New NIHF Museum Exhibit Demonstrates 'The Power of Trademarks'

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — June 3, 2019 — The power of trademarks is all around us, and it is constantly evolving. From the food we eat and the clothes we wear to billboards and Internet advertising, trademarked products, logos and slogans are an essential part of our daily lives.

A new interactive exhibition sponsored by the International Trademark Association (INTA) in the National Inventors Hall of Fame® (NIHF) Museum is designed to teach visitors about the role and importance of trademarks, and to help them recognize authentic consumer products vs. counterfeit goods.

As part of the museum’s Intellectual Property Power™ wing, the exhibition — “The Power of Trademarks”— opened today during a ribbon-cutting ceremony featuring officials from INTA and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

The exhibition highlights the importance of trademarks and brands through interactive displays, brand artifacts and stories. Highlights include:

  • An overview of trademarks: explaining what they are, including their essential role in protecting consumers and promoting global economic growth, and showing the various types that currently exist — logos, words, shapes, sounds, and even smells;
  • A U.S. map that illustrates the prevalence of brands headquartered throughout the nation;
  • A timeline marking how several iconic brands have evolved over the past few decades, building loyal customers while also attracting new audiences; and
  • Information about the dangers of counterfeit products, including interactive activities that illustrate the differences between authentic and counterfeit goods.

The portion on counterfeiting was inspired by INTA’s Unreal Campaign, an awareness-raising program that educates young consumers about the dangers of counterfeiting, and the importance of trademarks and brands. The sale of counterfeit products is a growing threat to businesses’ intellectual property rights, and consumers’ trust and safety. It is projected that the economic value of counterfeit and pirated products worldwide will reach $2.81 trillion by 2022, up from an estimated $1.13 trillion in 2013.

INTA CEO Etienne Sanz de Acedo said INTA is delighted to collaborate with NIHF on the project, noting, “The team at the National Inventors Hall of Fame has done a tremendous job in conveying the power of trademarks in a recognizable and family-friendly way. The exhibition provides an enormous opportunity to educate consumers of all ages about the importance of trademarks in their daily lives and to highlight the growing threat of counterfeit products. We’re certain it will leave a lasting impression on visitors and reinforce brands’ contributions to individuals, society and the economy.”

“This exhibition, built in partnership with the International Trademark Association, displays the power of trademarks, the major issues that are occurring right now with counterfeit goods and brands, and the resultant negative effects on consumer trust and loss of jobs,” said NIHF CEO Michael Oister. “Our goal at the National Inventors Hall of Fame is to educate consumers to make smarter decisions and purchase innovative products with confidence from brands they can trust.”

The exhibition, which builds on a small display focused on counterfeiting that INTA has sponsored at the NIHF since 2017, will run through May 2021. Companies such as Microsoft, Nike and PepsiCo contributed to the exhibition’s content.

The National Inventors Hall of Fame Museum is located at the USPTO’s Madison Building in Alexandria, Virginia. The museum is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and admission is free and open to the public. For more information, visit

About the International Trademark Association

The International Trademark Association (INTA) is a global association of brand owners and professionals dedicated to supporting trademarks and related intellectual property (IP) to foster consumer trust, economic growth, and innovation. Members include more than 7,200 trademark owners, professionals, and academics from 187 countries, who benefit from the Association’s global trademark resources, policy development, education and training, and international network. Founded in 1878, INTA is headquartered in New York City, with offices in Brussels, Santiago, Shanghai, Singapore, and Washington, D.C., and representatives in Geneva and New Delhi. For more information, visit

About the National Inventors Hall of Fame

The National Inventors Hall of Fame (NIHF) is the premier nonprofit organization in America dedicated to recognizing inventors and invention, promoting creativity, and advancing the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship. Founded in 1973 in partnership with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, NIHF is committed to not only honoring the individuals whose inventions have made the world a better place, but to ensuring American ingenuity continues to thrive in the hands of coming generations through its national, hands-on educational programming and collegiate competitions focused on the exploration of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The National Inventors Hall of Fame Museum is a Smithsonian Affiliate. For more information, visit To nominate an inventor for Induction, visit


Related Articles