On Feb. 5, 2020, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced that U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross had appointed David Gooder as the new commissioner for trademarks. Gooder replaces Mary Boney Denison who retired from the position with the agency on Dec. 31, 2019. Deputy Commissioner for Trademark Operations Meryl Hershkowitz has served as acting commissioner in this interim period. The commissioner is responsible for the oversight of all aspects of the agency’s trademark organization, including policy, operations and budget relating to trademark examination, registration and maintenance.
Gooder’s most recent role was chief trademark counsel for Brown-Forman Corporation, identified as “one of the largest American-owned spirits and wine companies and among the top 10 largest global spirits companies.” Highlights from this role include helping to build the trademark portfolio for Jack Daniel’s from scratch, serving as managing director and chief trademark counsel at Jack Daniel’s Properties and advising wine and spirits brands on trademark issues throughout the world. With over 25 brands in Brown-Forman’s portfolio of wines and spirits, there is no shortage of examples of Gooder’s work to protect valuable trademarks both in the United States and abroad.
It’s also no surprise that Gooder’s international work is being touted as crucial for the new role and in line with the U.S. trademark system’s global leadership position. Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office Andrei Iancu expressed his delight with the addition of Gooder to the USPTO’s leadership team and confidence in Gooder’s ability to elevate the U.S. trademark system as the global standard for excellence.
Gooder’s name is likely familiar to many trademark practitioners as he has served as an officer and director of the International Trademark Association (INTA) Foundation since 2004. Gooder will officially bring his nearly 30 years of trademark experience to the USPTO starting on March 2, 2020.