WTR Industry Awards 2018: winning trademark teams and individuals announced

Following last night's exclusive champagne reception and presentations at the Seattle Art Museum, World Trademark Review is delighted to reveal the winners at this year’s WTR Industry Awards. Among those honoured were teams and professionals from Apple, Amazon, Expedia, Google, Harley-Davidson, Netflix, Sandoz International, Superdry and Velcro Companies.

Now in their twelfth year, the awards recognise the vitally important work carried out by in-house trademark counsel and identify those teams and individuals that are performing their functions to the highest possible standards. In addition to the team-based awards, two awards are bestowed on individuals.

Elena M Grimme, assistant general counsel and head of the trademark group at Microsoft, picked up the award for In-House Counsel of the Year. Responsible for the company’s worldwide global portfolio, Grimme oversees all the clearance, prosecution and enforcement work related to brands such as Microsoft, Windows, Xbox, Skype and Minecraft, and also drives the company’s trademark policy efforts around the world. Described as “a tremendous trademark lawyer, manager and industry leader”, she operates at the cutting edge of trademark practice, where legal, technology and creative demands intersect, often requiring an inventive approach to trademark practice.

This year’s Lifetime Achievement recipient is J Thomas McCarthy, senior professor at the University of San Francisco School of Law and founding director of the McCarthy Institute of Intellectual Property and Technology Law. McCarthy has practised, written and taught in the field of trademarks and unfair competition for over 50 years and is the author of the seven-volume Trademarks and Unfair Competition. Now in its fifth edition, the treatise has been in print for 45 years and has been cited as authority in over 5,000 judicial decisions, including 13 US Supreme Court cases. He was unable to join us for the ceremony but will be presented the award in person next month, when the World Trademark Team is in San Francisco for IPBC Global.  

World Trademark Review congratulates both the award winners and the shortlisted teams and individuals. Thanks also to our sponsors for all their assistance in hosting such a memorable event.

For photos and reactions from the event, search for the hashtag #WTRAwards on Twitter. In the coming weeks we will be running a series of profiles and interviews with the winners on the World Trademark Review website.

The winners in full are:

Asia-Pacific Team of the Year

New Balance

Europe, Middle East and Africa Team of the Year


Latin America Team of the Year

Grupo Televisa

North America Team of the Year


Fashion, Cosmetics and Luxury Goods Team of the Year


Financial and Professional Services Team of the Year


Food, Beverages and Tobacco Team of the Year

Lindt & Sprüngli AG

Healthcare and Life Sciences Team of the Year

Sandoz International

Household and Consumer Goods Team of the Year

Velcro Companies

Internet and Telecommunications Team of the Year


Not-for-Profit Organisation Team of the Year

Rotary International

Retail Team of the Year


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


Vehicles and Transport Team of the Year

American Airlines

In-house Counsel of the Year

Elena M Grimme, Microsoft

Lifetime Achievement Award:

J Thomas McCarthy

We’ll have a gallery of photos from the event on the WTR Industry Awards website later this week.

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