Washington, D.C. - The Commerce Department's United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will present a National Trademark Expo on May 8 and 9. A ribbon cutting ceremony at 10 a.m. on the 8th will kick off the two day event at the agency's campus in Alexandria, Virginia. The Expo will feature educational workshops for adults and children, and a story time provided by Hooray for Books!, an Alexandria local business. Also on hand for the gala opening will be the U.S. Air Force Band Ceremonial Brass Quintet, 14 exhibitors and a cast of 25 costumed trademark characters. The Expo will be held in the atrium of the Madison Building at 600 Dulany Street. Exhibit hours are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, May 8 and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 9. The Expo is free, fun and informative for the whole family.
"We all encounter thousands of trademarks every day," noted Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Acting Director of the USPTO John Doll. "The Expo is a fun way to put into perspective the value of a brand name to a company and the importance of trademarks to consumers so we know what to expect in the quality of a product or service."
Visitors to the Expo will learn about the many different kinds of trademarks such as sound, design and color, and will also learn about the history and evolution of trademarks, some of which are more than 100 years old. This year's collection of costumed trademark characters is the largest in the history of the Expo, including some that rarely make appearances outside their home venues. The all star cast, in alphabetical order, includes: Beetle Bailey, Betty Boop, Crayola Crayons, Curious George, Dennis the Menace, Energizer Bunny, Faux Paw the Techno Cat, Hershey's Kisses, Hershey Bar, Maisy, McGruff, Mr. Jelly Belly, Olive Oyl, Peter Rabbit, Pillsbury Doughboy, Popeye, Smokey Bear, Sprout, the Cat in the Hat and the Grinch. Their host for the two days will be the USPTO's own character, T.Markey. All characters will be on stage for the opening and will appear periodically throughout the two-day Expo.
A large inflatable of the Dr. Seuss "Cat in the Hat" hat and hand design will welcome visitors to the Expo. The hat and hand design was created by Universal Studios for the movie launch and will be its first appearance outside of Universal.
Companies exhibiting at the Expo are Burberry Ltd., Callaway Golf Company, CMG Worldwide, Inc., Galaxy Systems, Inc., Bigsby Division of Fred Gretsch Enterprises, Ltd., The Hershey Company, Internet Keep Safe Coalition, International Trademark Association, The Pepsom Group, Inc., The Travelers Companies, Inc., United Parcel Service, United States Air Force, U.S. Department of Energy and Urangatang Web Design, LLC.
The Expo will highlight anti-counterfeiting efforts and how counterfeit goods cause great harm to the economy. Counterfeit goods not only cost American businesses billons of dollars annually, but they also undermine consumer confidence in brand integrity when purchasers encounter knock-off goods of inferior quality.
The USPTO campus is a 10-minute walk from the King Street Metro, which serves the blue and yellow rail lines. Free parking will be available on Saturday.