Young Practitioners Committee: Area Professionals Gather in Dubai to Discuss Opportunities

Published: March 1, 2019

Rachel Armstrong CMS (UAE) LLP, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

More than 40 young intellectual property (IP) practitioners from multiple local firms gathered at the Dubai, United Arab Emirates, office of Al Tamimi & Co. on December 9 for a networking and educational event focused on opportunities in the global world of IP for young professionals.

The INTA event, co-hosted by Abu-Ghazaleh Intellectual Property, Al Tamimi & Co, Rouse & Co., Saba IP, and United Trademark and Patent Services, all located in Dubai, was a perfect balance of legal insight, practical tips, and fun. The attendees were even treated to a closing speech by 2018 INTA President Tish Berard (Velcro Group Corporation, USA), who expressed her delight at seeing so many young practitioners in attendance and their keen interest in INTA and its international network.

What Can INTA Do for You and What Can You Do for INTA?
Jan Gerd Mietzel, chair of INTA’s Young Practitioners Committee, and Carolina Calheiros, co-chair of the Committee’s Events Subcommittee (both of Rolim, Mietzel, Wohlnick & Calheiros LLP, Germany), kicked off the introductory session with a brief overview of INTA. Their overall message: INTA is much more than just the Annual Meeting and offers many opportunities for young professionals to get involved and contribute throughout the year. They encouraged attendees to put themselves forward for INTA committee positions when the application process opens in June 2019.

Another way young professionals can get involved is through the Tomorrow’s Leader Award, which can help young practitioners gain recognition. One of the 2018 award winners, Gaurav Bhalla (ALG India Law Offices LLP, India), who attended the event as a panelist, received complimentary registration to the 2018 Leadership Meeting, where he had the chance to network with other professionals and clients. He also gained recognition for himself and his firm due to publication of the award winners on several INTA communications channels, including the INTA Bulletin.

Overview of Trademark Registration in Several Regions
Following the opening sessions on INTA, Kristin Altoff (Morgan Lewis, USA) provided attendees with an overview of the U.S. trademark process. Her key takeaway point was “use is king in the U.S.,” and, since all declarations regarding use are made under oath, practitioners need to be sure that a client is using, or intends to use the trademark for all goods/services covered to avert the application from being void.

Turning to the European Union, Mr. Mietzel and Ms. Calheiros provided an overview of the EU Trademark (EUTM) System, including contrasting the EUTM and U.S. applications.

Advice for Young Professionals
Next, a roundtable on the challenges and opportunities faced by young professionals in the realm of IP provided the perfect opportunity for the attendees to learn from more experienced professionals.

Dima Naber (Abu-Ghazaleh Intellectual Property, UAE) expertly moderated the session and asked the panelists questions that attendees had submitted in advance. The panel consisted of Mr. Bhalla; Omar Obeidat (Al Tamimi & Co., UAE); Aditya Verma (OSN, UAE); Raed Al-Hout (Office of the U.S. Patent and Trademark-the Middle East and North Africa, UAE); and Mohamed Al Hemairy (University of Sharjah, UAE).

Two questions that generated an in-depth discussion were “What can young professionals do to get exposure to clients and start to foster their own client relationships?” and “How should young professionals go about getting a mentor?”

On the first point, the panelists agreed that having confidence in your own voice is important to stand out in your firm. Sharing a concrete example, Mr. Verma said that when he started out, he made sure to learn more about the firm’s clients, then used this information to identify topics of interest and to write articles that offered insight on a particular client’s sector.

A takeaway message from the second discussion was, do not wait for someone to volunteer to be your mentor. Be an excellent practitioner, prove your enthusiasm and talent, and then approach a potential mentor, outlining the purpose and benefit of a mentoring relationship.

Closing the event, an “Intellectual Property Game Show,” prepared by Talal Khan (United Trademark and Patent Services), covered a broad range of IP topics and sparked the competitive spirit of the attendees. It was the perfect way to end an informative and enjoyable afternoon and left the young professionals of the UAE looking forward to the next event!

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