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May 22
Tips for Maintaining Your Well-being During the COVID-19 Pandemic
This blog post was written by the Well-Being for Law Firms and Communications Subcommittees of the Law Firm Committee 

The COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated adjustments in all of our personal and professional lives. Having to “stay at home” as much as possible can take a toll on our mental and physical health and well-being. With May being Mental Health Awareness Month, here are some real-life recommendations from INTA members. 

1. Create your own work space

When you work from home, it is can be hard to concentrate and to focus on work with so many distractions around you. Therefore, it is very important to have a designated space where you can be in work mode. 

2. Give yourself a break

Try to disconnect at some point during the work day, such as following your regular daily working schedule and taking a lunch break. Or take shorter breaks throughout the day to refocus.

3. Disconnect on the weekends

One challenging aspect of this unprecedented time is the loss of a definite dividing line between the weekdays and the weekend. Although it may be tempting to keep working throughout the weekend because you are at home, try your best to have downtime on the weekends.  

4. Dress for the role

It is important for your mental health not to stay in your pajamas. Act as if you are going into your office: get dressed. While your attire does not have to be formal, wearing business-casual or business clothes could help you feel like you are in a “work” state of mind. If you have video calls or virtual meetings, look professional. 

5. Enjoy healthy habits

Replace the time spent on your commute with a healthy habit. Take advantage of the plethora of online resources for virtual yoga or other workout classes, go for a run or walk, meditate, garden, or take your dog on an extra-long walk. 

6. Stay in touch with your colleagues and clients

Reach out to your colleagues via phone or video to see how they are doing, to follow up with pending work matters, and/or to show empathy with their situation―especially people who live alone.

7. Create a daily “must-do” list

Try to write down your “must-do” tasks or projects first thing in the morning, before the day gets away from you. Keep the list to the absolute “must” items that you have to achieve, so you don’t get discouraged. Meeting those goals can bring back focus and momentum to a tough or under-productive work-from-home day.

8. Have social interaction with friends and family

Stay in touch with friends and extended family through a virtual meeting app to enable  virtual face-to-face time, letting them know how much you value them and their roles in your life. Staying connected can help you feel less alone or isolated. 

9. Set boundaries with the news 

Try to limit your exposure to news that is providing new information. Consult reliable sources, and don’t constantly check for updates throughout the day.  

10. Be thankful 

A daily gratitude reflection is a helpful way to keep perspective and focus on the positive. Writing down these thoughts could also be a useful way of recording memories during this challenging and historic time. Start a journal or time capsule. 

We can all be thankful that we have professions and technology that allow us to remain connected with our colleagues, clients, friends, and family from anywhere! 
May 14
How Brand Owners Can Protect Their Intellectual Property Rights on the e-Commerce Platform Mercado Libre

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This blog post was written by Maysa Razavi, INTA’s Manager, Anticounterfeiting​

The Brand Protection Program (BPP), the new intellectual property (IP) protection resource from Latin America-centric-commerce platform Mercado Libre, allows rights holders—whether they are sellers on the platform or not—to protect their rights. 

The BPP is designed to provide consumers with the best possible buying experience and to fight against the proliferation of counterfeit and pirated goods on Mercado Libre. The program invites rights holders to protect their IP portfolio by reporting to Mercado Libre any listing that may allegedly infringe their IP rights, such as trademarks, patents, copyrights, industrial models, and designs.

With the help of machine-learning technologies, Mercado Libre can learn from filed BBP reports to proactively remove listings of any allegedly infringing products and services and of their sellers and penalize unauthorized sellers who breach the rules on the site. 

Brand owners can sign up for this new reporting tool to easily search and report alleged infringement at no cost. Here’s how: 

  1. Log in:  www.brandprotectionprogram.com​ 
  2. Join: Click on “I want to enroll” and complete the corresponding form.
  3. Rights: A brand owner can upload one or more rights, according to its needs, by completing all required information.
  4. Validation: Mercado Libre will validate the data, and the brand owner will receive an email with login credentials.
  5. Protection: Once in the program, a brand owner will have the possibility of defending its rights in those countries in which the corresponding rights were enrolled (i.e., the same trademark in other countries) and used for bulk reports.

