Volunteer Spotlight: Peter Brody

Published: December 1, 2018

Brian J. Focarino Cooley LLP Boston, Massachusetts, USA

An INTA member since the early 1990s, Peter Brody (Ropes & Gray, USA) has been actively involved in the Legislation and Regulation Committee, currently serving as the Chair of the Committee’s United States Subcommittee, and is a member of the North American Global Advisory Council. Previously, he served on the Geographical Indications Committee.

Despite his active involvement with INTA today, Mr. Brody did not initially start out as a “trademark guy.” “I joined Ropes in 1989 as a lateral general litigation associate and had a broadly focused litigation practice at the time,” he recalls. “Pretty quickly, I began doing trademark work for some of our clients, and over time my practice took on more of an intellectual property focus.”

Mr. Brody heard about INTA-then known as the U.S. Trademark Association-in the 1990s, when clients and colleagues began asking if he was planning to attend upcoming meetings. He took the cue and joined. “From the beginning I found the programming useful and fascinating; and the networking was great. The organization was clearly sophisticated, and I felt I could grow as a practitioner within it,” he says. He started writing articles for The Trademark Reporter, which he says became a valuable outlet for him to explore various areas and interests in the law.

Even back then, INTA was a large and popular organization, so Mr. Brody looked for ways to become more involved and get to know people better. “A committee is a community where you have an opportunity to develop and sustain a personal relationship with individuals and practitioners who have shared interests,” Mr. Brody says. Even more so than many other professional organizations he’s been a part of, Mr. Brody values INTA because the Association expects its members and committees to contribute meaningfully to different areas of trademark law. For example, Mr. Brody contributed substantially to the Legislation and Regulation Committee’s work that resulted in INTA’s Board of Directors resolving in favor of U.S. legislative reform of the injunctive remedy provisions of the Lanham Act-reform that Mr. Brody is helping the INTA Government Relations team to drive on Capitol Hill. “This would be a huge achievement for INTA, allowing the organization to improve actual law in the trademark space in a way that is fair for all sides and makes sense,” he says.

So what advice does Mr. Brody have for more junior practitioners looking to get involved with INTA, or who hope to advocate within their organizations for the ability to attend meetings? “I tell younger colleagues they should absolutely get involved because it’s a great networking opportunity, and a chance to meet interesting, like-minded people from around the world. Particularly if there are not many other trademark practitioners at your firm, as there weren’t when I started out, it’s enormously valuable,” he says. Mr. Brody advocates for INTA involvement within his own firm and encourages others to do the same, noting: “Law firms and other organizations shouldn’t lose sight of the benefits of having younger lawyers join meaningful organizations, and that commitment needs to come from a firm management level and from a practice group management level.”

After three decades of involvement with INTA, Mr. Brody is still excited and challenged by his volunteer work within the organization and looking to the future. His committee involvement has changed over time but has morphed with his practice to reflect evolving interests, clients, and skills. “From a professional growth standpoint, the organization is just so important. Outside my own practice and firm, volunteering helps me remain connected to the broader trademark community,” he says.

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© 2018 International Trademark Association