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January 06
You Are Now Connecting to Work Remotely: Is Your Cybersecurity Up to the Task?

This blog post was written by INTA's Law Firm Committee.​cybersecurity_blog_010516.jpg

Abstract

INTA is dedicated to supporting trademarks and related intellectual property (collectively “intellectual property”) to protect consumers and promote fair and effective commerce. Trademark owners and professionals dedicated to supporting intellectual property have come to rely heavily on mobile technology to work and communicate. While focus has been heightened on improving cybersecurity in the workplace, instituting cybersecurity procedures for mobile technology remains lacking. To effectively protect an entity’s or a client’s intellectual property, those using mobile technology should ensure that security measures taken rebuff a cyber-attack. Otherwise, the possibility to have a client’s intellectual property compromised by unauthorized intrusion through a mobile device is possible. 

Introduction

Law firms act as repositories for large amounts of confidential information ranging from intellectual property information and strategies, to client’s personal information, to commercially sensitive business information, data, and records. Clients rightly expect such information to be kept safe and secure and remain confidential. This is a key element of the law firm client relationship.

Cyber-intrusion

As technology develops, the amount of confidential information held by law firms increases, as such, so does the risk of cyber-intrusion or cyber-attack. 

Law firms are viewed as high-risk targets because a cyber-intruder could potentially obtain confidential information regarding multiple clients from a single intrusion. The 2016 data breach incident known as “the Panama Papers,” the largest law firm data leak in history, is an example of the damage that can be caused to multiple clients as a result of a cyber-intrusion. The Panama law firm of Mossack Fonseca was hacked, resulting in offshore banking information about numerous entities being acquired and then made publicly accessible over the Internet. This is not an isolated incident. Mandiant, a cybersecurity firm, since acquired by FireEye, estimates that 80% of the largest law firms in the United States have experienced some form of cyber-intrusion since 2011.  

Cyber-intrusions may come from individuals, organized crime syndications, hacktivist groups, or nation states for a number of reasons, including economic/industrial espionage, theft, system disruption/destruction, extortion (ransomware), or cyber-facilitated fraud corruption.

Protecting against Cyber-intrusion

To best protect against cyber-intrusion, law firms should take steps to fortify their data and computer networks. While such internal data and network protection is now occurring among law firms, an area that has received the same level of attention is mobile device security. 

Mobile Device Security

The use of mobile devices by law firms continues to grow as advances in such technology platforms evolve. In today’s world, not only are laptop computers, tablets, and smartphones being used by lawyers for work-related functions, but wearable devices, such as smartwatches, are being used as well to connect to their work data and clients. The use of mobile technology has assisted law firms in moving toward paperless offices, increased productivity, and improved efficiency, creating a better service for clients. According to the 2015 American Bar Association Legal Technology Survey, approximately 90% of lawyers are using mobile devices for legal tasks away from the office.  

In response to increased mobile device use, law firms should implement policies and procedures to address not only the risk to a firm’s internal computer networks, but also the risk to mobile devices used in connection. If the proper protections are not implemented, a cyber-intruder could potentially transmit viral emails throughout the law firm, access secure network data, and upload ransomware or malware.

Policies and procedures relating to mobile devices should specifically address the situation where a mobile device is lost or stolen. Foremost, a lost or stolen mobile device should be immediately reported to the firm in question. All mobile devices should have mobile device management (“MDM”) software installed to, at a minimum, enable the law firm to remotely wipe the lost or stolen mobile device of sensitive information. The ease at which a law firm can remotely wipe a mobile device may depend on whether the mobile device is firm owned and controlled or whether the lawyer is using a personal mobile device on a bring-your-own device (“BYOD”) policy. 

Ensuring any BYOD policy provides for installation of MDM software is crucial. Ideally all MDM software will be centrally managed by the law firm. The MDM software may also be used to provide for secure email, secure Internet browsing, and designate which applications may or may not be downloaded to the mobile device. Typically, MDM software provides for compartmentalizing of confidential information, such as emails, documents, and firm applications in an encrypted location in the mobile device that is separate from personal information. Because of the intrusive nature of MDM software, a detailed explanation of the limits of such encryption is important to ensure employee confidence in any BYOD policy.  

