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Air Force Trademark and Licensing office showcases program

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Jarrod Chavana
  • U.S. Air Force Trademark and Licensing
Two columns of patriotic balloons stood post as the U.S. Air Force Trademark and Licensing personnel educated thousands of spectators at the 2011 U.S. Patent and Trademark National Trademark Exposition Oct. 14 at the USPTO headquarters building.

"The Air Force trademark and licensing program helps protect the integrity of Air Force marks though diligent monitoring of internal and commercial uses," said April Rowden, the Air Force Public Affairs Agency's Trademark and Licensing chief. "Our office provides a line of protection from the misuse of more than 7,000 marks. Through the management of more than 150 license agreements, we are building the good will of our respected brand, ensuring our marks are used on the highest quality products."

The team of Air Force T&L members distinguished their booth by placing a 10-foot by 8-foot backdrop highlighting its most iconic logos, including the Air Force Symbol, Coat of Arms, Thunderbird's patch, and Hap Arnold Wings. The Air Force was also represented at the expo by the Air Force rock band "Max Impact," whom performed a rendition of My Country Tis of Thee, and accompanied singer Chubby Checker in The Twist.

While giving out promotional material the T&L team educated the spectators and potential vendors while answering varying questions.

Can Air Force trademarks be used on consumables or alcoholic beverages?

No, the Air Force marks can't be used on or to promote consumables, alcohol, tobacco or firearms.

What happens if a company is selling products without a license?

"We'll notify the company or individual letting them know they are using our intellectual properties," said Staff Sgt. Alex Martinez, the Trademark and Licensing noncommissioned officer in charge. "A lot of companies are unaware the Air Force has registered trademarks and are not trying to be malicious; so we work with companies and help them submit an application.

"Being at this expo affords the Air Force the ability to educate and highlight what the Air Force has to offer."

Does a Department of Defense employee need a license to use their perspective branches trademarks?

A DoD employee has an implied right to use their branches insignias, marks and trademarks without a license on personal items; however, if they are trying to use these marks in a business then they will need a license.

In 2004, Congress enacted title 10 United States Code 2260, a bill that allows the Air Force, Marines, Army, Navy and Coast Guard, to establish trademark and licensing programs.

For more information visit the Air Force Trademark and Licensing website at