Picture of the Week

17 December 2011

Week 49: Washington/Philadelphia

Filed under: — Administrator @ 17:21

Every year, the trademark offices of the EU (where I work), the USA and Japan meet to exchange information, discuss joint projects and try to improve coordination to benefit the many companies that register trademarks and other IP rights in all three regions. This year’s meeting, which took place last week, was hosted by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in Alexandria, VA, just outside Washington. It was particularly interesting this year because for the first time, the other two big IP offices, China and Korea, also participated.

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I have never before visited the USPTO facility. It was very impressive, especially the lobby with the HUGE Christmas tree (or “holiday tree”, given that this is a federal institution) and the memorial to Steve Jobs:
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We spent most of Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in a meeting room at USPTO. Here is one of my colleagues, Inge, discussing the finer points of goods & services classification with a member of the Korean delegation:
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This delightful lady is an USPTO employee, and apparently their house photographer as well. She took the “family photo” and found it funny to be caught on camera herself:
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Tuesday evening we had a rather posh dinner at the National Portrait Gallery in the Smithsonian:
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Before dinner, there was an opportunity to wander around the gallery:
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A mask of Abraham Lincoln (taken while he was alive):
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My favourite painting was this portrait of JFK:
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David Kappos, US Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO, gives a pre-dinner speech:
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Applause:
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I did not have the chance to see much of Alexandria. The weather was bad, and we were anyway working from 9 to 6 every day, followed by evening activities. But I did manage a longish walk one morning. I did not see anything particularly interesting, except that I passed by the Alexandria National Cemetery and got this early morning view:
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On Wednesday afternoon the meeting finished, and I took a taxi to my cousin’s house in Bethesda, MD, where I was going to stay until Saturday. No pictures from Wednesday, the weather well and truly sucked. But Thursday morning things improved vastly. I was going to Philadelphia to visit fellow LUGger Jim Shulman, and found myself at Washington’s Union Station with some time to spare:
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Capitol as seen from the Union Station:
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It was a nice morning with sharp sunshine:
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This is the standard shot of the Capitol. If only what goes on inside were as beautiful and dignified as the outside:
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This is the view I liked better:
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Whenever I see the Supreme Court, I think not of Roe v. Wade or Brown v. Board of Education or other historic decisions, but rather the episode of the Simpsons in which Bart becomes Chief Justice:
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A posh church near the Supreme Court. No billboards here:
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Standard DC license plate. It is a bit of a paradox that they have no representation in Congress:
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A couple of hours after taking the preceding picture, I arrived at Jim’s and John’s house in a suburb of Philadelphia. John had taken out their fantastic 1957 Dodge:
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Then I was driven around West Philadelphia in the beautiful car. Quite an experience:
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West Philly mural:
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The radio was optional back in 1957, and of course AM only (although John has had it modified to also receive FM):
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Clearly, West Philadelphia is a neighbourhood with, shall we say, issues:
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A drive-in beer shop, something I have not seen elsewhere. Jim explained to me that in Pennsylvania beer is only sold by the case (24 bottles), so in that context a drive-in makes some sense:
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Jim has a lot of neat old stuff, including this 1964 issue of Modern Photography:
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Friday morning I got up to see the pretty side of winter outside Jim’s house:
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Since I had just acquired a new macro lens for my Pentax, I used the 1957 Dodge to test it:
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A bit more context:
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Oh yes, tail fins!:
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Jim took me for breakfast at Hymie’s a Jewish restaurant which he told me had great food and rude waitresses. The food was indeed great, and the waitresses not too rude after all, although I would not call them friendly. I liked the mixing of cultures in evidence:
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After breakfast, we went to buy some bagels from this guy. Jim said these were the best bagels in Philadelphia, and my subsequent analysis backed up his assertion. I actually took 4 bagels with me to Spain:
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And then it was time to go the 30th Street station and catch the train back to Washington:
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The station was opened in 1933 and has lots of interesting details:
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I just walked around for half an hour, admiring the architecture:
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A bit of tradition not much seen in Europe these days:
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I returned to Washington, met up with my cousin Nicole in Georgetown, did a spot of shopping and went back to her place in Bethesda. She had bought some oysters which were the main attraction at dinner time. Nicole is French, and is therefore quite happy to indulge in a labour-intensive task like chucking oysters or peeling shrimp when the result is good food:
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Saturday morning we went for a long walk along the C&O canal:
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The canal is not in use anymore, so its function is to be a recreational area and habitat for various species of birds and other critters:
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The adjacent Potomac river:
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After our walk we went for lunch at an excellent (and crowded!) Asian fusion restaurant in the centre of Bethesda:
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Later that afternoon, I took a taxi to Dulles airport and flew home to Spain. I finish this weekly blog with a snap of Nicole:
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