    • The brand owner may report, on the bulk reports tool, any listings that breach IP rights;
    • The seller reported may present an exculpation and may turn in documentation that proves that its listing does not breach any right;
    • Once a rights holder has analyzed the documentation and the counter-notice from the seller, the rights holders will be able to rectify or ratify its report;
    • ​If the rights holder confirms the report or if the seller does not answer, Mercado Libre will permanently remove the listing. If the rights holder does not answer the seller’s counter-notice, the platform will reinstate the listing.

April 15
Why Is Brand Value Important for Trademark Professionals?

This blog post was written by Brand Value Special Task Force Co-Chairs Melody Schottle, Exxon Mobil Corporation (United States), and Doug de Villiers, Deloitte (Africa)​. 

The importance of intangible assets—and, in particular, brands—is now widely appreciated by professionals across a range of disciplines, including finance, marketing, accounting, and, of course, legal. And yet often these disciplines use different definitions, and even have different understandings, of key concepts. What do we mean when we use terms such as “brand value,” “brand equity,” or “brand evaluation” and how can we improve our understanding of these concepts?

Since March 2018, INTA’s Brand Value Special Task Force has been studying these questions, and reviewing the latest thinking around brand value and brand equity, as discussed in ISO 20671: 2019 “Brand evaluation—principles and fundamentals” published in March 2019. The Task Force comprised 14 active participants who brought a range of perspectives, including legal (in-house and law firm), finance, valuation, and marketing. 

As Co-Chairs of the Task Force, we found these diverse insights both fascinating and helpful and are grateful to all the participants for their involvement as well as to other individuals who contributed to the work of the Task Force. The result is a comprehensive and practical report, the Brand Value Special Task Force Report, with 20 specific findings as well as seven Expert Insights and eight appendices, including a checklist of legal considerations for brand valuation.

Each of the report’s 20 findings is supported by a number of recommendations for INTA consideration and action. For example, we recommend that INTA review its definition of “brand” to better demonstrate the financial contribution of brands to businesses and also develop definitions for “brand value” and “brand equity.” We also recommend that INTA engage with the International Organization for Standardization (“ISO”) to bring trademark practitioners’ perspective to the legal considerations and dimensions of the relevant standards.

In the report we also explore how INTA can play a proactive role and be a resource for its members and for Intellectual Property (“IP”) Offices, as well as for professionals in finance and marketing and those in accounting, auditing, banking, insurance, and related institutions that develop certification programs on IP or brand valuation. In addition, there are other stakeholders involved in brand valuation and brand evaluation exercises. The diagram extracted from the report below, provides a schematic reference of a non-exhaustive list of stakeholders involved in the brand valuation and brand evaluation ecosystem.  

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While much of the report focuses on tasks for INTA itself, we have also identified several recommendations for both in-house and law firm practitioners in their day-to-day work. The former can work together with finance and marketing colleagues to learn about and coordinate approaches to brand valuation and evaluation, providing a legal perspective where appropriate. The latter can increase competencies in this area to better support their clients in IP and mergers and acquisitions by learning about topics such as brand valuation and evaluation. The report provides specific recommendations on how to achieve this.

While different professionals bring diverse perspectives and sometimes seem to speak different languages, the multi-disciplinary approach taken by this Task Force demonstrates the common interests these diverse groups share in this area and the vital role that trademark practitioners play in brand valuation and evaluation exercises. In particular, in the knowledge-based economy, and with consumer behavior constantly changing, we are all striving in different ways to measure how consumers interact with brands and the impact that this has on organizations. We are confident that this report, and the recommendations contained in it, will be useful to members and others as they navigate these challenges and look forward to the implementation of some of the report’s recommendations through the work of INTA’s new Commercialization of Brands Committee and the Building Bridges Committee.

April 08
New Report: Italian Law Enforcement Seized 542 Million Counterfeit Articles Over 10 Years

​Italian law enforcement seized 542 million articles of counterfeit goods, with an estimated value of more than €5.5 billion from 2008 to 2018, according to a new report from the Italian Trademark and Patent Office. 

