Community News

Volunteer Spotlight: Phil Cox

Published: November 10, 2021

Suzanna M. Morales Powley & Gibson, P.C. New York, New York, USA INTA Bulletins—North America Subcommittee

Phil Cox

Phil Cox  (USA)

Phil Cox, a self-employed business development coach for intellectual property (IP) attorneys (Maplewood, New Jersey, USA), first became involved with INTA as part of the sales team for Managing IP. He eventually became the magazine’s publisher and would later serve in the same role for World Intellectual Property Review.

Mr. Cox attended his first Annual Meeting in 2001 in San Francisco, California. During Annual Meetings in those early days, he describes himself as “one of those people selling advertising.” However, he also recalled making many positive connections with the attorneys he encountered. “If everyone’s as nice as this in this industry, then this is where I want to be,” he remembered thinking.

He now looks at more than a decade of extensive involvement in the Association as a volunteer and committee member. But, unlike the vast majority of INTA members, he is not an attorney. “I get to ask all the silly questions!” he said.

In his early days of attending Annual Meetings as a sales representative, he saw the potential for a publication covering the goings-on of the meetings. “The INTA Daily News was my brainchild,” he said, noting that he pitched the idea to the INTA leadership, and the first edition was circulated during the 2003 Annual Meeting in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Mr. Cox also has served on a number of committees since 2010, including the Leadership Development Committee and the Impact Studies Committee, and on the 2020 Annual Meeting Project Team. He currently serves on the Emerging Issues Committee. His most rewarding volunteer involvement at INTA was on the task force that blossomed into the Impact Studies Committee, which he chaired in the 2016‒2017 Committee Term. “It elevated research within INTA,” he said.

Through the Impact Studies Committee, Mr. Cox was able to be involved in a “huge body of work” consisting of studies in jurisdictions throughout the world. One of Mr. Cox’s favorite projects was a study of the economic impact of trademarks in Latin America. According to Mr. Cox, it enabled the Association to make inroads with governments in the region on trademark enforcement. “It allowed us to educate politicians on why they should make stronger trademark regulations,” he say.

In his current work on the Emerging Issues Committee, Mr. Cox has enjoyed working on a project focused on the idea of certification marks for so-called environmentally friendly products.

Mr. Cox said that he has learned a lot about trademark law through INTA and has been able to use the perspective and skill set from his sales and marketing background to benefit the Association. For example, while volunteering on an initiative to keep emeritus leaders involved in INTA, he added value to the conversation by employing his ability to analyze large data sets.

About 14 years ago, Mr. Cox shifted away from publishing into marketing consulting. Most of his clients were Latin American IP firms. He found that what he enjoyed the most about this business was walking his clients through the process of business development.

So, in 2018, he changed his business model to focus solely on coaching IP attorneys. “Nobody went into law to be salespeople,” Mr. Cox suggested. Yet, business development is an integral part of the practice of law. To bridge this gap, Mr. Cox teaches his clients skills like forming relationships through asking open-ended questions. “I see that I’m changing people’s lives,” he noted with pride.

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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