Community News

Volunteer Spotlight: Nicola Benz

Published: June 9, 2021

Timothy J. Lockhart Willcox & Savage P.C. Norfolk, Virginia, USA INTA Bulletins—North America Subcommittee

Nicola Benz

Nicola Benz, Froriep Legal AG, Zurich, Switzerland

Nicola Benz, chair of the Best Practices Subcommittee of the Data Protection Committee, really enjoys the teamwork within her Committee. “We have such a great group of active Committee members that it is a joy to lead them,” she exclaimed.

Data protection and other Internet issues are Ms. Benz’s focus both at INTA and at her job as managing partner at Froriep Legal AG, Zurich, Switzerland. For her, one of the most important issues in trademark law today is the lack of access to the WHOIS database of domain names, which she says is making it very hard for trademark owners to enforce their rights in the online space.

“This creeping but highly effective removal of those rights in what has become such an important place for brands to do business is something that I believe needs to be more widely known and talked about,” she said, noting that INTA does a great job of advocating against this loss of rights and “deserves all of our support in that effort.”

Ms. Benz also highlights another area where INTA’s efforts have stood out for her: helping to build and maintain a network of fellow brand professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The virtual 2020 Annual Meeting & Leadership Meeting was an impressive response from INTA to a really difficult situation, organized in a very short space of time,” she said. “The sessions and activities made it possible to meet new people whose paths I might never have crossed in a traditional, in-person meeting.”

At Froriep, Ms. Benz spends a good portion of her day on management and leadership tasks, particularly as her firm is in the process of merging with another “strongly independent” Swiss law firm, Meyerlustenberger Lachenal. Her work for clients is split between IT and data protection issues on the one hand and intellectual property transactions on the other.

Outside of work, Ms. Benz loves cooking for her family, being outdoors, and reading great stories. Her favorite trademarks are those of her clients. “I feel a surge of pride,” she said, “every time I come across a trademark in everyday life that I have helped to look after in some small way.”

Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of this article, readers are urged to check independently on matters of specific concern or interest. 

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