The report titled “Intellectual Property—Elaborated Report of the Investigation on Counterfeiting (IPERICO),” covers the results of investigation activities carried out by various enforcement authorities in Italy, such as the Guardia di Finanza, the Carabinieri, and the state and local police. It details the number and value of items seized during the 10-year period, grouped by geographical area and product category. The analysis excludes food and beverages, pharmaceuticals, and tobacco.

In 2018 alone, there was a total of 12,712 seizures, a decrease of 7 percent, compared to 2017. However, the number of articles seized rose 66 percent, to a total of 52.7 million.

Some interesting statistics during the 10-year period include:

  • Between 2008 and 2018, Customs and the Guardia di Finanza seized around 542 million articles  of counterfeit goods, with an estimated value of more than  €5.5 billion;
  • The sectors with the most seizures during the 10-year period were clothing (55% of total); footwear (12.5% of total); and watches and jewelry (8.5% of total); and
  • The regions with the highest seizures during the 10-year period were Lombardy (Milan); Lazio (Rome); and Campania, Naples.

To read the full report (in Italian only), click here​

For more information on INTA’s anticounterfeiting activities in Italy, please contact Maysa Razavi, INTA Manager, Anticounterfeiting, at mrazavi@inta.org. ​

March 18
​Law Students from Greece Visit INTA’s Europe Office to Learn More About Trademarks

Untitled design.jpgLaw students from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece visiting INTA's Europe Office

More than 20 law students from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece visited INTA’s Europe Office in Brussels on March 11 to get an overview of the Association’s work and learn about trademark basics. The group visit was sponsored by the European Law Students’ Association (ELSA), as part of the ELSA Study Visits program that brings European law students to different legal institutions around the European Union. 

Hadrien Valembois, INTA Policy Officer, Europe Office, gave the students a brief introduction about INTA, focusing on the Association’s various academic activities for students. 

Afterwards, Florence Verhoestraete, Partner at international law firm Nauta Dutilh, Brussels, Belgium, and a member of INTA’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee, gave a presentation on the basics of trademark law. Ms. Verhoestraete explained what can be registered as a trademark, illustrating her points by providing samples of chocolates, biscuits, and other products. She showed the distinctiveness characteristic of trademarks, such as colors (yellow for POST-it adhesive notes); and shapes (the bottle of CONTREX mineral water) as well as an example of a word—LOTUS—that can be registered for different types of goods like biscuits, tissues, or cars.

Ms. Verhoestraete highlighted several trademark dispute cases that emphasized the importance of registering marks, and explained the risk of a trademark becoming generic. She also discussed the dangers of counterfeiting, including its impact on health and the economy, and stressed that counterfeiting goes beyond luxury goods, and has an impact on products such as food, car parts, toys, medicines, and others. On the topic of counterfeits, Ms. Verhoestraete provided a brief introduction to INTA’s UNREAL Campaign​, which gives presentations to young consumers (ages 14–23) to raise awareness of the dangers of counterfeits.

INTA would like to warmly thank the ELSA students for visiting the Association’s office and Ms. Verhoestraete for volunteering to speak to them. We look forward to welcoming other students in the future!

If you would like to learn more about INTA's activities in Europe, please contact Milesh Gordhandas (Senior Advisor, Europe Office) at mgordhandas @inta.org. If you are interested in learning more about INTA's Academic Program, contact Kensey Cybul (Coordinator, Academics) at kcybul @inta.org. If you are interested in the UNREAL campaign, please contact Catherine Shen (Associate, Strategic Partnerships & Unreal Campaign) at cshen@inta.org

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February 26
In a New York Minute: How Tech is Changing Legal Teams

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This blog post is written by ​Juan Felipe Acosta Sánchez​, Director of Litigation and ADR, OlarteMoure, Bogota, Colombia and a project team member for INTA's 2020 New York Conference. 

