“Ruthlessly prioritise”: trademark management tips from Facebook

The winner of this year’s WTR Industry Award for Software and Online Services Team of the Year was Facebook. The company’s director and associate general counsel, intellectual property, explains how the team keeps up with the company’s continued expansion into new tech sectors.

For the trademark team at Facebook, in addition to keeping up to date with the latest legal developments worldwide and ensuring that the company’s brands – which include Instagram, Oculus VR and WhatsApp – are protected globally, an inward-looking perspective is critical to success. “One of the biggest challenges for us has always been keeping up with the fast pace of change at our company,” explains Kat Johnston, director and associate general counsel, intellectual property. “For example, we did a comprehensive review and update of the scope of goods and services across all of our business units, making sure everything is consistent and forward looking, which resulted in a master list of hundreds of items. One of the important results of that project is a calibrated plan for certain areas of technology where we need to be advocating for the advancement and technological sophistication of language accepted by trademark offices around the world.”

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