Panelists at Trademark Administrators Brunch Tout Technology Tools

Published: July 1, 2019

Rosa Jimenez Wyndham Destinations, Inc. Orlando, Florida, USA

INTA’s Trademark Administrators (TMA) Committee in May hosted a highly engaging TMA Brunch at the 2019 Annual Meeting in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Trademark administrators and other professionals gathered at this popular networking event to learn how technological advances have revolutionized trademark searches, brand protection, docketing, and many other aspects of trademark practice.

The distinguished panel included Tina Powers (Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo LLP, USA), Sandra Mau (Clarivate, USA), Simon Baggs (Incopro, UK), and Grace Linker (Greenberg Traurig, USA). Speakers provided an overview of how technology has changed the work that trademark administrators do every day-including providing trademark professionals and other professionals with the ability to work remotely. Among other benefits, the panel noted the following advantages:

  • The ability to access online docketing software;
  • The ability to work with clients in different time zones, thus increasing efficiencies;
  • The availability of docketing software that helps create maps showing the locations and classes in which marks are registered;
  • The addition of color to maps, making it easier for the viewer to digest detailed information;
  • The availability of apps that allow users to make conferences calls, give presentations, or attend webinars remotely; and
  • The ability to access electronic files.

The panelists also provided recommendations for intellectual property (IP) departments of the future, including the creation of centralized IP environments for knowledge; document sharing to facilitate the flow of information; and updated and automated processes to enable collaboration and increase productivity.

Speakers agreed that performing clearance searches using design codes and entering key words can produce thousands of results-resulting in countless hours of research-which is neither time efficient nor cost effective. On the other hand, the use of artificial intelligence technology has enabled trademark administrators to narrow search results, and its continued evolution continues to impact trademark searching. In using such technology, the panelists emphasized the importance of ensuring that the chosen technological solution be both innovative and flexible for the job at hand.

Panelists noted that changes in technology have benefited trademark practice as a whole, providing better metrics for portfolio statistics and analysis, reducing overtime, linking multiple systems to eliminate redundant data entry, increasing staff retention, and allowing greater interaction across IP offices.

Recognition for Trademark Administrators

One of the goals of the International Projects Subcommittee is to elevate the role of trademark professionals who may not always gain the recognition they deserve. Often times, these professionals are relegated to the role of secretaries or assistants, although they carry out the same jobs as trademark administrators and trademark professionals.

With this in mind, the Trademark Administrators brunch concluded with a special tribute to the International Projects Subcommittee and its Co-Chair Susanne Ferstl (Maiwald Patentanwalts- und Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH, Germany). INTA President David Lossignol (Novartis Pharma AG, Switzerland) joined TMA Committee Chairs Jayne Durden (CPA Global, USA) and Deborah Brincat (Procter & Gamble, France) in recognizing Ms. Ferstl’s achievements.

Ms. Ferstl has organized three successful seminars in Germany and, under her leadership, the International Projects Subcommittee has hosted seminars in Austria, Costa Rica, and the United Kingdom. She is currently Co-Chair of the 2019 Trademark Administrators and Practitioners Meeting, which will take place September 15‒17, in Berlin, Germany.

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Trademark Administrators and Practitioners Meeting
September 15-17

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© 2019 International Trademark Association