WTR Industry Awards 2023: shortlisted teams and individuals unveiled

WTR is pleased to reveal the shortlist for the 2023 WTR Industry Awards. This year’s nominees include the corporate teams from Apple, Entertainment One, Haleon, Manolo Blahnik, Mercado Libre, Treasury Wines Estates and Volkswagen Group.

The awards are designed to recognise the vitally important work carried out by in-house trademark counsel and to identify those teams and individuals that are performing their functions to the highest possible standards.

The shortlist of nominees is compiled after three months of extensive research. During that time, WTR surveys the global trademark community to encourage nominations. The received recommendations are then analysed and supplemented by additional research to draw up a detailed shortlist featuring a number of outstanding candidates in each category. The shortlist has been selected based on a wide range of criteria, including:

  • active trademark prosecution and/or enforcement;
  • successful portfolio exploitation;
  • strong industry or regional expertise;
  • a global attitude towards brand expansion and protection; and
  • the quality of internal organisation and in-house processes.

The full shortlist is below.

The nominees for In-house Leader of the Year 2023 are:

  • Bence Bozoki, Mars Incorporated;
  • Ali Buttars, Netflix;
  • Christopher Parent, Johnson Controls;
  • Austin Phillips, Meta; and
  • Kimiya Shams, Devialet.

The winner of each award will be announced at an exclusive private reception in Singapore in May. However, as is tradition, one award winner is announced in advance of the ceremony.

Lifetime Achievement Award

The recipient of this year’s 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, just before it changed its name from the US Trademark Association to the International Trademark Association. In the time since, he 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.

Before joining INTA, Bruce specialised in international business development, strategic planning and government relations with consulting firm InterMatrix. Prior to that, he served on the corporate staff of Combustion Engineering Inc. His career began in Washington DC, focusing on international trade and business affairs for US Congressman John B Anderson and, later, for US Senator Charles Percy.

Awards ceremony

The remaining winners will be announced in Singapore. WTR would like to thank the following sponsors of the 2023 WTR Industry Awards: Alibaba; CMS; Cooley; Daniel IP; Fish & Richardson; Grunecker; Haynes & Boones; IPLA LLP; Locke Lord; Mayer Brown; Morgan, Lewis & Bockius; Rouse; SeedIP; Venable; and ZMP.

Proceeds of the ceremony will go towards supporting the Swawou School for Girls in Sierra Leone. Swawou Layout Community Primary School for Girls was set up in 2008 to offer a free quality education to girls from the Swawou community of Kenema town, eastern Sierra Leone. The school provides a nurturing and safe place to learn, where the girls have the support and encouragement that they need to stay in education. WTR’s parent company, Law Business Research, is the major financial supporter of the school.

2023 shortlist

Asia-Pacific Team of the Year

  • ASICS Corporation
  • Bilibili
  • Lazada
  • Mengniu Group
  • UPL

Europe, Middle East and Africa Team of the Year

  • Deutsche Telekom
  • Fédération internationale de Football Association (FIFA)
  • H&M
  • Jaguar Land Rover
  • Manchester United Football Club

Latin America Team of the Year

  • Assaí Atacadista
  • Grupo Bimbo
  • Grupo Modelo
  • Mercado Libre
  • PepsiCo

North America Team of the Year

  • Mars Incorporated
  • NBCUniversal Media
  • New Balance
  • Phillips 66
  • The Dow Chemical Company

Fashion, Cosmetics and Luxury Goods Team of the Year

  • adidas
  • Christian Louboutin
  • Louis Vuitton Malletier
  • Manolo Blahnik
  • Ralph Lauren

Financial and Professional Services Team of the Year

  • Access Bank
  • American Express
  • Mastercard
  • Royal Bank of Canada
  • Standard Chartered Bank

Food, Beverages and Tobacco Team of the Year

  • Nestlé
  • Philip Morris International
  • The Coca-Cola Company
  • Treasury Wine Estates
  • YUM! Brands

Healthcare and Life Sciences Team of the Year

  • Abbott Laboratories
  • Gilead Sciences
  • Haleon
  • Merck & Co
  • Novartis

Household and Consumer Goods Team of the Year

  • 3M
  • Dabur India
  • IKEA
  • Kimberly-Clark Corporation
  • Mattel

Internet and Telecommunications Team of the Year

  • Charter Communications
  • Google
  • Maxis Communications
  • Verizon
  • Zoom Video Communications

Not-for-Profit Organisation Team of the Year

  • American Cancer Society
  • Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry
  • International Committee of the Red Cross
  • Pharmaceutical Security Institute
  • Scotch Whisky Association

Retail Team of the Year

  • Coupang
  • Specsavers
  • Starbucks Corporation
  • The LEGO Group
  • Woolworths Group

Software and Online Services Team of the Year

  • Amazon.com
  • ByteDance
  • Meta
  • Spotify
  • Tencent

Sports, Entertainment and Media Team of the Year

  • Entertainment One
  • HYBE Corporation
  • Netflix
  • The Walt Disney Company
  • World Wrestling Entertainment Inc

Technology and Consumer Electronics Team of the Year

  • Apple
  • Canon
  • Microsoft Corporation
  • Peloton
  • Western Digital

Travel and Leisure Team of the Year

  • Airbnb Inc
  • Delta Air Lines
  • Hilton Worldwide
  • InterContinental Hotels Group
  • Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Inc


Vehicles and Transport Team of the Year

  • Ford Motor Company
  • Rivian Automotive
  • Škoda Auto
  • Tesla
  • Volkswagen Group

In-house Leader of the Year

  • Ali Buttars, Netflix
  • Austin Phillips, Meta
  • Bence Bozoki, Mars Incorporated
  • Christopher Parent, Johnson Controls
  • Kimiya Shams, Devialet

Lifetime Achievement Award

  • Bruce J MacPherson

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