Volunteer Spotlight: Marie-Laure Bonnafous
Published: June 15, 2020
Chehrazade Chemcham Colgate-Palmolive Company Therwil, Switzerland INTA Bulletins Committee - Europe Subcommittee
Intellectual Property Manager, Global, at the fashion house Fendi, Marie-Laure Bonnaffous is a French native who relocated to Rome, Italy, in 2015 to join the company. This move gave her the opportunity to add Italian to the palette of foreign languages she loves to practice daily.
She studied law in France and specialized in intellectual property (IP) at the Queen Mary Institute, University of London. Before Fendi, Ms. Bonnaffous worked for Procter & Gamble and L’Oréal.
At Fendi, Ms. Bonnaffous focuses on all aspects of trademark law, including trademark clearance, prosecution, litigation, enforcement, and anticounterfeiting, as well transactional work.
When asked about the INTA project she has enjoyed working on most, she mentioned her participation in the anticounterfeiting memorandum of understanding between INTA and the Italian IP Office (UIBM) established about three years ago. She was impressed that the discussions between INTA (with the support of its Italian members) and the Italian authorities led to a practical partnership that continues to help companies like Fendi combat counterfeiting and raise awareness about the issue in Italy. This volunteer assignment allowed her to establish valuable contacts with the Italian law enforcement authorities and to organize regular trainings with the Italian IP community.
Ms. Bonnaffous considers the impact of digital technology on marketing and promotion of products and the speed at which companies’ assets are copied to be among the most important issues in trademark law today. One of her main challenges is how best to customize protection and enforcement strategies for a business that is about speed to market and creating fashion trends while leveraging social media.
For a new area for INTA to address, she recommended a review of how “all that is digital” is impacting trademark work and practice.
Among her hobbies, Ms. Bonnaffous has been taking Italian cooking classes and enjoys travel photography. She prefers not to name a favorite brand, explaining that she particularly likes brands that convey a strong history and identity, such as VESPA, FILA, SUZE, MIKADO, PIRELLI, and of course FENDI—brands that are core to an individual’s personal history and remind them of positive feelings.
She describes INTA as a “big community that travels and is in constant movement.” She values the professional friendships she has created over the years and said the Association provides a personal and intellectual gain that has concrete value and impact on one’s career.
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