INTA works to inspire law students to pursue careers in the trademark field or in the field of intellectual property in general. These law students are, after all, tomorrow’s trademark professionals . . . and our future members! Among our goals is helping students play a more active role in the Association; through a number of dedicated academia-focused committees, the Association is continually developing services and programs specifically for students. To reach more of them, INTA has fostered partnerships with a number of organizations worldwide.
Since 2008, INTA has enjoyed a productive partnership with the European Law Students’ Association (ELSA). Through this partnership, INTA members have spoken at ELSA conferences throughout Europe, covering a number of trademark-related topics. Groups from various ELSA chapters have also visited INTA’s Brussels office to learn about the basics of trademark law and about careers in the field, and ELSA representatives have attended INTA’s conferences in Europe to benefit from the educational and networking opportunities that these meetings offer.
This past spring, INTA was invited, for the first time, to make a presentation at ELSA’s 63rd International Council Meeting, which took place in Cologne, Germany. This meeting is attended by ELSA leadership and members of its national and local chapters across Europe. With about 300 delegates attending the presentation, this was the largest student audience to which INTA has had the opportunity to speak. As INTA’s representative, I outlined the benefits and services that INTA offers to student and young practitioner members, and I touched on the partnership activities carried out with ELSA.
The International Council Meeting of ELSA in Cologne
A great example of our partnership activities was a recent study visit to INTA in Brussels by students from ELSA Croatia. The purpose of the students’ visit was to meet INTA staff and members, and to learn more about the Association and the trademark industry. Staff provided a brief overview to the Association before handing it over to Ignacio Lázaro (Petošević), a member of INTA’s Famous & Well-Known Marks Committee – Europe & Central Asia Subcommittee, who introduced the students to trademark law with a “day-in-the-life” of a trademark practitioner. Our visitors demonstrated a keen interest in the presentation, with lively discussion sparked by the following questions:
How can you prove distinctiveness of marks after use?
What do you do if you use a mark and it becomes distinctive, but then someone else registers it?
What happens if a logo is altered? (E.g., the LACOSTE crocodile being depicted slightly larger than its original size.)
How does a mark become generic and who decides on that?
How do you apply for INTA student membership and the Annual Meeting scholarships?
Ignacio Lazaro presenting to students from Croatia
Building meaningful relationships with law students is fundamental to the Association’s growth and development. INTA is honored to play a role in the careers of tomorrow’s trademark practitioners.