All mobile devices that have access to firm data—even emails—should be password protected. For mobile phones, a secure password should be used. With the advances in mobile phone password technology, which now includes biometrics, either a complex password or biometrics should be used. If a laptop or tablet is able to access data on the firm’s computer network, two-factor authentication for remote access is recommended. Two-factor authentication is a method of confirming a user’s identity by utilizing two different authentication factors, such as, but not limited to, a combination of a knowledge factor (a password), a possession factor (a security token that may be provided via a mobile phone), and a physical characteristic of the user (biometrics). 

In addition to encrypting mobile devices, portable storage devices, such as USB flash drives, should also be protected by encryption.

To limit employee error causing cyber-intrusion, recurring cybersecurity training should form part of a law firm’s ongoing professional development and training. As an example, monthly reminders could be sent to all employees reminding them of security policy and procedures and the need to be vigilant. Reminders can discuss recent noteworthy cyber-intrusions and act as cautionary tales, or explain some of the most common data security threats employees may face. 

Thanks to Terry Sanks and Scott Moran of the Law Firm Committee for co-authoring this blog post. 


September 27
Pro Bono Committee Work: Natasha’s Wood Foundation

​Kathleen Lemieux is a lawyer and partner in the Ottawa Office of Borden probono_blog_092816.jpg
Ladner Gervais, LLP. Kathleen practices in the areas of trademark prosecution, copyright, intellectual property litigation, and transactions involving intellectual property rights.

In the IP world, it is sometimes difficult to get involved in pro bono work because of the lack of opportunities. However, Kathleen knew at the first meeting with Fay Maddison, the founder of Natasha’s Wood Foundation, that the foundation was not only deserving of pro bono assistance but it was an area that Kathleen felt very passionate about on a personal level. Kathleen is the mother of two young daughters and is involved in both her community and children’s school.

Based in Canada but international in perspective, Natasha’s Wood Foundation aims to harness the power of story-telling, the arts, education, and sport to generate awareness of and unconditional support for the mental wellness of military families, with particular emphasis on the children who have been adversely affected by service to community and country. 

Mental health is an issue that touches us all, as we all know loved ones, family members, and/or friends who have been affected. Natasha’s Wood Foundation’s goal is to be a catalyst for creating mental wellness by initiating several unique but strategic projects. One of these projects involves the creation of picture books authored by Fay Maddison and illustrated by children. Through storytelling, Natasha’s Wood Foundation intends to improve literacy among children, to ignite their creativity through activities such as drawing in safe spaces, and to help them perceive the world from their own unique viewpoint.  Twiglet’s First Birthday was published in 2015, the first to be published by the foundation. A second book is currently under way: A Pollen-Fairy Named Squirt. Children from Canada and around the world can submit their artwork. A selection of artwork created by children will be published in each book. 

Kathleen has worked on a pro bono basis with the support of Borden Ladner Gervais on all Canadian trademark matters for this organization. While Kathleen admits that she was driven by personal passion and interest, the support that she has received from Borden Ladner Gervais has been a leading factor in pursuing pro bono work.

Borden Ladner Gervais is proud of its strong tradition of pro bono representation in Canada. “Our pro bono initiatives make a profound difference for people and organizations that otherwise would be unable to access the legal system.”

September 16
Museu da Pessoa: Personal Releases and Copyright Matters

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This blog post was written by INTA's 2016 Pro Bono Committee. ​​

​Koury Lopes Advogados ("KLA") recently had the privilege of assisting Instituto Museu da Pessoa (the “Museum of the Person”) in drafting and reviewing the legal documents necessary to enable its operation and the fulfillment of its core objectives in Brazil.

