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2017 Volunteer Service Award



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Advancement of Trademark Law

Jennifer Morton, Partner, Gowling WLG (Toronto, Canada) 

Jennifer Morton serves as Chair of INTA’s Trademark Office Practices Committee, Canadian IP Office (CIPO) Subcommittee. In this role, she has made unparalleled progress in fostering a positive and productive working relationship with CIPO at a time when Canada is in the midst of adopting new legislation and regulations to accede to the Madrid, Singapore, and Nice treaties. 

In just 30 days, Ms. Morton and her fellow subcommittee members compiled a 111-page response to Canada’s new draft Trademark Regulations on behalf of INTA. This work has helped pave the pathway for INTA’s continued engagement in the development of Canada’s trademark laws and regulations. 

Advancement of Committee or Subcommittee

Jason Champion, Partner, Knobbe Martens LLP (Irvine, California, United States)

Jason Champion led the Young Practitioners Committee’s Tomorrow’s Leader Award Subcommittee that was responsible for the creation and introduction in 2017 of INTA’s Tomorrow’s Leader Award. Recognizing the need to attract and nurture future leaders for INTA, Mr. Champion brought a tremendous amount of passion to the project, building a team and drafting objectives to develop this new award. Thanks to his unwavering commitment over the past two years, INTA is able to present this inaugural award this year. 

 In advancing the objectives of his subcommittee during the 2016–2017 term, Mr. Champion’s efforts will serve to engage and motivate many INTA members in the future.

Advancement of the Association

Megan Bannigan, Counsel, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP (New York, New York, United States)

As Chair of the Pro Bono Committee’s Clearinghouse Implementation Subcommittee, Megan Bannigan was instrumental in the development and roll out of INTA’s Pro Bono Trademark Clearinghouse. Under her guidance, INTA established the clearinghouse pilot program to bolster the protection of IP by matching eligible clients in need of trademark legal services with INTA members who will provide these services free of charge. 

 Ms. Bannigan led her subcommittee through the development of the application criteria and evaluation process, as well as the review of the initial applicants for the pilot program. The launch of the Pro Bono Trademark Clearinghouse is a major accomplishment for INTA, providing trademark lawyers with the opportunity to enjoy the satisfaction of pro bono work, and eligible individuals and organizations with legal advice that they might not otherwise be able to obtain.

Pro Bono Services Provided by Individuals

Jaime Vining, Partner, Friedland Vining, P.A. (Miami, Florida, United States)


Jaime Vining has worked closely for many years with Dade Legal Aid, a nonprofit law firm that provides legal services for low-income children, teenagers, women, and families in Florida. Since 2010, she has played a pivotal role in implementing and organizing the firm’s “Patently Impossible Project,” which has raised more than $150,000 to provide legal representation in underserved communities. Ms. Vining has also participated in Dade Legal Aid’s Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts Program that offers pro bono legal consultations to local artists. 

Pro Bono Services Provided by Organizations

Archer & Greiner, P.C. (Hackensack, New Jersey, United States) 

 Archer & Greiner, P.C., provided pro bono legal services in this year’s landmark U.S. Supreme Court case, Matal v. Tam. At issue was the trademark THE SLANTS, which musician Simon Shiao Tam and his Asian-American rock band sought to register. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) denied registration under the disparagement clause of Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversed the USPTO’s refusal en banc. Archer & Greiner’s team of Joel MacMull, John Connell, and Ronald Coleman, successfully represented Tam before the U.S. Supreme Court; its 8-0 ruling affirmed the decision of the Federal Circuit that the ban on the registration of disparaging trademarks violates the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. This case will undoubtedly have a lasting impact on U.S. trademark law.