Remarks by Commissioner for Trademarks Mary Boney Denison at the 2018 National Trademark Expo

Remarks delivered at 2018 National Trademark Exposition

Commissioner for Trademarks Mary Boney Denison

July 27, 2018

Washington, D.C.

As prepared for delivery

Good afternoon everyone, including those of you watching remotely. Welcome! We are so excited that the National Trademark Exposition is being held here at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History for the very first time. A big thank you to the Smithsonian for collaborating with us on this important event. 

I saw a recent article that stated the average consumer is exposed to up to 10,000 brand messages every day. Ten thousand? That’s amazing! Think about all of the different ways marketers have access to you: TV, radio, computer, phone, billboards, and other people. Yes, other people! How many brands are you wearing right now? I have on at least five right now, probably more. And I am sure you probably do too.

Most people are not even aware of the myriad of advertisements they see or hear all the time and the trademarks behind them. And studies have shown that kids as young as 2 can recognize most popular brand logos, such as McDonalds' Golden Arches or the logos for Pepsi or Starbucks or Target. 

I still remember taking my daughter to an antiques show when she was about 18 months old; she saw the VISA logo and said VISA.  I almost fell on the floor, but I guess I should not be that surprised since I have always used my VISA card a lot!

An important part of the mission at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is education and outreach, and this venue, being a place of fun learning right on the National Mall, certainly aligns with those goals.

Today is a day for you and your kids to brand a sneaker or participate in a trademark scavenger hunt or learn what a trademark graveyard is. In addition, after you learn about trademarks out here with us, we suggest you head over and check out the museum’s exhibits, particularly the Draper Spark! Lab, where museum visitors become inventors.

We hope that today each of you will learn more about the importance of trademarks to the economy, as well as to your own personal lives. In addition to being vital to the economy, trademarks are everywhere and they are fun! 

This year we are welcoming 20 exhibitors to teach you about their brands and the importance of trademarks:

1000 Cranes, LLC
American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA)
DC Rollergirls
Edible IP, LLC (DBA Edible Arrangements)
Girl Scouts Nation’s Capital
Global Brand Council, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
International Trademark Association (INTA)
Looshes Labs LLC
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
National Park Service (United States Department of the Interior) and National Park Foundation
Politics and Prose
Segway Inc.
Tenneco Automotive
The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
Under Armour Inc.
Velcro Companies 

Many of these exhibitors have brands you probably recognize, along with some newer fun brands for you to get to know. Big and small, government, for-profit or not-for-profit. You will see the importance of trademarks in every line of work. We also hope you will check out our USPTO booth, which has information on the important role trademarks play for businesses plus materials to help you to learn more about the trademark registration process. 

And here with us today to talk to you more about the importance and fun of both intellectual property in general, and trademarks in particular, is Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, an NBA legend, businessman, and a registered trademark owner. 

Last but not least, I want to thank Shana Webster-Trotman and Chrisie Brightmire King who led the 2018 National Trademark Exposition Committee and have worked so hard to make this fantastic event happen.  Thank you so much all for your work organizing this event.

Let’s give them a big round of applause.

And now I have the honor of introducing USPTO Director Andrei Iancu.