As an Intellectual Property and Competition Litigation attorney and an advocate for emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, holochain, and 5G, I am excited to moderate the session "The Fourth Industrial Revolution: How Legal Teams are Changing at INTA's 2020 New York Conference—Brands in Society: Their Influence and Responsibility, March 16-17, in New York, NY. 

Pieter van den Bulck (Anheuser-Busch InBev S.A., and Conference Co-Chair, Belgium), Julius Stobbs (Stobbs IP, United Kingdom) and Yo Takagi (World Intellectual Property Organization, WIPO, Switzerland) will join me on stage as we take a look at the way technology is changing how we practice law. We'll explore the tools that have changed our lives and helped us conquer some of the challenges we face in our daily law practice. 

Mr. van den Bulck will discuss how technology has changed the day-to-day strategies of managing a worldwide trademark portfolio. Mr. Stobbs will explain how tech tools are integrated into his practice and how his firm has become a provider of those tools. Mr. Takagi, Assistant Director-General of WIPO, will join the panel to share his experience developing the Global Intellectual Property Infrastructure at WIPO- a set of innovative and disruptive tools to help clear, search, detect, and analyze Intellectual Property assets.

Register today for the New York Conference to attend my panel and many more. Check out the full education program here​

February 25
Facebook Launches Anticounterfeiting Guide to Help Curb Sale of Counterfeit Goods on its Platform

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In late 2019, Facebook updated its anticounterfeiting policies and launched a dedicated page on its website detailing its approach to intellectual property (IP) protection and anti-counterfeiting efforts. The page outlines initiatives ranging from notice-and-takedown to proactive measures, and education and transparency efforts. 

Anticounterfeiting measures on Facebook and Instagram, an image and video sharing social media platform owned by Facebook, feature an IP notice-and-takedown program that provides publicly accessible channels for rights holders to report content they believe infringes their rights (including counterfeits). Rights holders can file infringement reports on Profiles, Pages, Groups, ads, or Marketplace listings. The following forms can be used to report counterfeits on Facebook and Instagram.

Facebook’s global Intellectual Property Operations team processes and takes action in response to complete and valid reports year-round on a 24/7 basis. Content is typically removed within a day after Facebook receives a rights holder’s report. For more information on becoming a rights holder on Facebook or Instagram check out the rights holder’s tool

Other online platforms also have published anticounterfeiting policies. For example, also on social media, Twitter’s policy prohibits the sale or promotion of the sale of counterfeit good​s, and explains how to report counterfeit goods. Among online retail platforms, Amazon’s counterfeiting policy also strictly prohibits the sale of counterfeits and states that sellers “must provide records about the authenticity” of products if Amazon requests that documentation. 

According to Facebook’s website, its new initiatives include: 

Enhanced report processing: Facebook allows rights holders to report pieces of content individually or in bulk, as well as entire Profiles, Pages, or Groups. Even when a rights holder reports only one item to Facebook as counterfeit, Facebook may take steps to review an entire Page, account, or ad account if there is evidence of widespread infringement. 

Repeat infringer policy: In addition to taking down reported content or users, Facebook disables the accounts of repeat infringers where appropriate. Facebook also takes other actions to help stop someone from becoming a repeat infringer, such as temporary feature limits or removing access to certain product features. 

Recidivism: Facebook has a variety of measures in place aimed at detecting new accounts created by previously disabled users—including those disabled for counterfeiting—and preventing them from continuing to misuse the services. 

Specialized reporting tools: Facebook has developed specialized tools to help rights holders report IP infringements at scale. Its streamlined reporting tool—the Commerce & Ads IP Tool—empowers brands to easily search for and report infringing Marketplace or Group sale posts on Facebook and ads across Facebook and Instagram. The tool provides unique functionalities, such as the ability to search Marketplace globally in a single search, and to search across all currently active ads by any keyword. 

Proactive anticounterfeiting measures: Facebook is using technologies like machine learning and artificial intelligence to help block or reduce the distribution of potentially counterfeit content on both Facebook and Instagram.

Transparency: Facebook regularly releases a transparency report that includes updated information on its IP practices, the volume and types of IP reports it receives, and how much content those reports affect. 

