Brands and Innovation Conference: Innovation, Inspiration, and Education

Published: April 15, 2018

Maria Kyriakou Makylo IP Services Nicosia, Cyprus

INTA’s eagerly anticipated and well-attended Brands and Innovation Conference, held on March 19 and 20 in New York City, provided attendees with inspiration, education, and practical tips to navigate and harness new innovations to benefit brands and brand professionals. INTA CEO Etienne Sanz de Acedo and INTA 2018 President Tish Berard (Hearts On Fire Company, LLC, USA) kicked off the conference with remarks urging registrants to “play, fail, and reflect” and to think innovatively. The event was co-chaired by Monique Joe (NBC Universal Media, LLC, USA) and Diane Lau (Facebook, Inc., USA), who thoroughly entertained registrants with an animated video introduction welcoming guests to the event.

A Fireside Chat with Caterina Fake, co-founder of Yes VC, provided the audience with vivid examples of innovative thinking and action. Ms. Fake contributed to the birth of online communities as co-founder of Flickr and the recommendation engine Hunch, and emphasized the need for legal teams to be smart, strategic, and responsive, and to think creatively. Ms. Fake shared her journey from English Literature major to a leading entrepreneur and investor. She motivated attendees by her own life lessons and her advice to “find a parade and get in front of it.”

The keynote speaker on March 20, Natalie Hampton, a high school senior and CEO of Sit With Us, Inc. transformed her difficult experiences in Middle School into power through the use of technology. Her app, “Sit With Us,” has helped thousands of teenagers in eight countries to find welcoming groups to sit with at school. Ms. Hampton leveraged technology for good and gave attendees an important life lesson, that “it only takes one person to change the world.”

Each session gave attendees tools to help them in their day-to-day roles to be more effective and strategic partners with their business teams. From “The Alphabet of Innovation” to “The Link Between Brand Value and Innovation” to “Online Influencers” and “How Innovation is Changing the IP Industry,” attendees were inspired, informed, and motivated to see how they can embrace and change with innovation.

In the “What Every Brand Lawyer Needs to Know” session, a panel of in-house counsel provided an inside glimpse into the role they play and the importance of balancing legal knowledge with knowing the industry and trends. The panel was able to show the importance of challenging assumptions and not being afraid to fail.

The “Online Influencers” session provided attendees with an inside look at the legal issues surrounding relationships between brands and online influencers. Not only were attendees inspired by Sophie Radcliffe, adventure athlete and blogger, but they were informed through practical tips and guidelines as to the role of the advertising agency, the legal team, and the influencer. And we were all reminded that we have one life and we must live it.

In a world where consumer expectations and desires have changed, and where integration and convenience seem to outweigh privacy concerns, ethics and transparency cannot be discounted by brands. The topic of ethics in the “Innovation and Ethics” session was tackled at length by Lesley Fair of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, who, together with the panel moderated by Ms. Joe, provided practical guidelines for brands to consider when communicating with consumers via social media.

Overall, the conference brought together a diverse faculty, providing the points of view of the business community, the legal community, academia, and government officials to provide key insights on how brand teams can effectively prepare for and embrace a changing and innovative world.

If you missed the conference, it is available here for purchase-on-demand.

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. Law & Practice updates are published without comment from INTA except where it has taken an official position.

© 2018 International Trademark Association