WTR Industry Awards: the 2020 shortlisted teams and individuals unveiled

WTR is pleased to reveal the shortlist for the 2020 WTR Industry Awards. Among the corporate teams featured on this year’s shortlist are those from 3M, Boardriders, Expedia, Harley-Davidson, Havells Group, Mars, Mattel, Netflix, Samsung and Verizon.

The shortlist is traditionally announced in April, with the winners announced at a private champagne reception which takes place during the INTA Annual Meeting in May. Of course, this year is somewhat different and, given the current covid-19 pandemic, in February INTA made the difficult (but right) call to postpone the gathering until later this year. That means that, while we have plans in place for every eventuality, at present we are unable to confirm exactly when the winners will be unveiled. However, we felt it important to maintain the traditional shortlist reveal timing. Current conditions make it doubly important to shine the light on the stellar work being undertaken by the corporate trademark community. Reflecting on the shortlist, and indeed the many nominations that we received, one thing is for certain – during this time of crisis, companies across the globe are currently able to call upon a community of resilient, adaptable and innovative brand stewards.

The list of nominees is the result of four months of extensive research, with WTR surveying the global trademark community for nominations across key industry categories. The shortlist has been selected on the basis of a wide range of criteria, such as active prosecution and/or enforcement of trademarks; successful portfolio exploitation; strong industry/regional expertise; global attitude towards brand expansion and protection; and quality of internal organisation and in-house processes. The focus was work undertaken across 2019.

As well as the team awards, there are two individual accolades. The first is for In-house Leader of the Year, and the nominees are Netflix’s Ali Buttars, Microsoft’s Cam Gatta, Qing (Alan) Liu of Johnson & Johnson, David Modzeleski of Discovery Inc, and Boardriders’ Lesley Skipp.

The second individual award is the only one that we traditionally unveil the winner of in advance. The recipient of this year’s Lifetime Achievement award is Mary Boney Denison, who retired from her position as USPTO commissioner for trademarks at the end of 2019.

Before joining the office, Denison was a founding partner of Manelli Denison & Selter, practising in trademark prosecution and litigation, before becoming a partner at Graham & James, where she practised for 10 years. She was a member of the INTA board of directors for three years and served another three-year term on the USPTO Trademark Public Advisory Committee. In 2011 she joined the USPTO as deputy commissioner for trademark operations, where she was responsible for trademark application, legal examination and registration processes. She became trademark commissioner for the office on 1 January 2015 – a role that required oversight of all aspects of the trademarks organisation, including policy, operations and budget relating to trademark examination, registration and maintenance. At the USPTO she initiated several projects to enhance and expand internal and external communications, as well as employee career development. She also spearheaded efforts to move towards implementing mandatory electronic filing for trademarks, decluttering the register, updating IT systems and enhancing the customer experience.

The full list of winners will be revealed later this year at a location to be announced. While we can’t provide more clarity than that at present, there is one thing we are able to confirm. It will be quite the celebration!

The 2020 shortlist in full:

Asia-Pacific Team of the Year

  • Alibaba
  • Havells Group
  • Unilever
  • JD.com
  • L Brands

Europe, Middle East and Africa Team of the Year

  • Lindt
  • Jaguar Land Rover
  • Daniel Wellington
  • IKEA
  • Lego

Latin America Team of the Year

  • Carnot Laboratorios
  • Grupo Bimbo
  • Grupo Boticário
  • Grupo Globo
  • BRF

North America Team of the Year

  • Nestlé
  • Microsoft Corporation
  • Apple
  • Discovery Inc
  • New Balance

Fashion, Cosmetics and Luxury Goods Team of the Year

  • Boardriders
  • Crocs
  • Louis Vuitton
  • Tommy Hilfiger
  • Supreme (Chapter 4 Corp)


Financial and Professional Services Team of the Year

  • Mastercard
  • Visa
  • BDO Unibank
  • Deloitte
  • PayPal

Food, Beverages and Tobacco Team of the Year

  • Mars
  • Nestlé
  • Treasury Wine Estates
  • Philip Morris
  • PepsiCo

Healthcare and Life Sciences Team of the Year

  • Gilead Sciences
  • Novartis Pharmaceuticals
  • CSL Behring
  • Ferring Pharmaceuticals
  • Khiron Life Sciences Corp

Household and Consumer Goods Team of the Year

  • 3M
  • Unilever
  • IKEA
  • Spectrum Brands
  • Johnson & Johnson

Internet and Telecommunications Team of the Year

  • Verizon
  • Charter Communications
  • Google
  • Sky International
  • Huawei

Not-for-Profit Organisation Team of the Year

  • UL
  • Rotary International
  • Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry
  • Forest Stewardship Council
  • Scotch Whisky Association

Retail Team of the Year

  • Starbucks
  • Indigo
  • Mattel
  • Maus Frères
  • Spencer’s Retail

Software and Online Services Team of the Year

  • Facebook
  • Amazon.com
  • Sony Interactive Entertainment
  • Epic Games
  • Adobe

Sports, Entertainment and Media Team of the Year

  • Netflix
  • WWE
  • Disney
  • Decathlon
  • Entertainment One

Technology and Consumer Electronics Team of the Year

  • Intel
  • Western Digital
  • Samsung
  • Apple
  • LG Display

Travel and Leisure Team of the Year

  • Expedia
  • Bolt
  • InterContinental Hotels Group
  • Marriott International
  • Uber

Vehicles and Transport Team of the Year

  • Daimler AG
  • Honda Motor (China) Investment Co
  • Harley-Davidson
  • Aston Martin Lagonda
  • BMW

In-house leader of the year

  • Ali Buttars, Netflix
  • Cam Gatta, Microsoft Corporation
  • Qing (Alan) Liu, Johnson & Johnson
  • David Modzeleski, Discovery Inc
  • Lesley Skipp, Boardriders

Lifetime achievement

  • Mary Boney Denison


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