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“Amazing free, yet small, museum at a government agency HQ”

National Inventors Hall of Fame
Ranked #27 of 90 things to do in Alexandria
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Attraction details
Owner description: Visit us and marvel at the ingenuity of mankind! The portraits in our Portrait Gallery spontaneously come to life, engaging in humorous banter about the history and importance of America's intellectual property protection system. Our short film, "Extraordinary Innovation", looks at the importance of intellectual property in sports and showcases how ideas effect our daily lives. Our rotating main exhibit has covered everything from food to shoes and features a number of interactive and engaging displays. Our Inductees to the Hall of Fame are represented throughout our exhibitions and are honored on a monumental wall, which features a kiosk full of information about the Inductees and their inventions. We also have occasional special exhibits about individuals and groups that have made significant contributions to the world through their intellectual property. And, for those who like to shop, the Museum Store features an interesting mix of USPTO merchandise and inventive products.
Level 6 Contributor
142 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“Amazing free, yet small, museum at a government agency HQ”
Reviewed June 25, 2013 via mobile

This is a really fun little museum in the US Patent and Trademark Office. The highlight is a portrait gallery where the historical photos on the wall "come alive" and have an amusing dialog about the role of protecting intelllectual property in America from the founding fathers thru Thomas Edison to current inventors. Their exhibit theme changes on occasion but it currently features health and exercise devices. With the talking portraits, a fast paced video about entrepreneurs, a visit will take less than an hour. It's a departure from the lame historical static displays often found Federal facilities. This is upbeat and fun.

Visited June 2013
2 Thank LakeGastonRetired
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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38 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Fort Worth, Texas
Level 6 Contributor
145 reviews
38 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“A unique museum”
Reviewed September 17, 2012

The US Patent and Trademark building is beautiful. This is a very unique and interesting museum that pretty much affects everyone and the neat gadgets they own.

Visited November 2011
1 Thank Sharkswave
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lexington, Massachusetts
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed September 16, 2012

While we were in Washington, D.C for Thanksgiving we decided to visit the U.S Patent and Trademark Office. This museum is in the Patent and Trademark building, which is pretty cool. The museum is a little small but still full of information. There is interactive stuff to play with as well as videos to watch. When you are done, there is a well stocked gift shop to purchase a souvenir from.

Along with the museum, while we were there they had a great exhibit on the first floor of the building commemorating Steve Job(R.I.P). It was probably 30 giant iPhones that had Apple Inc.'s Patent's and Trademark's in them. Lastly, you can fill out some paperwork and get a free badge that allows you to look through the records in the Patent and Trademark Office. Overall it was a great experience!

Visited November 2011
1 Thank LittleMeadeFamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 6 Contributor
151 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
“Minimalist!...Disappointed in the experience.”
Reviewed July 26, 2012

The building housing the museum is awesome and worth taking a look while there. HOWEVER the museum itself is the size of a gift shop...which has a gift shop in it. Minimum tiny exhibits and presentations.
No exhibits jumped out at me that shouted "Wow or Cool." I was disappointed in the experience. Would NOT go again.

Parking can be difficult.

Visited August 2011
Thank JonRSW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Not worth it”
Reviewed July 16, 2012

My husband and I visited this "museum" last week. It only has one theme per year in a small space -- with a gift shop, of course. If you are in the area and have less than 1 hour to kill, then maybe this is worth a visit. We were able to walk there from our hotel, so at least we hadn't gone to a big effort to get there. The DC/Alexandria area has many more interesting sites to see than this.

Visited July 2012
1 Thank Janet M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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