Today's in-house IP Counsel exercises a wide professional belief and is in a unique position to affect directly the profitability (or otherwise) of the organisation in which he/she is employed.

Today's professional continues to be involved in the minutiae of "traditional" brand-related practices concerning the registration, protection, management, filing and renewal of the marks for which he/she is responsible. Nowadays, however, more likely than not, Copyright, Designs and Patents will also come within the same sphere of influence and responsibility. In addition, an affective interface is required with parallel professions such as advertising, marketing, public relations, brand creation and extension specialists, packaging, accountants and even law enforcement agencies.

An increasingly detailed understanding of the working of the internet, e-commerce and cyberspace is also essential to continuing success. Issues raised by merchandising, technology transfer, licensing (in and out) and franchising have to be understood and successfully addressed.

In a rapidly changing world and global economy, anti-counterfeiting and anti-fraud measures become increasingly problematical. Traditional geographical boundaries become irrelevant and constant vigilance has to be maintained over look-alikes, industrial espionage, parallel imports, breaches of geographical indication and designation of origin. Appropriate strategies covering mergers and acquisitions have to be devised involving brand evaluation, assignment and transfer arrangements and appropriate recording.

When disputes do arise, questions of cost/benefit analysis and relevant and appropriate procedures through which relief and/or resolution can be sought have to be identified and exploited.

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