How many IP attorneys do you know who own a personal registered trademark? Mark Feldman
is one. Remaining true to his name and his profession, he owns MARK IS MY NAME AND MARKS ARE MY GAME. Also hitting the mark is the personalized license plate on his car: CIRCLE R.
Despite the puns and fun, trademarks are serious business for the chair of DLA Piper LLP’s intellectual property practice in Chicago. Being in a large general practice firm, Mark gets queried on the broadest possible range of IP issues, consulting with partners and associates and counseling corporate clients “on their myriad issues du jour.” He also teaches IP basics to general practice lawyers to help them recognize the full scope of issues facing clients. In Mark’s words, “I have the greatest job in the world if you have a short attention span!”
Active in INTA for nearly 30 years, Mark recognizes important industry trends, including increasing use of trademarks in search engines and throughout cyberspace. “Courts and statutes must deal with what constitutes ‘use’ of a trademark, and they are still in the early stages of wrestling with these concepts.” Mark says that “so far, the court decisions have been very favorable for the Internet industry. It will be interesting to see if the pendulum swings back to give greater respect to the traditional rights of brand owners to control the use of their marks.”
In Mark’s opinion, while the world seems to be getting smaller, the opposite is true in the trademark realm. “As more countries are formed, trademark owners have additional places to protect their marks.” He advocates simplification, with more countries joining the Madrid Protocol and eliminating such formalities as legalization.
Very active on INTA’s Saul Lefkowitz Moot Court Committee since 1995—most recently as the coordinator of all regions for the national law student competition— Mark loves introducing the next generation of trademark attorneys to this area of law.
As for his favorite trademarks, Mark remains sweet on NUTRASWEET because he was “there for its birth and it’s become a casebook study on how to develop and implement a branded ingredient strategy.”
When not working, Mark spends time with his “most important copyright client”—his wife, who runs a nonprofit that produces films—and his two daughters, his son-in-law and his one-year-old granddaughter.
Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of items in the INTA Bulletin, readers are urged to check independently on matters of specific concern or interest.
© 2011 International Trademark Association