Founded in the City of São Paulo in 1991, the Museu da Pessoa is largely known in Brazil for being a virtual and collaborative museum that has as its main objective to document, preserve, and transform human lives through the gathering of information and life stories of normal individuals. Currently, the Museu da Pessoa has over seventeen thousand recorded individual statements in audio, video, and text formats and more than sixty thousand photos and digitalized documents. It is a true database of people’s life stories.

The mission of the Museu da Pessoa is to recognize the true value of cultural diversity and of the personal stories of every single individual as important assets of humanity. As a rich source of knowledge, the museum strives to be an open and collaborative institution that will provide its visitors with a better comprehension of this cultural value and a deeper connection between individuals of all generations.

KLA was contacted to render pro bono services to the Museu da Pessoa through Thomson Reuters Foundation. Two associates of KLA’s Intellectual Property practice, Vanessa Pirró and Rafael Pessoa, assisted the museum in the draft and review of all personal releases and copyright license agreements used by the museum in its operations, both to allow the recording of statements granted by the individuals and to authorize the museum to use such recorded materials to fulfill its purposes.

The partnership between the Museu da Pessoa and KLA was a great success. The Brazilian Museum of the Person is now assured that its activities are properly protected by the necessary legal documents, as KLA successfully assisted this important Brazilian institution in its preservation of individual stories and memories. In turn, KLA associates were able, in the collaboration process, to have access to and appreciate these unique Brazilian stories. 

August 31
INTA’s Scholarship Winner Attends Annual Meeting: Sahil Yadav, Stanford Law School

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Before I commenced my studies at Stanford Law School, I had been working for five years with an IP boutique firm in India. During this period, I would always hear about my partners travelling to different parts of the world every year for the INTA Annual Meeting. My colleagues told me that while it was a wonderful conference, it could be a bit intimidating for first-time attendees because of the sheer scale of the event. I always wanted to go but was never given an opportunity because apparently only partners were able to utilize this event to its maximum potential, or so I was told. 

I was finally given an opportunity to attend the Annual Meeting this year in Orlando. While I was definitely overawed by the size of the conference, I grew into it slowly. The first-time attendee seminar was particularly useful in helping me break the ice and introducing me into the world of the Annual Meeting. What I found most helpful were the Speed Networking sessions, which were held on the first day. These sessions gave me the confidence to approach and speak to people. I also volunteered for INTA at the Kool & the Gang concert, which was a lot of fun. In addition to interacting with INTA staff with whom I had corresponded but had never met in person, I also got to meet a lot of other interesting people from firms, academia, government, and the corporate world at the Annual Meeting’s various events. 

Apart from the networking sessions, I ended up attending a number of very interesting educational sessions. The seminars on current IP developments in other countries were particularly helpful to me. A session on three-dimensional (3D) printing was downright entertaining! Also noteworthy were the firm receptions that took place in the evenings. The Annual Meeting is a gold mine for making new connections, and I fully utilized it. 

The Annual Meeting, overall, was very well executed and organized. For me, the key takeaway from the event was meeting so many interesting IP professionals from around the world, and I’m certain that the professional connections I made will endure. Also, I attended plenty of informative sessions that greatly broadened my IP knowledge. 

My experience in Orlando proved that young practitioners and students can take full advantage of the Annual Meeting. I will try to attend INTA’s Annual Meeting every year.   

To learn more about the Annual Meeting Student Scholarships or Student Membership please contact INTA's Coordinator, Academic Programs, Kensey Cybul (kcybul@inta.org).

August 16
INTA Interns Travel to U.S District Court for the Southern District of New York

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On Thursday, July 28, INTA’s summer interns benefited from the unique opportunity to travel to the U.S District Court for the Southern District of New York to observe a preliminary injunction hearing in a trademark case. After spending the past six weeks learning about trademark law, it was a rewarding experience for me, as one of those interns, to finally see the law applied to a current case. Witnessing INTA members excelling at their profession gave further clarity to the work and effort that we see displayed at the Association by both employees and members on a daily basis.

