Five Resolutions For Trademark Professionals To Mark The New Year!

Lisa Wright,

While the New Year is traditionally a good time to reflect upon your career and work achievements, considering how to improve those more conventional work practices that make everything run smoothly but are far from glamorous can often be sidelined. However, it is these data-intensive, repetitive, and time-consuming tasks that can cause the most friction at work when they go wrong!

In this article we share five New Year’s resolutions and business goals which we hope will help trademark professionals to continue doing their brand establishment and protection work with maximum efficiency into 2021 and beyond!

1. Become a better business partner

In her recent article, “2021 Looks Bright for the Trademark Industry”, our INTA Publication Committee member, Trademark Counsel, Gokcen Uzer Cengelci, shared her INTA 2020 takeaways. She identified that one of the common themes at INTA 2020 was how trademark professionals can develop a better business mindset. Uzer Cengelci elaborates:

The demand to act rapidly in global trade matters and the need for prompt strategies in trade make a business mindset even more crucial. So, lawyers are not happy to be referred to as ‘just’ an advisor or representative (an independent source of law) but want to be seen also as a business solution provider to their clients with an interdependency skill set.

In this changing market then, IP professionals who can bridge a number of skill sets, for example having project management experience, may be sought after by a range of clients seeking a more holistic experience.

To assist in the development of these varied skills, TrademarkNow previously delivered a masterclass with Joe Quigley of Rivet LLC. In the masterclass, which is accessible below, we addressed some of the ways that in-house IP counsel can continue learning and competing in today’s competitive market. Joe Quigley has over two decades of in-house expertise at leading companies such as Walt Disney, NIKE, Liz Claiborne, Kate Spade New York, Juicy Couture, Lucky Brand Jeans, Victoria’s Secret, and Bath & Body Works.

Find out how you can become a better business partner in 2021 today!

Access masterclass

2. Use your time wisely

One of the keys to successful time management is effective prioritization. Spending less time on routine, repetitive tasks such as trademark screening and clearance searches means you have more time to focus on legal opinions, building business relationships, or even learning new skills to differentiate yourself.

When we surveyed the top 200 USPTO representatives in November 2019, they told us that stronger business building tactics, improved adaptability, and interpersonal skills are the top three skills that will be needed in the future for IP/trademark professionals. Greater technological skills and better administrative support are placed fourth and fifth in the list of necessary skills and attributes by our respondents. Food for thought when it comes to deciding how you spend your time in 2021.

3. Leverage legal technology and AI

Legal technology includes any technologies that drive greater efficiency in your legal work. Taking more ownership of how you interact with legal technology and streamline how you work will help you to future-proof your legal career.

Legal tech tools are primarily used by trademark professionals for preliminary trademark search, trademark similarity search, and trademark monitoring.

Charles Hill, member of the INTA Brands and Innovation Committee and VP of Product Marketing at Corsearch confirms this growing trend, which was highlighted at a recent INTA Leadership meeting:

Many IP professionals have already implemented an AI solution at work (even in multiple areas of their businesses). Some are even utilizing more than one such tool at the same time in order to uncover comparable trademark results. In spite of the fact that ‘the law’ is universally accepted to be one of the most conservative industries, leaders and seniors are still fully aware that AI is the ‘new black’ and they need to be proactive and take action. This transformation is needed not only to drive competitiveness, but also to foster the creation of innovative ways of working and real solutions for trademark professionals”.

As new legal technology advances, we see more diverse teams working on legal matters. Being open to learning and understanding how new technology products fit into your work and feeling comfortable with the output from that technology will be a key driver of success. 

4. Invest in a strong personal brand

Having a strong personal brand and marketing yourself effectively is key to making sure you remain valuable in your current business and role — as well as in the wider market — and with clients and peers.

Clients

Why not take the opportunity this New Year to follow up and connect with some of your clients? Take some time to personally phone or email some of your happy clients to ask if they would write a review for you about their experience at your firm on social networks like LinkedIn, Facebook, or your Google Business page. This will build awareness of your business and could help to generate valuable leads for new clients.

Peers

Building relationships with your peers is a good way of staying connected within the wider legal industry and might well lead to referrals in the future, or other networking opportunities for you.  Why not catch up with fellow trademark professionals or law school contacts today?

5. Embrace brand risk and performance

Clients (and employers) are increasingly looking for lawyers who understand the wider context of their work.

Supporting the product life cycle and being able to manage the entire lifecycle of an IP portfolio — from brand establishment to brand protection and beyond — have become important goals for many attorneys due to the increasing value of intellectual property. Becoming business solution providers for every stage of a brand and its marks — trademark screening, similarity and clearance searching, trademark watching, protecting, investigating, as well as the monetization and tracking of brands is top of the New Year resolution list for many IP professionals today.

Final thoughts

Highly experienced, exceptionally hard workers — our clients love what they do and invest in the right tools and support to ensure their trademark search is accurate.

Our platform covers virtually the entire globe with 180 trademark registries. Our common law data contains more than 140 million public and private companies across 191 countries. Global pharma-in-use and clinical trials data along with major app stores, web, and social media data are also available on our platform — all from the most reputable data providers.

Find out how ExaMatch ™ can help you to kickstart your trademark knockout search by giving you your results as you type and start realizing your New Year resolutions and business goals right now!

New call-to-action