubby Checker sang and spoke with the audience about how important his trademarks are to him. Checker leveraged his “Twist” to build a successful business in the food industry.

The 2011 National Trademark Expo was a successful event highlighting the powerful role that trademarks play in the global economy.

Patent and Trademark Office Announces 2011 National Trademark Expo

Five images of Chubby Checker doing the Twist

Commerce's United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will host the 2011 National Trademark Expo on Friday, October 14th from 10 am to 6 pm, and Saturday, October 15th from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., at the USPTO’s headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia.  The free, two-day event is designed to educate the public about the value of trademarks in the global marketplace.  Last year’s Expo attracted over 10,000 visitors of all ages.

The Expo will highlight such themes as “Unusual Trademarks” and “Brand Evolution,” and will feature educational workshops for adults and children, exhibits of authentic and counterfeit goods, and costumed characters, including Pillsbury's Doughboy, Popeye and Olive Oyl, the Pink Panther and Barbie.

The opening ceremony on October 14, 2011 featured music by the U.S Air Force’s rock band, Max Impact, and a guest appearance by Chubby Checker.  |  Read morePast Expo photos

USPTO Kicks Off 2010 National Trademark Expo

Image of costumed trademark charactersThe Commerce Department’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will hold its annual National Trademark Expo Friday, Oct. 15, and Saturday, Oct. 16, at its Alexandria, Va., headquarters.

The Expo will highlight the vital role trademarks play in our global economy as well as efforts to combat counterfeiting.  Event features include children's workshops, story time and guided tours, and educational lectures for adults.  Many of last year's Trademark Expo guests such as the Pillsbury Doughboy, Betty Boop, and Popeye and Olive Oyl will be joined by new guests including the Berenstain Bears, Clifford the Big Red Dog, and GEICO's Gecko, transforming the USPTO’s campus into a “Trademark Theme Park.”  

Adults and children alike can learn about:

  • Anti-counterfeiting efforts
  • Shape, sound and color trademarks
  • 100-year-old registered trademarks
  • The evolution and history of trademark

Classic and new characters in costume with childrenThe National Trademark Expo is free and open to the public and runs from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on Friday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday at the Alexandria campus at 600 Dulany Street.  For more information, visit USPTO's NTE webpage.

USPTO Annual Independent Inventors Conference Set for November 5-6

Photo of USPTO headquarters at Alexandria campus

The Commerce Department’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) headquarters will be the site of the 14th annual Independent Inventors Conference on Nov. 5-6. The two-day event will include a pre-conference for first-time attendees on the evening of Nov. 4. The USPTO’s new director, David Kappos, will deliver the keynote address on Nov. 5. The conference will provide information about patents, trademarks and intellectual property protection. Experts from the USPTO will conduct breakout sessions and be available for one-on-one meetings. (More)

USPTO Opens Exhibit of Michael Jackson's Patent and Trademarks

Image of poster at exhibit showing figures in Jackson's shows leaning at an angle "defying gravity." Click for larger image.

Commerce’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the National Inventors Hall of Fame and Museum are presenting a special exhibit featuring material from Michael Jackson’s patent and trademark applications. Mr. Jackson is the co-inventor of a “system for allowing a shoe wearer to lean forwardly beyond his center of gravity by virtue of wearing a specially designed pair of shoes which will engage with a hitch member movably projectable through a stage surface.” Included in the patent application is an original sample of Michael Joseph Jackson’s signature and drawings of his invention. (More)

Over 7,000 Attend Two-Day National Trademark Expo

(Posing left to right): Dennis the Menace, Congressman Jim Moran, Debbie Cohn, John Doll and Curious George officially open the 2009 National Trademark Expo. Click for larger image.

It began on Friday morning with a parade of 25 trademark characters, music from the Air Force Band’s Ceremonial Quintet, speeches and a ribbon cutting. It ended on Saturday when the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s normally quiet weekend campus sprang to life with thousands of kids and their parents flocking to the National Trademark Expo. Attendees enjoyed and interacted with such iconic trademark costume characters as Popeye, Olive Oyl, Dennis the Menace, Betty Boop, Curious George and Sprout. Expo visitors also learned more about the vital role trademarks play in the global economy at 15 exhibit booths and by attending educational workshops. (More) (Photo Gallery)

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to Hold Annual Trademark Expo

Trademark Expo visual.

The United States Patent and Trademark Office will hold its annual Trademark Expo May 8-9 at the agency’s headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia. The 2008 Expo attracted 7,000 people and received wide media coverage. This year’s two day event will focus again on educating the public about the value and important role trademarks play in our society and the global marketplace. It will feature themed displays, company booths, costumed characters interactive exhibits and trademark related seminars for attendees. (More)