Carlos Gutierrez nominated as Secretary of Commerce

Kellogg Executive Carlos Gutierrez has been nominated by President Bush to replace Don Evans as Secretary of Commerce.  The Commerce Department manages the Patent & Trademark Office as well as other utilitarian functions of the government such as the census, weather forecasting, and standard setting.

Gutierrez fled Castro’s Cuba in the 1960’s and worked his way up the corporate ladder — eventually taking the helm at Kellogg in 1999.  He is credited with revitalising the company that had been knocked from its perch at the top of the cereals business.

Bush called Gutierrez a "great American success story" and a visionary executive, who understands the world of business from the "first rung on the ladder to the very top."

Kellogg is no stranger to the PTO, more than sixty years ago Kellogg brought a case to the Supreme Court over whether the pillow shape of Nabisco’s shredded wheat was trademarked.  In Kellogg v. National Biscuit, the Court ruled that a "product shape that is the subject of a [utility] patent goes into the ‘public domain’ when the patent expires." 306 U.S. 111 (1938).