INTA Bulletin

April 1, 2016 Vol. 71 No. 6 Back to Bulletin Main Page

Department Spotlight: Washington, D.C., Representative Office

INTA’s Washington, D.C., Representative Office is helping to raise awareness on trademark matters to key policymakers in the United States, enhancing INTA´s communication on its advocacy efforts and increasing its outreach with federal agencies and other organizations in Washington, D.C. The staff recently celebrated their first anniversary with the Association and play a crucial role in leading and implementing advocacy strategy on trademark issues. 

Debbie Cohn, Senior Director of Government Relations, has been an active INTA member for almost 17 years. Before working for INTA, Debbie served as Commissioner for Trademarks for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Her current role is focused on raising the visibility of trademark issues and advocating for INTA members on Capitol Hill and with federal agencies such as the USPTO, the U.S. Department of Treasury and the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator.

Part of her daily activities includes communicating and meeting with members of Congress and their staff, educating them about trademarks and current issues. This past year, she successfully helped organize and expand the Congressional Trademark Caucus, creating a new focus on the importance of trademark issues and the opportunity for Congressional briefings.

Debbie´s role focuses on advocacy for the protection of trademarks. It involves working with IP Associations in Washington, D.C., on common positions. This kind of cooperation allows her to identify areas where they can communicate as an IP community on behalf of INTA members. In addition to her representational role, Debbie serves as staff liaison for several INTA committees: the Trademark Office Practices Committee (TOPC), Harmonization of Trademark Law and Practices Committee and North America Global Advisory Council. Also, due to her expertise and long tenure with the USPTO, she is in close contact with other advocacy committees on issues involving U.S. registration and examination practice.

Parallel with her advocacy role, Debbie is also in close contact with INTA´s Political Action Committee (PAC), aiming to raise trademark and general IP awareness to key policymakers and representing INTA´s member positions in the U.S. Congress. An integral part of an effective advocacy plan in the United States, the PAC helps to increase the Association´s communication and advocacy efforts on a regular basis and on important issues.

When not advocating for the protection of trademarks, Debbie´s activities include lots of exercise, cultural and outdoor activities, relaxing with her friends and spending time in Charlottesville, Virginia. Her preferred trademarks fall in the category of nontraditional marks, such as Tiffany’s blue box, the M&M characters, SPEEDY ALKA SELTZER, the Campbell’s Soup Kids and PILLSBURY DOUGH BOY. 

Lori Schulman, Senior Director of Internet Policy, has been participating in INTA for nearly 20 years. Before being appointed as a full-time staff member, Lori became a volunteer in the late 1990s, and was appointed to the Board of Directors in 2004.

In 2015, she joined the INTA staff as Senior Director, Internet Policy. Based in Washington, D.C., she successfully helps articulate INTA’s positions on Internet issues to members of Congress, the Department of Commerce and the Washington, D.C., office of the International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). Additionally, she represents INTA in Internet policy and education initiatives including the Internet Governance Forum USA (IGF-USA) and coordinates the activities of INTA’s Internet and Data Protection Committees. Given the global outreach of her duties, Lori travels the world advancing INTA’s Internet agenda, especially to Europe and Latin America.

Internet policy being a cross-sectional area, her role has a much larger scope than just the protection of trademarks, but also flows into other mission and Strategic Plan goals of INTA’s, such as internationalization, improved member benefits and communications. Within her role, she focus on covering policy from a global angle, including recruiting a diverse set of volunteers on Internet projects and communicating the most up-to-date and accurate information on the domain name system, online use, social media and other critical areas of Internet policy. 

During her time with INTA, Lori has particularly enjoyed working with the Internet Committee, planning for the transition of the Internet’s name and numbering systems away from U.S. government oversight. She has written Congressional testimony and participated in high-level meetings and a historic community vote in favor of ICANN’s transition and accountability plans. 

In her spare time, Lori enjoys flying kites. In particular, an 11-foot rainbow delta she received for her birthday, which she manages to fly whenever she gets the chance. Lori is also an avid yoga enthusiast, and is certified as a yoga teacher. Although her INTA schedule leaves her little time for teaching, Lori successfully opened one of the sessions at the Miami 2013 Leadership Meeting with a few minutes of yoga, where her INTA colleagues were able to stretch and breathe before a full day of meetings.

Some of Lori’s favorite trademarks include MARCH OF DIMES—a portfolio she was privileged to manage in the past, the MGM Lion’s Roar sound mark, as it was an innovative nontraditional mark for its time, and the APPLE name and logo, for its suggestive qualities and brilliant design.

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