Volunteer Spotlight: Georges Nahitchevansky

Published: March 15, 2019

Ken Taylor Com Laude McLean, Virginia, USA

Georges Nahitchevansky is a Partner in the New York office of Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP, headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia (USA), and has been in the trademark field for 24 years.

“I can’t recall the first time I went to INTA’s Annual Meeting, but I think it was 1997,” Mr. Nahitchevansky said. He does remember not knowing anyone there, but leaving with the experience of meeting a lot of people, some of whom he still keeps in touch with today.

Looking back on his past two decades as a practicing attorney, he has witnessed many changes in the field. When he first began practicing, for example, “there was a nascent Internet, at best. We dealt with brick and mortar issues day in and day out,” he recalled.

“Then the Internet started to take off, and I was told by a senior partner at my firm not to waste my time with this passing fad. Today, I regularly deal with online and tech issues on a worldwide basis, and the brick and mortar issues are now only a small part of my practice. I think the ‘fad’ took off and swept away everything else with it!”

What’s the next big issue? In Mr. Nahitchevansky’s view, the rapid emergence of new technologies such as artificial intelligence, 5G networks, 3D and 4D printing, and virtual reality will dramatically change business and consumer transactions and will potentially transform the way trademark attorneys practice law.

“Given the accelerating rate of new technology, I suspect that trademark law will at times be ill-equipped to deal with new challenges and changing perceptions,” he suggested.

On a personal level, if there were a contest among trademark attorneys for one of the most interesting people in the field, Mr. Nahitchevansky would probably make the medal stand. He speaks three languages-English, French, and Russian-and he can litigate in two of them, English and French. He loves traveling, engaging with other cultures, walking in forests and mountains, skiing in remote vistas, and having the pleasure of random discoveries off the beaten path. In all, he has been to more than 100 countries.

The INTA volunteer also relates that he loves sharing experiences with friends and family, and engaging in discourse “on just about any subject matter given the right setting.” Evident of his zest, he noted: “Every day should be about seizing life-even if it only means reading a good book that day.”

When asked about his favorite trademark, Mr. Nahitchevansky picks that of a Roman shipping merchant from the 1st century AD in Ostia Antica, the harbor city of ancient Rome. The mark, which includes a ship with some labeling, remains to this day in a mosaic on the floor of what had been the merchant’s stall in the city’s market square-a testament to what had once been the site of vibrant commercial activity.

“Over the years I have worked on many trademark disputes that have involved well-known and sometimes lesser known marks,” he said, “and I can’t help but wonder which marks, like the shipping merchant’s mark, will remain as a testament to our period of time, 2,000 years from now.”

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.

© 2019 International Trademark Association