We arrived early in the morning, before the summer heat could take its toll, and were directed to a courtroom with stunning views of the Manhattan skyline. Also, since some interns are considering attending law school, the trip allowed them to have a firsthand look at how trademark law is practiced. We jokingly compared our court visit to the joy of an elementary school field trip, an analogy that proved to be surprisingly accurate. 

In the courtroom, we saw two talented lawyers face off against each other: Mr. Kevin Fee of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP represented the plaintiffs, Citigroup, while Ms. Dale Cendali of Kirkland & Ellis LLP represented the defendants, AT&T. Both sides held our attention as they seamlessly moved between legal precedent, allusions to depositions, and verbal quips. The presiding judge, Judge Forrest, skillfully guided the conversation while also incorporating her dry wit into the proceedings. After hearing this exciting and closely fought court battle, we were excited to learn that a decision will most likely be rendered in August! 

Once the court finished, we had a chance to speak briefly with Ms. Cendali, who, after thanking us for observing the court proceedings, gave us directions to Chinatown and encouraged us to take advantage of the opportunity to find food that was good and—most important for college students—cheap. We stumbled across a tucked-away dim-sum eatery, where we were able to break out of our normal lunch routine of cheap sushi, Chipotle, and salads. 

While we may not know for quite some time all the benefits that will ensue from our experience, we all appreciated the opportunity to attend a trademark hearing, and we very appreciative of the invitation. Since our internship is coming to a close, we also want to thank all the wonderful INTA employees and INTA members with whom we’ve worked. While we had the opportunity to see only a small snapshot of INTA’s work and vision during our time in the NY office, we look forward to watching INTA grow and evolve as we continue our academic and professional careers.


August 10
INTA’s Scholarship Winner Attends Annual Meeting: Jan Dohnal, Masaryk University, Czech Republic

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INTA’s Annual Meeting 2016, which took place in Orlando from May 21 to 25, was really an amazing experience. I am very grateful I had the opportunity to attend this meeting, thanks to the INTA scholarship program. I enjoyed meeting and networking with trademark practitioners from around the world. It is like magic, because you can meet your international colleagues in one place all together.

It was astounding to see with my own eyes this perfectly organized event for more than 10,000 participants. It was a huge success. Thanks to the Annual Meeting in Orlando, I am now certain I want to become an IP lawyer. I understand now that it is essential to work together to raise an awareness of the intangible benefits and protections that trademarks can provide. 

I visited many workshops concerning some of the IP world’s hottest topics, such as three-dimensional (3D) printing and generic top-level domain names (gTLDs). I have increased my academic knowledge and have also improved my networking skills, realizing that networking is a very important part of life. I was fascinated by the Speed Networking sessions. These 2-minute discussions can be lots of fun, and strangers can quickly become new friends. Of particular interest to me was a workshop in which I learned about the job of an adjunct professor. I enjoyed many evening receptions organized by significant international IP companies. Participation in the Luncheon Table Topics provided another means of meeting new people and talking about interesting IP issues at an academic level. 

In conclusion, I enjoyed the week in Orlando in the best possible way. I met friendly and very successful people from every part of the world. I became true friends with a number of the participants. I realized that a community of people who are engaged in intellectual property law can help each of its members. I am already looking forward to the 2017 INTA Annual Meeting in Barcelona!

To learn more about the Annual Meeting Student Scholarships or Student Membership please contact INTA's Coordinator, Academic Programs, Kensey Cybul (kcybul@inta.org).

July 12
INTA’s Scholarship Winner Attends Annual Meeting: Kseniya M. Buck, University of Louisville Brandeis Schools of Law, Louisville, KY (USA)

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After taking intellectual property classes for two years at law school, participating in the Saul A. Lefkowitz National Trademark Moot Court Competition earlier this year, and working on IP matters in the research and development department of a fast-growing company, I knew that I wanted to pursue a career that would allow me to work with trademark matters. When I found out that I was selected as one of five 2016 INTA Scholarship recipients, I was both honored and grateful. 

