Executive summary

Building brand portfolios – an introduction

Analysis of who owns the largest trademark portfolios in China, Europe and the United States provides critical insight into the approach taken by those at the top.

The US Trademark 50

The owners of the 50 largest US trademark portfolios collectively held 58,811 active assets in 2020. Together these entities filed 5,557 applications over the course of the year, down 4% from the previous year.

The Europe Trademark 50

The top 50 owners of the largest active European trademark portfolios together filed 15% fewer marks last year than they did the year before, dropping from 11,427 applications down to 9,902.

The China Trademark 50

Tencent owns the largest number of active Chinese trademarks with a portfolio of 37,205 applications. This is nearly 15,000 more than second-place Beijing Jingdong Triple Bai Lu Pick Up of E-commerce Limited.

Brand building in the cannabis industry

The North American cannabis market – while still in its early days – has changed a lot in the past few years. Canada legalised recreational use of the drug in 2018 and to date 16 US states have fully legalised marijuana use (36 allow it for medical purposes).

Structuring trademark operations – an introduction

Behind every brand portfolio is a trademark team tasked with creating, protecting and monetising these crucial assets.

Doing more with less: the new sustained reality facing corporate trademark professionals

This year’s Global Trademark Benchmarking Survey reveals how stretched budgets at in-house trademark departments have hit law firm relationships – and how the covid-19 pandemic has shaped corporate brand strategies for most IP professionals.

From the WTR archive: how Ford’s brand protection team became a profit centre with 300% ROI

In September 2017 WTR sat down with Angela Chen, former brand protection manager, Asia-Pacific, at Ford. In this leadership role, she positioned the department as a revenue generator and, in the first nine months of 2017, returned five times cost. In this reproduced piece, she told us how.

ROI on trademark operations: the Verizon perspective

Patrick Flaherty, senior managing associate general counsel, marketing, IP and digital media law and policy at Verizon, explains how ROI at the multinational telecoms conglomerate is baked into its enforcement approach, where it is characterised as a long-term saving.

Becoming a trusted adviser: how Vodafone’s lead counsel approaches internal bridge-building

No IP department is an island and it is critical that in-house teams cultivate productive and meaningful relationships with non-legal internal stakeholders. Vodafone's Natasza Shilling provides insight into her approach.

Managing global portfolios: practical tips from brand legal experts at Novartis

Successful brand building leads to portfolios that require careful management. Novartis’ Svetlana Korzhin and David Lossignol share what has worked for them.

Team matters – an introduction

The previous sections of this report have focused on how to build portfolios and structure operations in order to optimise brand creation and protection activities.

How to recruit, develop and motivate trademark talent

A team’s success is rooted in its talent. Daniel Zohny, head of intellectual property at FIFA, provides an insider view on how to recruit and motivate a stellar roster of trademark experts.

Diversity and inclusion: moving the needle together

Facebook's Mike Yaghmai and Dennis Wilson of Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton, explain why and how the two organisations have partnered up to facilitate faster change towards diversity and inclusion in the legal sector.

In-house insight: Nestlé USA Inc

In late March 2021 WTR sat down with Christa Cole, head of legal brand development, enforcement and licensing at Nestlé USA Inc, to hear how a three-person team manages the company’s highest-grossing portfolio and relationships with stakeholders from across the enterprise.

In-house insight: Christian Louboutin

Christian Louboutin group general counsel Xavier Ragot exclusively reveals how the legal department at one of the world’s most famous luxury brands has spent the past decade improving education and awareness in the IP space to fight counterfeiting and protect its iconic red-sole mark.