February 03
How Intel Corporation Is Embracing Esports and Why Your Brand Should Too

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Traditional sports have long held importance to brands around the world, but in recent years more and more brands are also tapping into the burgeoning esports industry. Both hold enormous potential for big “wins”!

INTA’s upcoming 2020 Europe Conference—Brands, Sports, and Esports: A Brand (R)evolution, February 17–18 in Madrid, Spain, offers a great opportunity to learn about the convergence of the sports and esports industries. Experts in the legal, marketing, and business fields will look into hot topics and discuss why it’s so important for brands to be proactive in the sports and esports spaces, especially given the proliferation of technology.

We’re at the point in time where the explosion of esports is finally getting noticed. In the last couple of years, the participation in the industry from different types of brands has been growing.

At Intel Corporation, we are playing a unique role in both the sports and esports industries right now, and have emerged as a technology leader in the evolving PC gaming and esports markets. We’re creating new experiences in which we immerse players and viewers from all over the world. Whether people are participating from a virtual reality standpoint, or benefiting from our Intel® True View 360 replay technology, it’s a really exciting time from a technology standpoint.  

More is definitely on the horizon. I believe we’re getting closer to esports becoming a part of the Olympic Games.  Initially we may only see the Olympics incorporate esport games based on traditional sports like soccer and basketball, but it will be exciting to watch this evolve.  For now, Intel and the International Olympic Committee are coordinating an esports event prior to the Summer 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, and similar to the Olympics, players will play on teams that represent their nations.

If you come from a traditional sports background and you’re not embracing the interplay between esports and sports, this is an important time to plug in.

The Europe Conference will help you do that. It will appeal to so many people—those involved in traditional sports and those who are part of this huge explosion in esports, whether it’s from the legal, technology, sponsorship, or influencer perspective, or from the perspective of building of your business. We’ll cover all the angles at this Conference—and that’s really exciting.​

Learn more about INTA’s 2020 Europe Conference here: www.inta.org/madrid2020​

January 30
INTA’s Europe Conference: Traditional Sports Brands Have Lessons to Share 

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A unique lineup of speakers discussing a wide variety of cutting-edge issues related to both sports and esports will take center stage at INTA’s 2020 Europe Conference—Brands, Sports, and Esports: A Brand (R)evolution, February 17–18, in Madrid, Spain.

Speakers will include representatives of some of the biggest brands in the sports and esports industries, including Major League Baseball, FC Barcelona, World Rugby., Fnatic, NBA Properties Inc., and my employer, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA).

Working in the sports industry, I see day-to-day how traditional sports are still very important, but also how esports are gaining more and more momentum. It’s a real evolution.

Four or five years ago at FIFA, we didn’t yet have a very large esports side, but we did have the popular EA Sports FIFA video game. We saw the opportunity for growth in that world. Now, there are tournaments for national teams and basically every member association has a national team that plays esports. It’s really come a long way in a short time.

Many lessons from the traditional sports industry can translate directly to the esports world. For example, a gamer builds up his or her brand with sponsorship and endorsement deals, and now their name becomes a brand, maybe even a household brand. They can learn lessons from some of the big athletes, teams, and sports leagues in traditional sports that work diligently to maintain brand value.

It will be valuable to hear panelists speak about other topics related to the business of sports and esports. They’ll provide important insights on constructing great sponsorship deals, the importance of social media influencers, how to capitalize on fan movements, and more traditional topics like enforcement and counterfeiting.

This Conference is not only for trademark attorneys. It’s for the wider legal community and for the business community, to get a holistic overview of cutting-edge topics that are relevant for the sports and esports industries and for the legal industry at large.

Learn more about INTA’s 2020 Europe Conference here: www.inta.org/madrid2020

December 16
INTA’s Tomorrow’s Leader Award Winners Discuss Their Roles Now and in the Future


​INTA President David Lossignol with Sher Hann Chua (Tilleke & Gibbins, Thailand), one of the recipients of the Tomorrow's Leader Award

INTA’s Tomorrow’s Leader Award recognizes two outstanding young practitioners for their early leadership merit in the intellectual property (IP) industry. The award was established to strengthen the recipients’ professional and personal development and to raise their visibility as tomorrow’s leaders within the trademark community. Winners receive registration to the Association’s Annual Meeting, the opportunity to serve on an INTA committee, and other benefits.

