Our firm had a year full of highlights and milestones in 2011! My 11th year in private practice was a busy and productive one. We filed more than 200 trademark applications for clients; I spoke on trademark issues to groups from Austin to Toronto to Boston to San Francisco; I also posted more than 100 blog posts and launched a monthly video series (see ErikPelton.tv). Amidst all this activity, the firm registered its 1,500th client trademark overall with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”).

In January, I began serving as a Vice-Chairman of the local Falls Church Chamber of Commerce, a responsibility I greatly enjoy.

In April, I had the honor of appearing on a panel with the Commissioner of Trademarks, Deborah Cohn, at an American Bar Association conference.

In May, Associate Attorney Mark Donahey and I traveled to San Francisco along with 9,000 other trademark attorneys to attend the International Trademark Association’s annual meeting. In addition to hosting a roundtable on trademark settlements, a highlight of the trip was taking four former interns – all of whom now work in the field of trademarks – out to dinner!

In July, we received a registration for the firm’s new slogan – Experience is our trademark. Trademark is our experience. – bringing our tally of registrations to seven!

In September, I was quoted in The New York Times in an article about a trademark dispute between a small business owner and Proctor & Gamble:

“The big corporations often send these cease-and-desist letters and issue threats regardless of the merits of the claims,” said Erik M. Pelton, a trademark lawyer in Alexandria, Va. “They then use their endless resources and legal firepower to get the result they want: the small businesses often go away because they can’t afford to fight back.”

I also traveled to Pennsylvania to speak at the 2nd annual Social Media Summit hosted by Harrisburg University.

In October we worked with the City of Falls Church, where our office is located, to exhibit its THE LITTLE CITY® trademark at the USPTO’s National Trademark Expo. I was joined there by my two favorite helpers – Elijah, age 6, and Flora, age 4 ½, pictured below – who volunteered to help staff the booth and greet some of the Expo’s 15,000 attendees! Chubby Checker performed at the opening ceremonies and of course did ‘The Twist’.

None of these achievements would be possible without our amazing client ‘family’! Thank you for making our work enjoyable and rewarding. Wishing you a happy and healthy holiday season and a terrific 2012!


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