What Do Clients Expect from Their IP Firms?—A Young Practitioners Roundtable in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Published: January 15, 2020

Antonella Balbo Universidad de Buenos Aires Universidad de Buenos Aires

Approximately 40 young brand professionals from local firms gathered in the heart of Buenos Aires, Argentina, on October 16, 2019, for a roundtable discussion titled “What do clients expect from their IP firms?”

The event was organized by the Young Practitioners Committee and co-hosted by INTA member firms Berton Moreno + Ojam, Gordó Llobell, Palacio & Asociados, and Quilmes AB InBev. It provided attendees with a mix of legal perceptivity, professional experience advice, practical tips, and fun; and was designed to encourage and guide young practitioners as they begin their careers in the trademark industry.

Being a Member of INTA

Mariel Chichisola (Berton Moreno + Ojam) opened the event, introducing INTA to the attendees and briefing them on the many opportunities of participating in the Association. She explained how contributing to INTA is beneficial both in terms of professional development and in gaining recognition within the wider intellectual property (IP) community. In addition, she emphasized that the Association is a valuable source of information covering the global IP industry.

Understanding the Client Perspective

Antonella Amoroso (Quilmes AB InBev) kicked off the roundtable discussion by emphasizing the importance of getting to know the client’s business as well as being truly involved in the brand’s development and its aspirations and challenges-and in doing so, uniting the firm and the client behind a common goal.

Echoing this sentiment, Matías Baretta (Club Atlético River Plate) noted that teamwork in IP matters is essential, serving as a foundation for a successful firm-client relationship. Speaking from the perspective of the client, Mr. Baretta explained how his “interest is mainly to know we both want the same thing, and we are both willing to give our best in getting it.” He also remarked on the fundamentals of honest legal attorney advice based on pursuing common aspirations, not only in terms of the law but also other areas of the business, such as marketing.

Esteban Amoia Podesta (Boca Juniors) stressed how, when speaking about your IP firm, your client should “feel you have a backup you can rely on when you’re in need, a process that is reached through trust and mutual agreement on specific matters, as we feel much more relaxed and strong doing our job knowing we have someone protecting our interests.”

The panelists representing brands were asked to describe the process to follow when the marketing department is negotiating new deals that impact the brand. All speakers agreed that effective and consistent communication between the client and firm is imperative. Julio Peña Estrada (Atlético River Plate) noted how successful deals require constant contact with both the marketing team and the external IP firms. “Even though sometimes we should count on them before and not after selling or buying, our IP firms are a key factor in what we do, and without effective communication, we wouldn’t be able to do our job this well,” he said.

This dialogue was followed by a casual discussion among the panelists about their varied professional experiences and their opinions on effective client-attorney relationships. They noted these should be based on common understanding and a shared willingness to show compromise, all of which sets a foundation for excellent results.

Advice for Young Practitioners

The closing discussion centered on a question posed to the panelists: “What would you advise someone who is beginning a career in the IP industry?”

Héctor Palacio (Palacio & Asociados), Ricardo Martín Gordó Llobell (Gordó Llobell), and Alberto Berton Moreno Jr. (Berton Moreno + Ojam) all agreed that hard work alone is not enough; it needs to be combined with passion and drive. They advised participants never to stop looking for that one thing that will make them feel happy and proud; and never to stay in their comfort zone. In an era of technological proliferation, IP is under constant innovation and change, and the same should be true for young IP practitioners, the speakers agreed.

The very rich advice of never staying put was one of the final messages of the roundtable, giving closure to an event full of encouragement and motivation on trademark rights, ensuring growth of IP knowledge within young practitioners.

Many thanks to all the roundtable panelists:

  • Antonella Amoroso
  • Esteban Amoia Podesta
  • Julio Peña Estrada
  • Matías Baretta
  • Héctor Palacio
  • Ricardo Martín Gordó Llobell
  • Alberto Berton Moreno Jr.

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.

© 2020 International Trademark Association