WTR Industry Awards winners revealed as in-house excellence celebrated

Following last night's champagne reception and presentations at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, we can now reveal (for those who were not following the action on Twitter) the winners at this year’s WTR Industry Awards. Among those honoured were teams from 7-Eleven,  FIFA, HBO, Intel, MetLife, Netflix, Toyota Motor Corporation and Zoetis.

Now in their thirteenth year, the WTR Industry 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. This year we made two changes to the awards scheme. First, we have introduced a local team award, designed to shine the spotlight on excellence on the part of companies based in the host city (and its surroundings) of the awards reception. The inaugural winner was Sage Therapeutics.

The second change was to the ‘In-house Counsel of the Year’ award, which we have renamed ‘In-house Leader of the Year’.  The motivation for this change is a desire to be more inclusive and explicitly expand the remit of the award to encompass non-lawyers who are engaging in high-level trademark work. The criteria for shortlisting remains the same – to demonstrate excellence in strategic brand-related work, and demonstrate leadership through example.

This year’s in-house winner was Judy McCool, senior vice president, legal affairs for Home Box Office. McCool is responsible for managing a team that provides guidance in connection with marketing, advertising, social media and consumer promotions across the HBO and Cinemax networks, as well as maintaining and enforcing legal protection for the company’s brand and trademark assets worldwide. An active member of INTA, McCool’s remit ensures that she is at the forefront of where trademark and entertainment law intersect.

The recipient of this year’s other individual award, Lifetime Achievement, was Jack Chang, currently special counsel to the chair of L Brands International. Over the course of his career, Jack has worked at Johnson & Johnson (where he established and led the IP protection office of its operating companies in China) and General Electric Company. Alongside his distinguished career in-house, Chang is one of the founders of both the Quality Brands Protection Committee (QBPC) and its predecessor, the China Anti-counterfeiting Coalition (set up in 1998). Between 2003 and 2018 he served the organisation – which has around 200 foreign IP owners as members and is dedicated to improving the IP environment and commercial rule of law in China – in a variety of roles, including vice chair, chair and honorary chair.

WTR 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 WTR platform.

The winners in full are:

Asia-Pacific Team of the Year


Europe, Middle East and Africa Team of the Year

Daniel Wellington

Latin America Team of the Year


North America Team of the Year

Home Box Office (HBO)

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


Healthcare and Life Sciences Team of the Year


Household and Consumer Goods Team of the Year

Reckitt Benckiser

Internet and Telecommunications Team of the Year


Local Team of the Year

Sage Therapeutics

Not-for-Profit Organisation Team of the Year

The Scotch Whisky Association

Retail Team of the Year


Software and Online Services Team of the Year

Nintendo of America

Sports, Entertainment and Media Team of the Year

The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA)

Technology and Consumer Electronics Team of the Year


Travel and Leisure Team of the Year

Caesars Entertainment 

Vehicles and Transport Team of the Year

Toyota Motor Corporation

In-house Leader of the Year

Judy McCool, Home Box Office (HBO)

Lifetime Achievement Award

Jack Chang

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