December 15, 2016
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Volunteer Spotlight: Lorraine Fleck
|Lorraine M. Fleck is the founder of Fleck Innovation Law, an intellectual property boutique located in Toronto, Canada. She has been practicing trademark law for ten years, but did not always want to be a trademark lawyer. “My motto should be, ‘life is what happens when you have other plans,’” she says. After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in molecular plant biology, Lorraine chose law over medicine and thought a good career focus would be pharmaceutical patent litigation. But early in law school, she realized how much she enjoyed the various aspects of branding and the many arguments one can make when arguing a trademark case. “Although I do practice in other areas of intellectual property, such as copyright and trade secrets, trademark law is my first IP love because of the creativity that goes into developing a good trademark,” Lorraine says. “It is really hard work, yet like most things, when branding is done well, it seems effortless.”
Lorraine likes protecting clients’ brands, especially new ones, and also protecting clients and consumers from those who try to cause trademark confusion. “Being able to help launch a new line of business and protect the public on the same day is very gratifying,” Lorraine says. “I also like learning about different industries and interacting with colleagues from around the world on a daily basis.” She adds that after she successfully negotiated her first trademark settlement agreement and saw how pleased her client was with the outcome, “I realized then that what I did really mattered, and that motivates me in my work.”
Lorraine’s first involvement with INTA was during the 2006 Annual Meeting in Toronto. “I will never forget going alone to a reception, not knowing anyone, and having to be sociable in a room with literally hundreds of people,” she says.
Lorraine has been fortunate to have been on INTA committees since the start of her career. She previously served on the Security Interests Subcommittee of the Emerging Issues Committee, the Internet Governance & Contractual Relationships Subcommittee of the Internet Committee, and the United States & Canada Law & Practice Subcommittee of the INTA Bulletins Committee. She is now assigned to the Health Policy and Trademarks Rights Subcommittee of the Emerging Issues Committee. Lorraine has also moderated Table Topics on social media policies, and at this year’s Annual Meeting she spoke on social media topics such as hashtags as trademarks.
Her family, Lorraine says, includes “a very adorable rescue cat named Matty Munchkin, who provides us with hours of entertainment and snuggles.” Lorraine’s hobbies center around food and drink, travel, physical fitness, and photography. “I love visiting new countries and learning how the local food and drink reflect the physical environment and the country’s history and traditions,” she says. “It is interesting to explore the reasons why the food in Hong Kong is quite different from the food in Germany.”
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.
© 2016 International Trademark Association