News / USA

    Trademarks Vital to Global Businesses

    June Soh

    Companies go to great lengths to protect their trademarks and logos. A recent conference by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) highlighted the importance and the difficulty of doing that. The two day event drew more than 10,000 visitors of all ages.

    Costumed characters were doing more than amusing visitors as they roamed around the National Trademark Expo - they were educating them.  

    "Trademarks extend not only to a picture or a logo but we have some characters trademarks," noted USPTO Commissioner Deborah Cohn.  "So children actually see a lot of trademarks and have a lot to do with trademarks.  We want people of all ages to know that it is very important to buy legitimate products rather than counterfeit products."   

    Cohn adds that trademarks can take many other forms, as well, including colors, smells and sounds. That surprises many Expo visitors.

    "[Take for example] the lion's roar at the beginning of the MGM films.  That is registered as a trademark. So maybe you could use a lion's roar for something completely different, but not for the films," Cohn added.

    Trademark violations can hurt a business' reputation, and its bottom line. Last year, U.S. officials seized almost $200 million worth of counterfeit products, which looked like the real thing.

    Consumers can be hurt, too. C. T. Toner is with GED Testing Service, which develops an exam for earning a U.S. high school equivalency diploma.  It has more than 3000 testing sites worldwide.

    "We want everyone here in the expo to know that there are a lot of fraudulent programs online who use the GED name," said Toner.  "So we don't want people to be taken advantage of, go online pay $300 for a test, get a diploma and realize that it was actually not a GED test that can be used for job or for a college entrance."

    Entertainer Chubby Checker, who popularized the dance, the twist, in the 1960s, introduced a new trademarked candy bar he is selling for charity.  

    "[It is called] Chubby's Checkerbar. [It's in] a few places, but not big yet.  But we think over the next couple of years this bar will be all over the world," said Checker.

    For business owners, like Checker, who plan on expanding to global markets, the Expo offered seminars about protecting their brand.

    "If infringing goods were being manufactured in China, just by example, and they are being sent from China, they are being sent into the United States.  You do not have any rights in China at this time, what is your remedy?" asked Susan Anthoy of the USPTO.

    Deborah Cohn says trademark protection extends only to national borders.

    "So if you register your mark in the United States, then your rights extend in the United States.  You would register it in each country that you want protection in," explained Cohn.

    That is what David Holmes has learned today. The musician sells his CDs and performs live.

    "When you are using the Internet, that is basically international and as a musician you probably would want your music to go internationally.  I know I do," said Holmes.

    Holms adds that he is now thinking of ways to protect his name as a trademark in the global marketplace.

    You May Like

    Post-White House, Obamas to Rent Washington Mansion

    Nine-bedroom home is 3 kilometers from Oval Office, near capital's Embassy Row; rent estimated at around $22,000 a month

    Red Planet? Not so much!

    New research suggest that Mars is in a warm period between cyclical ice ages, and that during Ice Age Maximum over 500,000 years ago, the red planet was decidedly ice, and much whiter to the naked eye.

    Taj Mahal Battles New Threat from Insects

    Swarms of insects are proliferating in the heavily contaminated waters of the Yamuna River, which flows behind the 17th century monument

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora