Home Protecting the Future Strategies for Chief IP Officers

Protecting the Future Strategies for Chief IP Officers

Press Release: April 08, 2010

Interview with: Cecelia Dempsey, Director - Senior Attorney Trademarks & Patents, Burger King Corporation

Miami, FL, April 8, 2010 - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Intellectual Property (IP) Officer of an organization needs to be one strategic step ahead of the competition. Filing for the protection of all distinguishing product and service marks and IP rights is critical to safeguarding company assets and avoiding lengthy infringement litigation. However, protecting copyrights, trademarks and patents is no easy task in the global business setting. Simply keeping pace with competitor activities worldwide, budgetary constraints and changing regulation have become a struggle for Chief IP Officers. Cecelia Dempsey, Director and Senior Attorney of Trademarks and Patents at Burger King Corporation recommends a proactive approach for registering trademarks and copyrights, to succeed in protecting and enforcing rights abroad. A speaker at the marcus evans IP Law Summit 2010 taking place in Florida, March 25-27, 2010, Dempsey shares her thoughts on the critical issues challenging IP Counsels, and the strategies that may stave off litigation.

What are the most critical issues challenging IP Counsels in North America at the moment and what solutions would you recommend?

Cecelia Dempsey: Given the current economic environment, IP Counsels are most concerned with their budgets and many have implemented very strict monetary restrictions to help mitigate costs. When there is an infringement of their trademarks, they need to enforce and protect their rights under very strict budgetary constraints, which can be difficult.

I try to establish a relationship with the Trademark Counsel of our competitors from the start, so when there is an issue, we can just pick up the phone and discuss the matter. In many instances, I have found that this approach has been productive in successfully resolving disputes, and in certain cases helps avoid IP litigation.

What strategies for safeguarding IP, copyrights and trademarks would you suggest?

Cecelia Dempsey: I would recommend proactively filing trademark and copyrights registrations (to the extent that is possible within budgetary constraints) so that IP Counsels are able to enforce company rights, particularly abroad. In the US, Canada and other common law jurisdictions, you obtain trademark rights by virtue of your use. Even if you cannot afford to file for all trademarks, you can still enforce your rights if you are using them in the marketplace. In civil law countries you receive your trademark rights by virtue of your filing, thus registering trademarks is more critical in those countries.

What long-term strategies would you recommend to IP Counsels?

Cecelia Dempsey: I recommend that IP Counsels try to be as proactive as possible in terms of filing, but watch your use you cannot be in every country right away. You may use your priorities under the Paris Convention and also use the WIPO International Registration System for filing inexpensively. I would also recommend a close monitoring of company marks in other countries.

One good way to maximize IP protection of distinctive ornamental elements is to file design patents. If you have a new design for a product, product packaging, store or restaurant interior or fixtures, take advantage of design patent filings. When enforcing or policing your IP, it is as important to pursue infringers on a trademark, copyright and/or patent perspective if possible. Sometimes it is necessary to take the extra time to file copyrights to be able to use those registrations in your enforcements around the world.

I understand that Canada, India, Brazil and Columbia are considering joining the Madrid Protocol, which means that if they do, we will be able to file International Registrations in those countries as well. Thus IP Counsel will have even more tools available to protect their trademarks in those countries at reduced costs. Until the economy recovers and budgets increase, IP Counsel need to be willing to negotiate fees and be creative in maximizing copyright, trademark and patent coverage.

Contact: Sarin Kouyoumdjian-Gurunlian, Press Manager, marcus evans, Summits Division

Tel: + 357 22 849 313
Email: press@marcusevanscy.com

About the IP Law Summit 2010

This unique forum will take place at the Doral Golf Resort & Spa, Miami, Florida, March 25-27, 2010. Offering much more than any conference, exhibition or trade show, this exclusive meeting will bring together esteemed industry thought leaders and solution providers to a highly focused and interactive networking event. The summit includes presentations on intellectual property management and litigation, patent reform and maximizing relationships with outside counsel.

For more information please send an email to info@marcusevanscy.com or visit the event website at http://www.iplawsummit.com/CeceliaDempseyInterview

Please note that the summit is a closed business event and the number of participants strictly limited.

About marcus evans Summits

marcus evans Summits are high level business forums for the worlds leading decision-makers to meet, learn and discuss strategies and solutions. Held at exclusive locations around the world, these events provide attendees with a unique opportunity to individually tailor their schedules of keynote presentations, think tanks, seminars and one-on-one business meetings. For more information, please visit http://www.marcusevans.com

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