Thursday, April 10, 2008

USPTO starts Expo in Alexandria, VA

Today April 10 the United States Patent and Trademark Office on Dulany Street in Alexandria, VA right off Duke Street after crossing the Metro, started its National Trademark Expo, in the main atrium. There were signs and placards of various trademark holders, and signs proposing and answering questions about trademark law. For example, one sign indicated that one can sometimes trademark one's name if using it that way in commerce (like the Tiger Woods Foundation). There was another sign answering questions about rejection for trademark application, saying one cannot trademark a "surname." One can trademark a color in a trade dress (as the yellow of National Geographic) or a shape or graph (as in Levi's jeans). Fictional characters (Superman) can be trademarked.

There were actors dressed as trademark characters (like the Jolly Green Giant) willing to pose with visitors.

The Expo runs through Saturday April 12. The USPTO web link is this.

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