Amicus Briefs Home
Do you know of a case in which INTA should consider making an amicus submission?
INTA depends upon individuals around the world to alert us of trademark cases in which an amicus brief from the Association could be of value to the court in that jurisdiction. You do not need to work for an INTA Member to submit a case for consideration.
To alert us of such a case or request that INTA file a brief, you should review our policies and procedures below:
INTA Amicus Brief Policies and Procedures
A. Policy Statement
Matters appropriate for the filing of an amicus brief or other similar "amicus" type filing are limited to matters that are adjudicatory in nature, e.g., court actions and opposition and cancellation proceedings. Legislative and non-adjudicatory executive branch matters are not appropriate for amicus filings and should be brought to the attention of the staff listed above for reference to an INTA Committee.
The matter must meet the following criteria:
- The views of the Association have been specifically requested by the tribunal; or
- The question to be addressed directly affects the activities of the Association, or
- The matter must involve, relate to, potentially effect the law of trademarks, trade names, or trade dress, the law of unfair competition, or other related laws (e.g., right of publicity, false advertising, surveys, domain names), or procedural issues related to such matters (e.g., standing, jurisdiction, remedies), and a filing by INTA must be reasonably likely to advance the strategic goals and objectives of the Association.
B. Procedure for Requesting a Filing by INTA
1. Timing of Requests: Requests should be made as early as possible. Assessment of issues and preparation of amicus filings require substantial effort and time in the Subcommittee and Executive Committee of the INTA Board of Directors and represent significant commitments by INTA staff and member volunteers. These commitments make it extremely difficult for requests to be considered and acted upon within 30 days, and even simple requests often demand up to 60 days to handle properly. Complex cases, such as those before a Supreme Court involving novel issues of law, multi-jurisdictional proceedings, or the necessity of obtaining translations, demand even more time to review. For these reasons, requests made less than 30 days before filing deadlines are significantly less likely to be acted upon. INTA strongly suggests that requesters contact the appropriate staff liaison listed below as early as possible—even if a ruling has not yet issued—if they believe that INTA’s involvement may be appropriate.
2. How to Make a Request: A requester may solicit consideration by INTA of a possible filing by submitting an electronic request to the INTA International Amicus Committee, International Trademark Association, 655 Third Ave., New York, NY 10017 USA, care of the appropriate staff member below:
Asia-Pacific: Seth Hays at email@example.com
Canada: Bruce MacPherson firstname.lastname@example.org
Europe: Carla Schwartz at email@example.com
Latin America: Laura Cruz at firstname.lastname@example.org
Middle East/Africa: Bruce MacPherson email@example.com
United States: Michelle King at firstname.lastname@example.org
With respect to cases originating from non-English speaking countries, materials should be submitted in both their original language and English translation.
The request should take the form of a statement of no more than three pages. The Committee kindly asks that requesters strictly adhere to this rule. Again, this statement should be sent electronically using a generally accepted word processing program and include:
- The case name, caption, number, and tribunal;
- A list of all litigants, counsel and other interested parties involved in the case to facilitate conflict of interest clearance by Committee members;
- A brief summary of the procedural and decisional history of the case;
- A discussion as to why the issue(s) is/are of significance to the Association and its membership, and how the Association's participation in the case is likely to make a material contribution to a decision;
- The issue(s) the requester would like the Association to address in its filing; and
- The deadline for making the filing.
In addition, the request should include:
- Electronic copies of the opinion(s) of the lower tribunals(s);
- Electronic copies of the briefs of the parties, if available;
- Electronic copies of any other material that the requester believes would be helpful to the Subcommittee’s consideration; and
- An electronic copy of a complete description of the "amicus" procedure(s) permitted by the tribunal in question, and any rules applicable to such filings. (If there are no formal rules for amicus filings in the tribunal in question, but the tribunal would nevertheless accept an informal filing such as an expert affidavit or letter, then provide as complete a description as possible of the informal filing that would be acceptable to the tribunal.)
Waiver of electronic submission rule: The Committee expects that most requesters or their counsel will have access to means that would permit an electronic submission, including scanning devices that would allow for the sending of unreported opinions, briefs, and other material via electronic mail. Notwithstanding, the Committee also anticipates that there will be exceptions to this rule. In these cases, the requester or his counsel is asked to contact the appropriate staff liaison, as noted above, and explain the reasons for the inability to adhere to the electronic submission requirement. The staff liaison will then work with the requester or his counsel to secure the necessary material for consideration.
3. Copy to the Parties: The request shall show that a copy of the request was sent by the requester to counsel for the other party (or both parties) to the case.
4. Appropriate Point for Consideration of a Filing: INTA prefers to make amicus or similar filings at an appellate stage in the case, after a factual record has been established and an initial ruling has been made. Accordingly, a filing generally will not be made if the case is at the trial stage in the tribunal of first instance. However, in appropriate cases, and particularly in jurisdictions that permit amicus filings only in the tribunal of first instance, the Subcommittee will consider filing in the tribunal of first instance.