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Our IP technology guru, Jon-James Kirtland, has seventeen years’ experience in the IP industry. Leading the redevelopment of key technology solutions such as Forecast, Jon-James has been at the forefront of innovation driven technology and holds a unique perspective on the role of trademark departments in the future of IP management.

The challenging impact of technology

The Internet and social media have changed brand and trademark management. Two decades ago only the largest companies were global – and it took years for businesses to develop internationally.  Today, businesses are global from day one - simply by having a website.

While digitalisation may have provided more opportunities for brands to globalise quickly, it has also forced trademark teams to rethink how they manage and protect brands.

More than 1,000 top level domains (TLD) are in use today for internet addresses – from .com to country specific domains and 70% of these were created in the last four years. With such fast growth, protecting trademarks and monitoring for infringement has become increasingly complex. Combined with social media sites, app stores and internet forums, trademark departments are constantly confronted with emerging challenges to manage brands in a digital world.

New technologies also create physical challenges. 3D printing empowers individuals to copy and re-create products, irregardless of whether they are trademarked to a company. Online design templates makes it theoretically possible to produce anything, and this creates a real possibility for trademark infringement and counterfeiting.

An overworked team

Trademark professionals now need to search local and international e-marketplaces and industry in-use databases. These new challenges will inevitably impact trademark teams as the increase in administrative tasks will be time consuming. This is where investing in technology can help – to simplify the process of searches and related administrative tasks.

New technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) provide an opportunity for improved trademark management and prosecution. A successful trademark approach needs an innovative approach to trademark protection in a constantly changing landscape.

How are technologically adept trademark teams better placed to meet the needs of today’s globally connected brands? Does automation play a key role in your trademark strategy? What role does cost play, and does it support efficiencies?

Join me at my
INTA Table Topic: What does technology enable your trademark department to do? on Sunday, May 20 from 9 – 11 am, where I will discuss the key considerations for trademark departments looking to adopt technology.