Last weekend, I had an amazing experience working a tradeshow to showcase the registered trademarks of 1000 Cranes.   We have three trademarks registered with the US Patent and Trademark office.  First there is the “1000 Cranes” name itself, then “1000 Cranes” with its logo, and then “Believe. Plan. Fly.” as a trademarked slogan.  You can see these filings in more detail at

The filings occurred back in 2006 and 2007 in the early stages of the company when I left my corporate job at Cisco Systems to pursue my dream of entrepreneurship full time.  The marks had been in use for awhile since I had worked on starting the business part time beginning in 2002, but now that I had left corporate life full-time, I felt the investment was needed to secure the naming of the company.  As an entrepreneur, I had often wondered whether investing the time and money into trademarks was worthwhile, well five years later, I couldn’t have asked for a better result.   Here I am standing with the official US Patent and Trademark character, T. Markey:  

Receiving that little “R” in the circle for those three trademarks has been quite satisfying, and it has been a way to also honor my heritage as a Japanese- and Chinese-American by sharing the story of the folding of 1000 Cranes.  For the Japanese, the cranes symbolize that your most desired wish will come true and also honors a young girl, Sadako Sasaki, who with tremendous courage folded the cranes hoping for a cure from the leukemia she contracted ten years after the bombing of Hiroshima.  In the Chinese culture, the crane is the messenger to the gods.

1000 Cranes symbolizes hope, faith, peace and community building and provides an uplifting message to our customers.  It is a globally recognizes phrase thanks to Sadako Sasaki’s legacy, and the brand was something that was important to secure and use.

It was an honor to be selected as one of the exhibitors, and I was humbled to be around such great companies as Hershey’s, Geico, Traveler’s Insurance, UPS and others who have brought such wonderful brands to our life.

I also had an opportunity to meet a living legend when Chubby Checker came to my booth!  He is such a nice man, and has come up with his own line of Chubby Checker snack foods.  Here’s the case where the person is the brand and the products are extensions of himself!  He is such a nice man and very friendly, too.  He has such a way of making people feel very good about themselves.  I am so grateful he took the time to come visit!

Best of all, the kids who came to the booth brought so much joy.  Many of them squealed with delight after folding cranes.  One little girl, Gabbie, from New Jersey, came to my booth both on Friday and Saturday and told me my booth was her favorite.  Her mother, Maggie, had brought her from New Jersey to attend the Expo to educate her daughter on some of the trademarks and brands that surround us everyday.

But in spite of all these great characters and meeting some wonderful people who liked the 1000 Cranes brand, I had yet another treat in store for me!  An aide from Representative James Moran’s office came to the booth to deliver a transcript from the Congressional Record of the 112th Congress.   On October 11, 2011, Representative Moran stood before Congress and declared his support of the National Trademark Expo and listed all the companies who were exhibiting.  1000 Cranes, LLC is now in the history books, literally!

I feel very blessed that 1000 Cranes had the opportunity to be a part of the National Trademark Expo.  I’m trusting that they will invite 1000 Cranes back again next year, and this experience has inspired me to consider other ways to expand the brand.   Who knows, maybe next year or two there will be a 1000 Cranes character walking the halls and bringing smiles to kids faces!