USPTO 2011 Trademark Expo, Fun for the Whole Family

By Gene Quinn
September 23, 2011

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will host the 2011 National Trademark Expo on Friday, October 14th, and Saturday, October 15th, 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.

The opening ceremony on October 14, 2011 at 10 a.m. will feature music by the U.S Air Force’s rockband, Max Impact, and a guest appearance by Chubby Checker.

Last year’s Expo attracted over 10,000 visitors of all ages. If you have young children and are looking for something exceptionally fun, and free, I highly recommend the Trademark Expo. While there are seminars aimed at adults, which are quite good, children will have a blast because costumed characters will be walking about and mugging for photos with children, families and adults too!

Last year was the third year of the Trademark Expo, and the first time I attended.  The event was promoted as a free event, which it was, and a family friendly event.  A family friendly event where companies would be displaying in exhibit format?  Truthfully I didn’t know what to expect.

Me at the 2011 Trademark Expo

The 2010 Trademark Expo was easily a family friendly event, and educational too.  They had presentations throughout the day on various topics, including several presentations aimed specifically at kids.  The presentation I went to on counterfeit goods (aimed at adults) was interesting and interactive.  At the end of the presentation Susan Anthony, of the USPTO, engaged the audience by trying to get everyone to think like a counterfeiter, which reinforced the message of the core presentation by Scott Baldwin.  It was a clever way to turn an educational presentation into an interactive, thought-provoking exercise.

This year the adult lecture series will include: (1) What Every Small Business Should Know About Intellectual Property; (2) Counterfeiting and Piracy – Why Buy “Legit”?; (3) Common Mistakes to Avoid When Filing for Trademark Registration; and (4) Trademarks 101.  For the kids there will be a children’s workshop about trademarks featured at the Expo and story time by Hooray for Books.  I suspect everyone will find the sound mark booth fun; did you even know you can trademark a sound?

Here is a list of those characters that will be walking about the Trademark Expo this year:

  • T. Markey (see top image to this article)
  • GEICO’s Gecko
  • Rita’s Ice Guy
  • Spuddy Buddy
  • Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
  • Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar
  • Pillsbury’s Doughboy
  • Curious George
  • Clifford the Big Red Dog
  • Popeye
  • Olive Oyl
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar
  • 5-Hour Energy Bottle
  • Hamburger Helper
  • Crayola crayons’ mascot “Tip”
  • The Pink Panther
  • Fruit of the Loom “fruit suits”
  • Barbie (Friday only)

The Expo will also have other attractions as well.  The attractions listed below were set up on the Mall of the campus of the USPTO last year.

  • 27’ Pinocchio Giant Inflatable
  • 9’ GEICO’s Gecko
  • NFL Football Inflatables – Washington Redskins and Baltimore Ravens
  • Inflatable Collegiate mascots
  • NASCAR show car for 5 Hour-Energy
  • UPS Truck

Seriously, if you are a small business owner or individual who wants to learn more about trademarks and the trademark process you will find this event very worthwhile.  Where else will you be able to interact one-on-one with USPTO Officials and talk directly to the Trademark Experts of the USPTO?  So why not make a day out of it and bring the family, particularly your youngsters, to the Patent and Trademark Office on either Friday, October 14, 2011 or Saturday, October 15, 2011.

From the 2010 Trademark Expo, from left to right: Pillsbury Dough Boy; Dippin Dots; Chick-fil-A Cow; and Curious George

The Author

Gene Quinn

Gene Quinn is a Patent Attorney and Editor and President & CEO ofIPWatchdog, Inc.. Gene founded IPWatchdog.com in 1999. Gene is also a principal lecturer in the PLI Patent Bar Review Course and Of Counsel to the law firm of Berenato & White, LLC. Gene’s specialty is in the area of strategic patent consulting, patent application drafting and patent prosecution. He consults with attorneys facing peculiar procedural issues at the Patent Office, advises investors and executives on patent law changes and pending litigation matters, and works with start-up businesses throughout the United States and around the world, primarily dealing with software and computer related innovations. is admitted to practice law in New Hampshire, is a Registered Patent Attorney and is also admitted to practice before the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. CLICK HERE to send Gene a message.

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