The job of a corporate brand professional spans three core duties: to create, protect and support the commercial use of trademarks and related rights. Of course, in reality, it is a much more complex and challenging role – encompassing, among other things, the canny ringfencing of rights, supporting brand growth (in both portfolio and value terms), building strong relationships with other stakeholders, juggling finite resources, representing the company in the market, making nuanced enforcement decisions and ensuring that the team tasked with all of this is properly managed, resourced and supported.

Over the past year these activities have all been undertaken against the backdrop of the covid-19 pandemic. As our benchmarking survey results show, this has meant that IP professionals are toiling in the trademark trenches while under increased resource and budgetary pressure in an environment where it is harder to get buy-in from senior management. However, trademark departments the world over have risen to the challenge, at a time when brands and the values that they represent have never been more important.

This report takes a deep dive into in-house operations. As well as revealing the companies that made the cut for the China, Europe and US Trademark 50 – that is, those brands that boast the biggest active trademark portfolios in each region – we present strategic insights from a range of corporate leaders on topics such as managing global portfolios, evidencing return on investment, building internal bridges with key stakeholders, assembling and managing world-class teams and encouraging a diverse talent pipeline.

World Trademark Review would like to take this opportunity to thank CompuMark for providing the data for – and supporting the analysis in – the China, Europe and US Trademark 50 sections.

We would also like to thank Facebook Inc’s Mike Yaghmai, Dennis Wilson of Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton, Novartis’ Svetlana Korzhin and David Lossignol, Patrick Flaherty of Verizon, Vodafone’s Natasza Shilling and Daniel Zohny of FIFA for authoring strategic thought leadership pieces for this report – as well as Christa Cole of Nestlé USA Inc and Christian Louboutin’s Xavier Ragot for making themselves available for in-depth interviews that first appeared on the WTR platform and which feature here in abridged versions.

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