08/12/19

PTOS Annual Meeting Keynote Address Will You Be My Valentine: Celebrating the USPTO Examiner Through History


PTOS Annual Meeting Keynote Address Will You Be My Valentine: Celebrating the USPTO Examiner Through History

Laura A. Peter

Today it is my honor to address so many patent and trademark examiners, and to celebrate you. You are the reason why our U.S. intellectual property system is so incredible. You are all highly educated experts in your fields. Every day, you work diligently to ensure that the patents and trademarks that this agency issues are strong and reliable. So today, I want to thank you and show you how much our agency has evolved over the last two centuries.

On this Valentine’s Day, let us start with taking a closer look at some of the jewelry, flowers, and candy associated with today through the lens of intellectual property.

When you get home tonight and your valentine gives you a special blue jewelry box, you will instantly know it’s from Tiffany & Co. Tiffany received a registered trademark for that particular blue color over 20 years ago. And the original Tiffany & Co. trademark dates back to 1893. Tiffany also holds 36 design patents and even a utility patent for a clip-on earring force tester.

The bouquet of red roses you sent to your sweetheart may even be patented. In 1931, the first plant patent issued for a climbing rose. In fact, 4% of all plant patents are for varieties of roses. 

And don’t forget about the chocolate! You no doubt will pay just a few dollars more for the brands you know. Godiva currently holds 41 trademarks, 2 utility patents, and 8 design patents, including one for a heart-shaped candy adorned with the Godiva trademark.

One of the most popular Valentine’s Day treats, with over eight billion sold every year, is Sweethearts® conversation hearts. Sadly, for the first time since 1901, you won’t be able to buy any this year. But don’t worry, they will be back in 2020!

101 J. Pat. & Trademark Off. Soc’y 5 (2019)

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