Trademark Practitioners Gain Expertise at 2019 TMAP Meeting in Berlin, Germany

Published: September 19, 2019

INTA’s Trademark Administrators and Practitioners Meeting (TMAP) is designed to equip paralegals, attorneys, and other professionals with the latest insights, tools, and skills on trademark and brand-related issues. More than 300 brand professionals from 66 countries participated in TMAP 2019, which took place from September 15 through 17, in the magnificent city of Berlin, Germany.

Before the start of the event, many registrants took the opportunity to discover the vibrant, historic metropolis with a tour that included such landmarks as the Brandenburg Gate, Checkpoint Charlie, and Potsdamer Platz.

INTA Past President Ronald Van Tuijl (JT International S.A., Switzerland) formally opened the meeting, noting the growing interest and participation in INTA events held in Europe. TMAP co-chairs Tracy Cooke (Electronic Arts Inc., USA) and Susanne Ferstl (Maiwald Patentanwalts- und Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH, Germany) next welcomed participants and set the stage for this two-day intensive dive into trademark tools and recent developments in the intellectual property (IP) arena.

Programming on day one began with, “Understanding the Brand Concept—What Can You Protect?,” in which presenters highlighted the specific elements of trademarks that can be safeguarded, and the different ways marks are protected across various jurisidictions.

Participants at a session titled “Meet Your IP Office Up Close” were treated to lively discussions among IP offices, including the German Patent and Trademark Office (DPMA), the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), and the World Intellectual Property Organization. Registrants learned about the latest developments and news in each of these offices.

Christian Posselt (DPMA) briefed registrants on the latest news from the German Office. Next Sven Stürmann (EUIPO) provided a list of common mistakes made by the users of the EUIPO application system, offering humor, tips, and even his phone number, just in case something was not clear enough.

During “AI Is Taking Over the World. Is It Going to Take Over My Job?,” a session on the subject of artificial intelligence (AI) in the trademark space, Priscilla Gomez (Microsoft Corporation, USA) and Tiffany Valeriano (Corsearch, USA) assured participants that big data, AI, and machine learning are tools to help trademark practitioners—not replace them.

The day concluded with an entertaining presentation by “The Dream Team,” Mark McVicar (Winkler Partners, Taiwan), Kristen Merker (Netflix, Inc., USA), and Gary Wengrofsky (Charter Communications, USA). Together, they demonstrated the importance of leading and creating the right group for accomplishing a particular purpose.

After a busy first day, participants came together for a “Dine-Around” event, visiting numerous restaurants around Berlin.

Day two brought informative discussions by Josuah Mandell (Rouse, China), Daniela Rojas (Pirkey Barber PLLC, USA), and Iván Sempere (Padima, Spain) on nontraditional trademarks, with practical tips on how to protect them in different jurisdictions, including Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the United States.

Later that afternoon, Deborah Brincat (Procter & Gamble France SAS, France) led a fascinating discussion on the role of trademark administrators, genuine use, defense of trademarks, and the most up-to-date information on Brexit.

The meeting concluded with a farewell reception in the Exhibition Hall, where registrants congratulated the co-chairs and the Project Team for organizing this highly engaging, informative program.

TMAP 2020 will take place on October 4-6 in Arlington, Virginia, USA. Click here to learn more about INTA’s 2020 educational programs and events.

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