WTR award winners revealed: industry elite celebrates in Singapore

Corporate trademark excellence has been celebrated at Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay, with the winners of this year’s WTR Industry Awards announced at an exclusive champagne reception. Among those honoured were teams from Grupo Bimbo, Haleon, Mars, Treasury Wine Estates and Zoom.

Launched in 2007, the WTR Industry Awards recognise the vitally important work carried out by in-house trademark counsel and identify those that are performing their functions to the highest possible standards. As well as recognising trademark teams in key industries, two individual awards are presented each year.

This year’s In-house Leader of the Year Award goes to Austin Phillips, associate general counsel, brands and marketing at Meta. Described by nominees as “a phenomenal in-house trademark attorney, as well as an exceptional leader”, Phillips manages a heavy workload, overseeing valuable trademark portfolios and leading large-scale global enforcement efforts for Meta’s most valuable brands. On top of this, he also finds time to engage in community and advocacy work. Active in INTA and other organisations, nominees praised him for being highly involved in the advancement of diversity, equity and inclusion in the IP industry, engaging in “meaningful educational programming and community building”.

The recipient of this year’s other individual award, the Lifetime Achievement Award, is Bruce J MacPherson. Bruce recently retired from INTA, where he served as chief policy officer for 30 years. In that role, he was responsible for developing the association’s worldwide presence in order to increase its impact on issues affecting trademarks and related rights. He joined INTA in 1993 and, in the time since, has supported the association’s growth by working closely with its volunteer members to identify issues, formulating association policies and devising strategies and programmes to increase protection for the rights of brand owners.

WTR congratulates the award winners and all of the shortlisted teams and individuals. Thanks also to our sponsors for all their assistance in hosting such a memorable event, proceeds of which will go towards supporting the Swawou School for Girls in Sierra Leone. The school was set up in 2008 to offer a free, quality education to girls from the Swawou community of Kenema town, eastern Sierra Leone. WTR’s parent company, Law Business Research, is the major financial supporter of the school.

We will be running a series of profiles and interviews with this year’s award winners on the WTR platform in the coming weeks. In the meantime, the 2023 winners in full are:

Asia-Pacific Team of the Year

Mengniu Group

Europe, Middle East and Africa Team of the Year

Manchester United Football Club

Latin America Team of the Year

Grupo Bimbo

North America Team of the Year

Mars Incorporated

Fashion, Cosmetics and Luxury Goods Team of the Year

Christian Louboutin

Financial and Professional Services Team of the Year

Standard Chartered Bank

Food, Beverages and Tobacco Team of the Year

Treasury Wine Estates

Healthcare and Life Sciences Team of the Year


Household and Consumer Goods Team of the Year

Dabur India

Internet and Telecommunications Team of the Year


Not-for-Profit Organisation Team of the Year

Scotch Whisky Association

Retail Team of the Year

Starbucks Corporation

Software and Online Services Team of the Year


Sports, Entertainment and Media Team of the Year


Technology and Consumer Electronics Team of the Year


Travel and Leisure Team of the Year

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Inc

Vehicles and Transport Team of the Year

Škoda Auto

In-house Leader of the Year

Austin Phillips, Meta

Lifetime Achievement Award

Bruce J MacPherson

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