Trademark Administrators and Practitioners Brush Up on Trademark Trends

Published: October 15, 2018

Renzo Scavia Scavia & Scavia Lima, Peru

Sunny Orlando, Florida, USA, was the perfect venue for the Trademark Administrators and Practitioners Meeting (TMAP) 2018, which was held September 12‒14 at the Rosen Plaza Hotel.

More than 400 professionals gathered to discuss important topics, such as trademark clearance; advertising law and data privacy; the ethics of trademark investigations; copyrights and designs; counterfeiting; and how to avoid trademark “genericide.”

As a new initiative this year, and prior to the formal kick-off to the meeting, many participants volunteered to help the Second Harvest Food Bank in its effort to collect and distribute donated food to more than 550 feeding partners in six central Florida counties.

INTA CEO Etienne Sanz de Acedo formally opened the event and, together with TMAP Co-Chairs Marion Woods (Eversheds Sutherland, USA) and Amber Sterling (Association of American Medical Colleges, USA), warmly welcomed the attendees to the meeting.

Table Topics

Several Luncheon Table Topics, which took place simultaneously, contributed to the active participation of the registrants. Topics addressed included:

  • Managing a Global Portfolio
  • Working with Foreign Counsel
  • Working with Clients
  • Indigenous Rights
  • Social Media
  • Personality Matters & Professional Development
  • WHOIS Investigating Registrants

In the “Working with Clients” Table Topic, for example, participants learned about the difficulties that a Chinese trademark practitioner may encounter when translating marks into Chinese characters, due to the different connotations and meanings between Eastern and Western cultures.

Regional Updates

Consistent with INTA’s commitment to being a global organization, several panels focused on providing regional updates on the developments and perspectives of trademark practices in Africa, Asia, and Europe. The impact of Brexit, not only on trademark and design applications, but also on the distribution of goods within a fragmented Europe, was of particular interest to the audience.

From Related Rights to Genericide

A panel on how to expand trademark and related rights focused on ways of protecting brands as copyrights and industrial designs. The speakers talked about the pros and cons of each kind of protection and explained the most important characteristics of these intellectual property rights, providing the attendees with alternate strategies to secure the intangible assets of their clients.

Another session on how to avoid trademark genericide was of special interest, and the speakers shared their experiences about the best ways to keep a brand alive. The adequate use of advertising, appropriate commercial practices, supervision of the marketplace, and the ability of consumers to differentiate between the brand and the products covered by the brand, were highlighted as essential elements to prevent trademark genericide.

An Education in INTA Resources

To determine if registrants were familiar with INTA’s website, the TMAP Meeting project team presented a panel on how to access INTA’s many online resources. The presentation was dynamic and amusing since it involved the participation of the panelists through questions and answers-similar to an academic quiz-about the information members can find on the INTA website. The upbeat atmosphere and humorous comments by panelists and attendees alike made the presentation memorable and allowed all participants to learn how to take advantage of INTA’s many tools and resources. Registrants who stayed until the end of this final important panel were rewarded with prizes for their efforts and joined the TMAP co-chairs for the closing of the event.

Overall, TMAP succeeded once again in fostering community, updating registrants on current trademark trends, strengthening professional relationships, and creating new friendships. INTA looks forward to seeing everyone again at the 2019 TMAP Meeting in Berlin, Germany, on September 16 – 17, 2019.

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