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October 1, 2013 Vol. 68 No. 18 Back to Bulletin Main Page

Volunteer Spotlight: Mary Innis

Mary Innis and Innis Law Group LLC handle a significant amount of trademark prosecution and portfolio management, as well as litigation involving trademarks, advertising and other IP issues. The firm has cases pending in numerous jurisdictions, including an oral argument in the U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals addressing fair use and trademark parody of designer goods. In addition, Mary provides guidance on advertising and marketing campaigns, branded entertainment and such new media as online behavioral advertising. Also on the docket is counseling for various privacy and technology issues, as well as thriving fashion and entertainment practices.

Despite her diverse expertise, the veteran attorney cites fair use as the most challenging trademark issue. “I have been dealing with fair use for 20 years,” Mary says, “including the first appellate decision regarding fair use of trade dress.” (Car-Freshner Corp. v. S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc., 70 F.3d 267 (2d Cir. 1995)). “As branded entertainment and new media blur the lines between free and commercial speech, fair use issues become even thornier, always raising new and interesting questions.”

Based on her experience as a longtime INTA volunteer and roundtable planner/participant, Mary suggests that new media and privacy ought to be included on upcoming agendas. “My clients constantly have new concerns and questions about these hot areas,” she says. She adds that she has reaped great professional and personal benefits from her INTA involvement: “It has provided excellent formats for addressing cutting-edge and intersecting trademark issues, and it also has allowed me to build lasting relationships with friends and mentors alike.” The personable practitioner notes, “Every year, I make new relationships at INTA, but I also get to catch up with old friends.” In fact, the renowned hostess’s holiday parties in her home could be called “mini-INTAs,” as many attendees share a common link to the trademark industry.

An active person, Mary enjoys leisure-time pursuits that are as varied as her work. They range from skiing to volunteering for the Alzheimer’s Foundation to spending time with family and friends. She also is involved with Women in Film and hopes to produce a documentary film of her own in the future.

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.

© 2013 International Trademark Association