Washington: The U.S. Commerce Department's United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) was honored by the National Association of Government Communicators (NAGC) with two winning entries in the Blue Pencil & Gold Screen Awards Competition. The USPTO's "Inspiring Invention: Suction Tire PSA Spot" took first place in the public service announcement category. The agency also received an award of excellence in the education program category for its "Portrait Gallery Video Exhibit." This annual international awards program recognizes superior government communication products and those that produce them. The 2009 award winners were announced at an awards banquet on April 22 in Orlando, Fla.
The suction tire public service announcement is a 30-second television spot produced for the USPTO's inspiring invention Advertising Council campaign by ad agency Publicis & Hal Riney in San Francisco. The overall campaign is designed to encourage kids, aged 8 - 11, to engage their own inventiveness, learn about the importance of America's intellectual property system and to consider careers in science, technology and invention. The suction tire spot seeks to show kids where their imaginations can take them if they just keep thinking. See the video at www.uspto.gov/video/index.htm.
The portrait gallery video exhibit was produced by Aperture Films Ltd., and created for visitors to the USPTO's museum in Alexandria, Va. It is a seven-minute, high-definition video show designed to present some basic facts in an entertaining and fun way about the history of the agency and the unique role it has played in promoting American innovation. During the presentation, the portraits of former presidents Thomas Jefferson and James Madison; Thomas Edison; Steve Wozniak, inventor of the personal computer; Helen Free, inventor of the home diabetes test; and the USPTO's director come alive and participate in a dialogue. While appropriate for all ages, the video exhibit is a particularly effective way to educate school children about the history and role of an agency that is as old as the country itself. The technical design and implementation of the hardware are particularly noteworthy, and the use of computers to synchronize the portraits and the individual speakers for each character is a unique and special feature.
Both Gold Screen award entries were created in partnership with the National Inventors Hall of Fame Foundation (NIHFF). The Inspiring Invention campaign and the Patent and Trademark Office Museum are two of several educational initiatives in which the USPTO and NIHFF partner to encourage children to think inventively.