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April 1, 2019 Vol. 74 No. 6 Back to Bulletin Main Page

Learn How INTA’s Cancellations Searchable Guide Is Making Life Easy for Brand Professionals


INTA’s Searchable Guides are developed by 30+ principal editors and 500+ contributors, who volunteer their time and expertise to provide these resources to the INTA community. Available exclusively to INTA members, these tools are designed to inform brand strategies for multinational projects. Multijurisdiction surveys, including Trademark Cancellations: International Practice and Procedures (Cancellations), provide practice-oriented content on a wide variety of trademark-related topics. Here, Patricia McGovern, Chairperson at DFMG Solicitors based in Ireland, shares insight into what it means to volunteer as a principal editor for INTA and how this guide is helping brand professionals in their daily work.

How did you get involved with INTA, and what committees have you served on?
I became involved in INTA in 1993, and I joined a committee to get to know people. I was assigned to the committee dealing with the INTA Bulletin and that started my involvement with publications and INTA. I became subsumed into the Publications Board Committee, headed by the late Mary McGrane. As she always told us, to quote the Eagles’ song “Hotel California,” “You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.” Indeed, I have never left. I have checked out from time to time. I was involved in the Anticounterfeiting Committee, the Internet Committee, and the Design Committee, and I am currently involved in the Data Protection Committee, where I am Chair of the Enforcement Subcommittee; however, my role as principal editor of Cancellations follows me!

What do you like best about being a principal editor of Cancellations?
The Cancellations Searchable Guide was one of the first, if not the first, of the INTA publications to be entirely electronic from day one, which was a wonderful opportunity and challenge. It seems strange now to say that this was considered very innovative at the time of its inception, but it was. INTA was addressing a need that it saw its members had for a more efficient form of information gathering, so it was great to be part of that. Since then, all of the editors and the INTA legal publications staff, in particular, Liz Hanellin, have worked together closely, and we have seen some great professionals from all around the world come on as editors. One always feels a great sense of achievement when there is a new update or some new countries come on board. I love my day job as an intellectual property lawyer, but it is nice occasionally to do something slightly different in life and the editor role gives me that chance from time to time.

How can the guide help members in their daily professional lives?
As professionals, whether in private practice or in-house, we are all under increasing pressures to produce timely and cost-effective work product. While publications are never a substitute for local advice, something like Cancellations can give you an excellent overview for any cross-border project that you may be working on that may involve cancellations. It can give you an immediate insight into the issues you may need to address in any such project and assist you with strategy. Because it is an entirely searchable database rather than a traditional “book,” you can search and access practical information on trademark cancellation practice and procedure in numerous jurisdictions worldwide. Topics covered include: availability of cancellation proceedings; applicable grounds; venue; representation; time frames; estimated costs; and rights of appeal. You are given a number of options for the types of reports that you want to generate, namely, a single jurisdiction report, a single topic report, and a condensed report—giving you basic information on up to 10 jurisdictions. Alternatively you can create your own customized report, selecting up to 10 jurisdictions and up to 15 topics. These options mean that you can tailor the information that you want to generate to suit your specific requirements.

The publication has been very well received. We understand that users have found it particularly useful in obtaining some basic information about cancellations in particular jurisdictions, which can result in more focused discussions with local counsel when it comes to taking the issue further.

How do you see trademark/legal research changing in the next few years, and how can INTA’s Searchable Guides help keep members ahead of the curve?
More than ever, research needs to be something that is capable of being conducted quickly and cost effectively. This demand is only likely to increase in the future. Technology can assist immensely with this and a searchable guide is time-saving and efficient, giving you the information you want. The way we do research is also changing, as are ways of working in general. We may need to be able to access information not only on desktop but on mobile and other devices from wherever we may be. An online database that can generate a report within seconds is a must. We see more demand for customized information, checklists, and guidelines. Digital information and databases can meet those needs and INTA is there to help not only with Cancellations and its other Searchable Guides but with its Fact Sheets, the Quick-Start Trademark Charts, and other practice tools. Check out the Members Resources on the INTA website. It contains many gems that can make your life easier!

Members can access INTA’s Searchable Guide, Trademark Cancellations: International Practice and Procedures, here.

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. 

© 2019 International Trademark Association