Dismantling unconscious biases, practising intentional diversity, making the business case for intellectual property, and much more

Everything we covered on WTR over the past seven days – and all you need to know from the world of trademarks to set yourself up for the start of another busy week.

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Top stories

This week, we reached out to the IP mavens flying the flag for diversity and inclusion in the legal profession. In the first of a series of articles to appear in an upcoming WTR piece on the topic, Myrtha Hurtado Rivas, head of global trademarks and domain names for Novartis International AG, reflected on the diversity challenges that she has faced throughout her career. She also conducted an informal poll on the importance of gender equality in the industry today. Of the 99 female IP professionals to respond to the survey, 75% agreed that it is difficult to take action in favour of reaching gender equality, suggesting that there is still a lot of work to do to right the imbalance. (Read more) “Inclusion is a personal matter and depends on each and every one of us acting inclusively and speaking up when witnessing non-inclusive behaviour,” Hurtado Rivas argued – a sentiment that was echoed by Debra Hughes, assistant general counsel at the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. “The power of diversity is what happens when the lights are off, when there is no podium or conference room, or CLE credits offered,” Hughes stated. As such, practice leaders need to practise intentional diversity in a personal way. Despite progress being made through affinity groups, diversity committees and employee programmes, “diversity efforts are best when practised through purposeful, routine and intimate interactions”, and Hughes provided a number of practical examples. (Read more)

Elsewhere, Haydn Evans, executive vice president, strategy at CPA Global, outlined the key arguments for IP practitioners to put forward in a bid to help boards make well-informed choices around the value of intellectual property. With more and more companies looking to cut costs while maintaining a competitive advantage, it has never been more important for brand professionals to convince the highest levels of decision making that trademarks are crucial to business success. (Read more)

Headline news

On Tuesday, WTR sat down with the managing director of the Trademark Owners Association, to get more on the decision to revive the TMOA name and what the future holds for the legal services brand. (Read more)

Manchester United targeting Football Manager, Alibaba’s cooperation call and a rise in new gTLD use were among the stories in our first news digest of the week. (Read more)

We took a closer look at the data behind the UK Intellectual Property Office’s newly published 2019 Facts and Figures Report, which reveals a notable increase in trademark filings, as well as a growth in activity from US and Chinese rights holders. (Read more)

With INTA confirming that its 2020 Annual Meeting will be a virtual event, we reached out to the law firms and service providers currently deciding whether to host their networking receptions online. (Read more)

In the latest IP office responses to the covid-19 pandemic, we reported that the USPTO has announced further relief for certain fees and deadlines, while the IP Office of the Philippines has confirmed that its mediation service will resume “with renewed vigour”. (Read more)

In an exclusive guest post, Christian W Liedtke, partner at acuminis and co-author of an amicus brief submitted by INTA seeking en banc review of the US Court of Appeals’ decision in VIP Products LLC v Jack Daniel’s Properties Inc, warned that the ruling could open the floodgates to widespread theft of goodwill under the guise of the First Amendment. (Read more)

We asked WIPO how its new digital fingerprint service, WIPO PROOF, will help trademark professionals. (Read more)

Our Friday news round-up saw Robert De Niro’s USPTO petition to mask his address granted, Verizon prevailing in covid-19-related UDRP proceedings, a number of Facebook scams exposed, and much more. (Read more)

We considered how popular dating apps have been able to capitalise on lockdowns, strengthening consumer connections and taking the opportunity to reinvent the online dating landscape. (Read more)

We also presented the key takeaways of a new report by Red Points, which reveals that with more shoppers turning to e-commerce, a rise in online counterfeiting has affected brand reputations. (Read more)

After the USPTO warned users about “new kinds of solicitations” involving communications via email and text message, we investigated one recent example involving texts claiming to be a ‘USPTO Trademark Alert’. (Read more)

“From the WTR archive” presented a selection of pieces on the various service offerings available to trademark counsel, with tips on selecting the best tech tools to use – and when. (Read more)

Legal updates and international reports

Plus, we published eight legal updates and four international reports examining key trademark decisions and developments from around the globe:

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