I am thrilled that was able to take advantage of so many IP-related opportunities while attending the International Trademark Association’s 138th Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida, this past May. 

At the Meeting I was able to meet and speak to countless numbers of successful trademark professionals. Many of the practicing attorneys provided useful insights into what the trademark law and IP landscape is all about. Some of the attorneys gave me very good career advice on how to break into this field and on how to become valuable for employers. They also discussed different career options available in the trademark field that I had never even heard about before! 

I also took the opportunity to attend many traditional educational and Q&A sessions presented by the world’s most experienced attorneys and most respected trademark law scholars. 

Although I found all of the sessions to be useful and, quite often, entertaining, I found the “Careers in Trademark Law: A Panel Discussion for Law Students (Career Development Day)” to be particularly practical in that it covered the principles of networking and also pointed out the abundance of options in a trademark-related career.

My other favorite sessions were “3D Printing and the Future (or Demise) of Intellectual Property,” “Pharma Industry Breakout: Marijuana and the Law: Branding, Marketing and Regulatory Issues,” and “Plain Packaging: Tobacco Today, Tacos and Tequilas Tomorrow.”  These sessions focused on special topics, highlighting the most recent regulations and trends, and predicted possible shifts in law to watch out for. I was pleasantly surprised at the depth of the coverage of each topic. These sessions gave me a different prospective on IP law practice in general. 

Also, at INTA’s Annual Meeting I was able to get involved with the Unreal Campaign, which raises awareness of high school students about the importance of trademarks and the harm caused by the counterfeit goods. 

Going to INTA’s 138th Annual Meeting was an unforgettable experience. In addition to networking with experienced attorneys and learning about the complexities of the most recent trademark law changes, I created what I’m sure will be lifelong friendships with many bright and motivated students and young attorneys across the globe who have the same interests as I do. I will cherish these memories for a long time. I will also never forget the experience of celebrating the Grand Finale at the Universal Studios with more than 10,000 of my peers. 

Finally, my participation in this Scholarship Program confirmed that my interest in trademark law is worth pursuing, regardless of the obstacles of a small trademarks market in Louisville, Kentucky. The Annual Meeting opened a door to a wonderful worldwide community of creative, witty, and very-hard-working professionals. 

I am grateful to the entire Scholarship Committee for choosing me as a 2016 INTA Scholarship recipient. And I am especially thankful to Kensey Cybul, INTA's Coordinator, Academic Programs, who made us feel welcomed, engaged us in the multiple events and provided support on a daily basis to all scholarship recipients. 

I hope I will be able to serve the IP community and give back to INTA very soon.

To learn more about the Annual Meeting Student Scholarships or Student Membership please contact INTA's Coordinator, Academic Programs, Kensey Cybul (kcybul@inta.org).

July 08
INTA's Scholarship Winner Attends Annual Meeting: Surendran Subramaniam (Queensland University of Technology)

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As one of the recipients of the INTA Student Scholarship 2016, I am extremely grateful to have been given the opportunity to attend numerous world-class seminars and workshops at INTA’s 138th Annual Meeting and to have had the privilege of meeting a number of renowned academics in the field of trademark law. 

One particular workshop that stood out for me as a researcher was the “Trademark Scholarship Symposium,” which, I believe, was specifically created to benefit academics. At this workshop, scholars were offered the chance to present their academic papers in progress and to receive feedback from the other attending academics. The workshop sessions were especially beneficial in that the participants were divided into small groups, which enabled the discussions to take place in a highly informal, friendly, and stress-free manner. If given a chance next year, I hope to present a paper to the academics during this workshop at INTA’s 139th Annual Meeting. 

 Apart from that, I am also glad to have been given the opportunity to participate as a volunteer in INTA’s Unreal Campaign, which is the Association’s public awareness initiative designed to educate teenagers about the importance of trademarks and intellectual property and the dangers of counterfeit products. While manning the INTA Unreal Campaign booth at the INTA Annual Meeting 2016 Exhibition Hall with Laura Heery, INTA’s Unreal Campaign Coordinator, I was amazed to meet so many trademark law professionals from so many different countries who actively responded to the campaign and, notwithstanding their busy work life, offered to help INTA introduce the campaign in their respective countries.