This year’s award recipients are Sher Hann Chua (Tilleke & Gibbins, Thailand) and Suzannah Wood (King & Wood Mallesons LLP, Australia).

Here, the young practitioners talk to INTA about various aspects of their careers and their participation in the Association.

At this point in your career, how do you define leadership and what kind of leader do you aspire to become?

Sher Hann Chua: Leadership means influencing, guiding, and mentoring individuals, while allowing them to maximize their efforts in their own development. 

I aspire to be a leader that will encourage and inspire other intellectual property practitioners to steadily push the boundaries of IP law in order to adapt with the advancement of technology. I hope to inspire other young IP practitioners to harness their potential in making a difference by contributing within and beyond our community. 

Suzannah Wood: The leaders I look up to are experts in their field but, more than that, they are well-rounded, kind people who are impressive whether they are at work or away. I aspire to become a leader like them, someone who can be called upon to give expert advice and guidance on a trademark issue, and can model other important values at the same time. 

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Suzannah Wood (King & Wood Mallesons LLP, Australia) a recipient of the Tomorrow's Leader Award

What excites you about this opportunity to serve on an INTA committee? 

SHC: I’m looking forward to being in conversations and networks with the brightest IP minds in the world. I will be serving on the Emerging Issues Committee for the 2020–2021 term, and I hope to be able to contribute to the Committee’s goals and objectives by providing insights, particularly from the Southeast Asian perspective. 

SW: I’m excited to serve on INTA’s Non-Traditional Marks Committee.. This Committee does very important work in a space that is rapidly evolving, as the law grapples with how to handle the unique challenges of protecting these signs. While it is no surprise to a trademark lawyer that such signs—sound, shape, color, motion, and so on—can, and do, function as trademarks in the minds of consumers, the law is not necessarily well-adapted to dealing with the complexities of examining and enforcing these rights. I hope to be able to contribute an Australian perspective while learning about the models employed overseas.

Do you feel that young practitioners play a particularly relevant role in the IP community? What IP issues are particularly relevant to them, and to you as a young practitioner?

SHC: Young practitioners bear the responsibility of continuing the advancement of IP to foster innovation and economic growth while standing on the shoulders of the giants of today. I believe that it is vital for young practitioners to be involved in the education, communication, and advocacy efforts of INTA from the early stages of our career so that we can learn directly from seasoned practitioners and become leading advocates of brand owners globally. 

SW: In my role at King & Wood Mallesons, I am fortunate to work in a team of dynamic and brilliant young IP practitioners. As young practitioners, we do not necessarily know the answers to the big questions, but we are always encouraged to ask “why,” and to learn. I think it is our curiosity and open-mindedness that enables us to play a relevant role in the IP community

As you look forward to the 2020  Annual Meeting, what do you hope to gain by attending?

SHC: The INTA Annual Meeting provides exposure to a massive network of influential IP practitioners that I will be able to engage in intellectual discussions with, and learn from, through the mutual sharing of practical lessons from cross-cultural and cross-jurisdictional experiences.

SW: It will be wonderful to put faces to the names of my overseas colleagues, and to meet like-minded individuals from all over the world and hear about current challenges and developments in their trademark law and practice. I have so much to learn from my overseas friends and colleagues. 

What has belonging to INTA meant to you so far, and in what ways do you anticipate deepening that connection in the future? 

SHC: INTA has been, and will remain, an exceptional network, resource, and platform to facilitate knowledge sharing across the world. Tilleke & Gibbins is a huge supporter of INTA’s Unreal Campaign, and I certainly want to continue contributing to this fantastic initiative. 

SW: My journey with INTA is just beginning, and I am very excited to deepen my connection with this important organization. I hope to contribute to INTA’s important work on trademark law well into the future, and to one day serve as a mentor for a young practitioner myself. 

INTA’s 2020 Annual Meeting​ will take place April 25–29 in Singapore. Registration opens January 8. 

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