Vehicles and Transport Team of the Year: American Airlines

L-R: Lester Gibson (American Airlines), Olof Fickert (Balder), Donald Broadfield Jr (American Airlines) and Carlos Pires (Balder)

American Airlines, together with its affiliates, serves 357 destinations in 56 territories worldwide. Reflecting its global presence, it also owns a significant IP portfolio, which requires canny management. Based in the Fort Worth HQ, Donald Broadfield Jr – the airline giant’s chief IP and data counsel – is tasked with leading that effort.

Broadfield has long held a dual role. Joining the company in 2003, he served as IP and antitrust counsel before taking on the responsibility of data – a key IP asset for the company. Broadfield’s broad remit therefore allows for a more comprehensive rights management approach. Speaking to Profile Magazine last year, he explained: “Data is created by American Airlines every second of every day. We are not talking about the personally identifiable information of an individual. We’re talking about commercial data – goods, services, and our offerings – which is ours and vital to us. So, we take actions to protect it.”

As for the trademarks overseen by the legal department, in addition to the flagship brand, the company operates frequent flyer programme AAdvantage (which boasts around 100 million members) and subsidiary carriers Envoy Air, Piedmont Airlines and PSA Airlines. As such, the team manages an impressive portfolio of trademarks across the globe and deserves credit for what one nominator described as its “outstanding oversight of all aspects of the prosecution and enforcement work related to the company’s trademark rights”.

American Airlines was recognised as the 2017 Airline of the Year by both Global Traveler and Air Transport World. It was also named as the world’s most valuable airline brand in the most recent Brand Finance Global 500. Now, the company can add the WTR Industry Award for Vehicles and Transport Team of the Year to its list of accolades.


Other nominees:
  • BMW

  • Daimler AG

  • Harley–Davidson

  • Jaguar Land Rover

Unlock unlimited access to all WTR content