On Sunday 5th September 2010, JMB, Factor & Co. and Ellen Shankman Law Offices cosponsored a trademark seminar with the Association of Israel Boards of Trade. The large conference venue was totally packed, and additional chairs had to be brought in.
Chairperson of the Association, Ex Knesset Member Adv. Uriel Lyn welcomed everyone to the event and emphasized the importance of strong international trademark portfolios for business.
Dr. Dan Herman, CEO of Competitive Advantage Ltd. argued that the choice of name and logo was less important than how it is used for successful branding.
I gave a brief introduction to trademarks, and showed why company and brand names and logos should be registered or one could find oneself losing one’s painstakingly developed identity.
Moty Cory, the Intellectual Property Director of NICE Systems gave a valuable insight into protecting a challenging mark. It seems that NICE was actually an acronym that was used for branding purposes before the firm realized that the mark is arguably laudatory, is the name of a French town, was used by others and lacks distinctiveness. Nevertheless, Moty demonstrated that even with a less-than-ideal company name, with cooperation between the trademark attorney, (in this case, Adv. Ellen Shankman) an in-house IP manager who was on the ball, and the marketing people, good results were, nevertheless, obtained.
Adv. Ellen Shankman herself then spoke about new Top Level Domains coming in, and the possibility to register domain names in Hebrew and Chinese. She also spoke about the increasing importance of trademarks and branding on the Internet, and informed us that real world products were being launched in virtual worlds.
Adv. Aharon Factor who manages the trademark department of our firm wound up the proceedings by explaining the advantages and disadvantages of the Madrid Protocol and presented statistics regarding typical user profiles, providing insights of when the Madrid system was appropriate and when its use was not recommended. As usual, Jeremy Ben David, managing partner of JMB, Factor & Co. chaired the event. We toasted the incoming Jewish New Year on boutique wine provided by one of our clients, who also provided a good example of why early registration of trademarks can prevent unnecessary legal headaches when a third party decides to adopt a similar name.