USPTO Museum Opens New Exhibit Showcasing Trademarks

Press Release

Kim Byars

Washington - The Department of Commerce's United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will unveil its newest periodic exhibit, "Trademarks, The Fingerprints Of Commerce" on May 20, 2002 in conjunction with the International Trademark Association's annual meeting, which is being held in Washington, D.C. this year. The museum exhibit will educate visitors about the rich history of trademarks, the purposes they serve and their impact on the global economy.

Companies and trademarks represented in this exhibit include Warner Brothers, General Electric, Coca Cola, AT&T, McDonald's, Owens Corning, Campbell Soup Company, Newman's Own, Pillsbury, General Mills, Procter & Gamble, Wells Fargo, Rolls Royce, Tiffany's, Maytag, Gillette, Goodyear and Triple AAA. Also included in the exhibit is an Oscar ® statuette on loan from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Many people realize that the word Oscar is a trademark, but not all people realize that the shape of the award also is a registered trademark, U.S. Registration No. 1028635. The Oscar statuette to be displayed in the USPTO exhibit is the 1938 Best Actress Award that was presented to Bette Davis for her role in Jezebel. The statuette was donated back to the Academy in 2001, after being purchased at auction by director Steven Speilberg.

In addition to the Oscar statuette, the exhibit will include other non-traditional trademarks, such as sensory marks that incorporate sound, motion and color. Some of the sound marks to be featured include the THX sound mark from Lucasfilm, Ltd. The familiar "deep note" is often heard at the beginning of George Lucas films. The Warner Brothers' Looney Tunes theme song, the MGM lion's roar, and the Jolly Green Giant's "Ho, ho, ho" are other examples of trademarks which incorporate sound and are included in the exhibit. Also on display will be the oldest registered trademark still in use, the mark consists of the word Samson and a design of a man opening a lion's mouth and is used in connection with rope.

Throughout the exhibit, colorful trademarks supplied by their respective owners and the USPTO archives will illustrate interesting stories behind the marks as well as the evolution of trademarks over the years. The exhibit will explore the development of the USPTO's trademark registration process, from the time of hand-written entry of applications to the award winning Trademark Electronic Filing System, TEAS, utilized by the USPTO today. In addition, visitors to the museum will learn about problems created by trademark counterfeiting and piracy.

Established in 1995, the Patent and Trademark Museum strives to educate the public about the patent and trademark registration systems and the important role intellectual property protection plays in our nation's social and economic health. The museum features a permanent exhibit that explains what intellectual property is and how it is protected. The USPTO Museum is managed by the National Inventor's Hall of Fame.

"Trademarks, The Fingerprints of Commerce " runs through July 2002, and can be seen at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Museum, 2121 Crystal Drive, Suite 0100, Arlington VA , 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

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