Each day, you see, smell, hear, feel, and taste 1,500 trademarks, identifying everything from soap to shampoos, from breakfast cereals to coffee, from cars to your shipping service, from kids’ toys to electronic products. On October 19 and 20, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (or as the officials who spoke renamed it: the U.S. Trademark and Patent Office) held an expo to celebrate trademarks as the engine that drives the economy.
The two day event included sessions for children and adults that aimed to entertain and educate the public about trademarks. More than 36 exhibitors occupied booths inside the USPTO building or had displays on the campus grounds. There were NASCAR and Zip Cars, inflated football mascots, and trucks sporting company logos.
Teresa Stanek Rea, Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of the USPTO, noted that trademarks come in all sizes, shapes, and colors, “from the shape of the Coke bottle, characters like the Geico gecko, the color of the UPS truck, or the geographical origin of that lobster that you eat.” Trademarks, she said, protect inventors and the consumers.