Government Officials Training Committee Update: INTA Provides USPTO Trademark Examiners with Blockchain Industry Training

Published: March 15, 2020

INTA’s Government Officials Training Committee (GOTC) has collaborated annually with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on an industry training presentation for the Office’s examining attorneys, leadership, and staff.

On December 9, 2019, the GOTC delivered its Blockchain Industry Training presentation at the USPTO. Of the attendees, 59 joined in person and another 645 participated online. The then Co-Chair of the GOTC’s USPTO Subcommittee, Scott Woldow (Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP, USA), organized the training with the assistance of the Subcommittee members.

Blockchain is an innovative technology with many options for adoptive use across numerous industry sectors. A panel of INTA members provided a broad overview of blockchain technology, covering key terms and how the technology is currently being utilized. Lindsey Corbin (Outlier, USA) moderated the panel, which included Addam Kaufman (Oracle Corporation, USA) and Bennett Collen (, LLC, USA).

Mr. Collen provided an historical overview of blockchain, including the evolution of the technology and its expansive industry sector use, and explained how blockchain ledgers function and key blockchain processes. Mr. Kaufman focused his presentation on how Oracle uses blockchain technology in relation to the company’s products and services, and what he and his colleagues have seen in related trademark filings.

During an engaging question and answer session, the discussion focused on issues surrounding the classification of blockchain technology and clarification about “tokens,” which represent particular assets on a blockchain. The panelists also covered issues surrounding the safety and security of blockchain technology, and
shared their view on how blockchain technology may evolve in the future.

GOTC Engagement with IP Offices

In addition to working with the USPTO, the GOTC engages with several different offices and presents annual industry trainings at the European Union Intellectual Property Office and the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property.

These trainings provide industry sector representatives a unique opportunity to:

  • Collaborate with the USPTO and share information and insight focused on innovation, key terminology, and changes in the industry;
  • Provide background about an industry sector that can assist with knowledge sharing for the trademark examination process;
  • Share directly with examiners the trademark challenges experienced by both in-house and external counsel; and
  • Foster communication between the USPTO and attorneys practicing before the Office.

The GOTC is thankful for the opportunity to collaborate with the USPTO on these training programs and looks forward to future programs. These trainings continue into the new committee term but will now be led by the Trademark Offices Practice Committee, which has absorbed the goals and objectives of the GOTC.

Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of items in the INTA Bulletin, readers are urged to check independently on matters of specific concern or interest.

© 2020 International Trademark Association