Advancement of Trademark Law
(Balder IP Law, Spain) played an important role in INTA’s advocacy and promotion of the Madrid Protocol in Latin America, often speaking at INTA events in Central and South America. Specifically, he traveled to Bogota where he spoke about the changes for local practitioners under Madrid Protocol rules. He also participated in the INTA delegation to Mexico to promote the benefits of the Madrid Protocol before the Mexican Senate.
The results? Colombia has entered the system and the Mexican Senate voted to join the Madrid Protocol, an essential step to that country’s accession.
Advancement of Committee or Subcommittee Objectives
John McElwaine (Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, LLP, USA) led INTA’s review of the 1930 new gTLD applications during ICANN’s short public comment period. This important project involved substantial efforts to audit all applications to ensure consistency with ICANN’s provisions on trademark protection and the WHOis database. John’s efforts helped to enhance INTA’s leadership position on ICANN issues by leveraging the Association’s unique resource of committee volunteers to provide significant monitoring of the ICANN process.
Advancement of the Association
Jeremy Newman (Rouse, United Kingdom) has provided strong support for INTA’s advocacy efforts on customs regulations and practices in the EU. Jeremy accompanied INTA staff to several meetings with the European Commission, Members of the European Parliament and Representatives of EU Member States. By attending these meetings on behalf of INTA and applying his practical expertise, Jeremy helped make significant progress on customs issues, such as goods in transit, and helped to enhance INTA’s reputation in the EU.
Graciela Perez de Inzaurraga (Hausheer Belgrano & Fernandez, Argentina) is Chair of the South American Trademark Office Practices Subcommittee of the Trademark Office Practices Committee. On behalf of INTA, Graciela traveled to Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil to present Examination Guidelines to trademark office examiners. The result of her presentation was an almost immediate increase in cooperation between INTA and the countries’ trademark offices: Argentina’s trademark office said it will invite INTA to comment on its draft examination guidelines; the new Director at Paraguay’s office expressed interest in working more with INTA; and, in Brazil, the Director of Trademarks welcomed INTA’s recommendations and plans to discuss the office’s practices with us.
Pro Bono Legal Services by an Individual
Richard Biagi (Neal & McDevitt, LLC, USA), a trumpet player, combines his two passions—music and trademark law—when representing Bugles Across America, on a pro bono basis. BAA is a nonprofit organization with the mission of providing volunteer buglers to play Taps at veterans’ funerals at no charge to their families. When BAA needed help with a trademark and domain name dispute, Richard solved their problems. His well-crafted letter resulted in the relinquishment of the offending domain names in less than two months.
Geri Haight (Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo PC, USA) has committed more than 1400 pro bono hours to the Human Rights Campaign, the largest gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization in the U.S. For example, she helped the Human Rights Campaign overcome a refusal by the USPTO to register a number of trademarks and associated designs. Geri prepared and submitted voluminous information in support of her clients’ argument that the trademarks had acquired distinctiveness despite less than five years of use. Since then, Geri has been responsible for managing all trademark prosecution and enforcement issues for the Human Rights Campaign.
Pro Bono Legal Services by a Member Organization
Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg LLP (USA) has made pro bono services an important part of the firm. According to its 2011 pro bono annual report, all of its associates participated in pro bono services. The firm provided a total of 7,834 hours of pro bono work in 2011, amounting to more than $3 million worth of services. It established a Pro Bono Institute, a program to train and encourage pro bono work among in-house law departments, and has developed a partnership with Lawyer’s for the Creative Arts to connect its attorneys with IP related cases. Recently, the firm won a substantial victory in the US Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit in the Flava Works, Inc v. Marques Rondale Gunter, et al case.