22 May 2017
Reporter: Barney Dixon

Trademark attorneys must become ‘brand ambassadors’

Trademark attorneys must act as ambassadors for their brands, according to INTA president Joe Ferretti.

Ferretti, vice president and chief counsel for global trademarks at PepsiCo, was speaking at the opening ceremony of the 2017 INTA Annual Meeting. He put great emphasis on the “evolution” of brands.

“Consumers are evolving, brands are evolving, communication between the two is evolving,” he explained.

Ferretti described how “truly authentic brands” are gaining trust from consumers through social media and therefore a competitive advantage. “Today’s most successful brands empower consumer engagement.”

As part of this change, Ferretti said, “as trademark attorneys, we need to evolve”.

“The time has come to embrace our role, not only as practitioners, but as ambassadors of our brands.”

He added: “I challenge all of you to embrace your role as a brand steward. In doing this, we can all ensure our brands have a successful future.”

In a separate speech, Ferretti and INTA CEO Etienne Sanz de Acedo underlined the importance of ensuring that trademarks act as an information resource, and encouraged practitioners to look at economic and societal changes and how these are affecting the relationships between trademarks and brands, and trademarks and consumers.

Sanz de Acedo added: “Nowadays, trademark practitioners are not just dedicated to trademarks, they’re dedicated to brands. While consumers have always relied on brands they trust, the relationship has evolved.”

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