Finally, I was particularly happy to have been given the chance to network with people from all over the world and, more importantly, to connect personally with people from countries to which I never imagined having such an inspiring connection. Thank you once again, INTA, for giving me this wonderful opportunity!

To learn more about the Annual Meeting Student Scholarships or Student Membership please contact INTA's Coordinator, Academic Programs, Kensey Cybul (kcybul@inta.org).

June 28
INTA's Scholarship Winner Attends Annual Meeting: Heather Bowen, Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, Chicago IL (U.S.A.)

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I am beyond thankful for the scholarship opportunity that I received to attend the International Trademark Association’s (INTA) 2016 Annual Meeting. I was able to meet with practitioners, professors, and students from around the world who are proficient in the field of trademark law and who are helping to shape the global face of intellectual property. Via the Annual Meeting’s Career Day, educational sessions, networking events, and receptions, I received solid advice and tips about becoming more involved with INTA and further developing my career in trademark law. 

INTA helps attendees get the most out of their Annual Meeting activities. I believe that my time at the five-day conference was one of the best experiences of my academic life thus far, because of the people that I met both before and during the conference who encouraged me to keep striving toward my goal of becoming an IP attorney. My plans moving forward are to get more involved in INTA’s committees, the UNREAL Campaign, and the roundtable and Table Topic events and assist to the best of my ability. Thank you once again to all of those who had a hand in making the INTA Annual Meeting such a success! I cannot wait to see all my new friends and colleagues for the INTA 2017 Annual Meeting in Barcelona, Spain!

To learn more about the Annual Meeting Student Scholarships or Student Membership please contact INTA's Coordinator, Academic Programs, Kensey Cybul (kcybul@inta.org).

June 24
Protecting Your Nonprofit Organization’s Trademarks: Regulating Use Through License Agreements

LicensingTrademarks_Blog_062116.jpgThis blog post was written by INTA's 2015 Non-Profit Committee. ​​

Your nonprofit organization has developed a brand associated with its goods and services. If the organization has chapters, members, or other affiliates, you need to have a license agreement with each affiliate.

Your affiliates are going to use your marks to demonstrate to the public their connection with and support of your organization. If their use of your marks is improper, that use, while well meaning, actually could undermine the strength or validity of your marks. You should, therefore, regulate affiliates’ use of your marks through a license agreement. With such an agreement you permit each affiliate to use your marks if and only if the affiliate uses them in the proper way.

Your license agreement should contain, among other things, the following provisions:

  • Trademarks. Define the trademarks that are covered by the agreement, including both registered and common-law marks.
  • Scope of License. Specify the uses that the affiliate may make of your marks, including the goods and services on or in connection with which the affiliate may use your marks. Also specify any uses that the affiliate may not make of your marks.
  • Ownership. Explicitly state that your organization is the owner of your marks.
  • Trademark Use Guidelines. Explicitly state how your marks should appear when used by the affiliate. (See “Protecting Your Nonprofit Organization’s Trademarks: Provide Guidelines for Use of Your Marks by Supporters.”)
  • Quality Control. Provide quality control provisions whereby your organization must approve an affiliate’s use of your marks prior to each proposed use and the organization has the right to request additional samples of use or an accounting of all samples of use.
  • Termination. Include a termination provision in case an affiliate breaches the agreement.

License agreements are also important if your organization enters into a co-branding arrangement with another entity.

Nonprofit organizations based in the United States should bear in mind that the U.S. Internal Revenue Service levies an unrelated business income tax (UBIT) on income earned from activities regularly carried on by a tax-exempt organization that are not substantially related to the organization’s tax-exempt purpose. It is possible that income derived from trademark licensing could, under some circumstances, be considered UBIT.

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