Calling All Corporates

With a bumper choice of networking opportunities and in-house-focused sessions, corporate registrants can rely on their peers to help them through a difficult year, says Tom Phillips.

For many corporations, this could be the toughest year in living memory. The COVID-19 pandemic is threatening entire industries, and in-house representatives who work within them need all the support available to face down the challenges. On the flip side, some businesses are booming, dealing with unprecedented demand while trying to manage remote working, government-imposed lockdowns, and the health of their employees.

Sharing with—and learning from—industry peers has perhaps never been more important, so it is fitting that this year’s Annual Meeting & Leadership Meeting offers a wealth of educational, networking, and meeting opportunities exclusively for corporates, as well as special registration pricing for those that bring their teams.

As a result, brand owners will be highly visible at the Meeting. Among the 2,600 registrants so far, about 18 percent represent corporates. More than 35 percent of corporate umbrellas have registered more team members this year than for the 2019 Annual Meeting, with nearly one-third of them sending three or more people., Inc., for one, is sending more team members than previously. And among those leading the pack, with nine or more registrants each, are companies such as Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), Johnson and Johnson, Novartis International AG, and PepsiCo., Inc.

Corporates will also be making themselves known in other ways, participating in Corporate Meetings, Corporate Meet-Ups, and Table Topics. And, of course, brand owners will sit on many educational panels, and this year’s Capsule Keynotes include a diverse mix of business leaders and government officials.

Right at the start of the Meeting, on November 9 – 11, 18 corporates have signed up for exclusive space for Corporate Meetings to meet with external counsel.

Right at the start of the Meeting, on November 9 – 11, 18 corporates have signed up for exclusive space for Corporate Meetings to meet with external counsel.

The companies that are taking advantage of this benefit include Amgen, Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, Colgate-Palmolive Company, Eli Lilly and Company, Expedia Group, Inc.,Mattel,Inc., Mercado Libre, Oracle Corporation, Shell Business Service Centre, T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc., Tecnifibre S.A. (MF Brands Group) and Uber Technologies, Inc. (The opportunity to reserve Corporate Meetings is now closed.)

In addition, from November 9 through November 20, the schedule includes 15 Corporate Meet-Ups. These moderated, one-hour video meetings with a dozen brand owners, offer a new way to meet and chat with global in-house counterparts in an informal setting. The sessions will not be recorded and are scheduled at times convenient for many time zones to encourage more global networking opportunities. Registrants can sign up for a maximum of two Corporate Meet-Ups; seats are still available.

Adding to this, brand representatives will have a large presence in Table Topics, moderating about one-quarter of the 175 small discussion groups on the program.

Lasting one hour, each Table Topic allows for intimate discussion on a specific topic.

For in-house practitioners, subjects range the gamut from Best Practices in International Pharmaceutical Brand Clearance to Brands and Corporate Social Responsibility to Playing with and Protecting Brands in Fantasy Games.

Table Topics run from November 9 to 20, at 11:00 am and 6:00 pm (EST) on most days, and will not be recorded.

“As a community, especially in this current time, we rely on our network for references, for benchmarking and for many other things that we need to do our day jobs.”
Ronald van Tuijl, JT International S.A. (Switzerland)

Corporate-Only Sessions

This year’s program includes the familiar stock of popular corporate-only events designed around the biggest issues faced by in-house practitioners.

The timely In-House Practitioners Idea Exchange: Staying Afloat When Waves Rock Your Boat (Tuesday, November 17, 1:30 pm–3:00 pm (EST)) will discuss how the turbulent events of 2020 have affected the day-to-day lives of in-house practitioners. This session will provide a forum for corporates to share their experiences and hear how others have adapted, changed, and pivoted to keep their heads above water.

On Wednesday, November 18, corporates can participate in the 2020 Anticounterfeiting Workshop: Combating Online Counterfeiting Together (Stakeholder meeting,10:45 am–11:45 am (EST), and Plenary session, 12:00 pm–2:00 pm (EST)).

Exclusive to corporate in-house representatives, intermediaries, and government officials, the workshop presents an opportunity for stakeholders in the fight against counterfeiting to work together behind closed doors, discussing lessons learned and best practices, and exploring ways to enhance collaboration and cooperation.

Meanwhile, the In-House Practitioner’s Workshop, Technology and the Trademark Team: How to Use Technology to Your Advantage Without Letting Technology Take Advantage of You (Thursday, November 19, 1:15 pm–3:45 pm (EST)) focuses on the practical tools that can help corporates navigate new ways of working.

Colm Dobbyn, General Counsel, Intellectual Property, Mastercard International Inc. (US), is speaking at the Making Technology Work for You section of the session (2:00 pm–2:45 pm (EST)).

Mr. Dobbyn’s international team relies on integrated intellectual management tools to store data, communication with internal and outside counsel, and docketing. He is enthusiastic about the possibilities technology provides.

“I can’t imagine what we would have done during the pandemic without it—a few short years ago, we were entirely paper-based,” he said. “For us, adopting technological tools was a real game-changer. We were able to combine multiple systems and achieve considerable efficiencies.”

It is not too late to sign up for the Meeting.
Registration fees are 32 percent lower than the typical Annual Meeting fee, and 62 percent less than the typical Annual Meeting and Leadership Meeting combined.

Topics of Corporate Interest

There are also many other sessions of interest to those with in-house roles, as well as those working at law firms.

Business leaders and government officials will take the stage as Capsule Keynotes during the Annual Meeting programming, offering insights into trends and legislative and regulatory developments that impact brands.

As just one example, Maria José Lamus, Deputy Superintendent for Industrial Property of Superintendencia de Industria y Comercio (Colombia), will deliver Capsule Keynote: Key Issues Affecting Brands: A View from Colombia on Thursday, November 19 (11:15 am – 11:45 am (EST)).

In Branding in the Age of Social Media and the Impact of Consumer Brand Empowerment (Monday, November 16, 11:45 am–12:45 pm (EST)), corporates will learn how to tap into the power of consumers in the digital world to communicate their brand’s message.

“No longer mere subjects to a brand’s marketing message, consumers now hold the ability to virally share resonating content or flip a campaign on its head in an instant,” said Lorenzo Litta, Chief Business Officer, BrandIT GmbH (Switzerland), who is moderating the panel.

He added that remote working and social distancing have shifted even more consumer attention online, making the issue even more relevant.

Reaching Higher Later that day, at Getting a Seat at the C-Suite Table (Monday, November 16, 1:00 pm-2:00 pm (EST)) influential corporate lawyers will discuss how to advance to the highest levels.

Melissa Rotunno, Vice President, Deputy General Counsel, Brand, at Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (US), said lawyers can avoid typical laments such as a feeling of being an impediment to the business or not being involved in decision-making early on.

“Find a way to say ‘yes’, build alliances, and bring creative, flexible solutions and lawyers can climb the ladder,” she suggested.

What can the in-house community give each other at the Meeting? “Excellent ideas, new ideas, different ideas. Friendships and connections. The IP world is small, and we rely on one another,” said Ms. Rotunno.

Brand Restrictions―What Every IP Practitioner Needs to Know and Why It Matters (Wednesday, November 18, 11:45 am–12:45 pm (EST)) covers a growing threat to IP protection that is impacting brands from multiple sectors.

Moderator Ronald van Tuijl, JT International S.A. (Switzerland), said the panel will explore “the potential domino effect” for other industries and provide practical guidance, including legal tools, on what to do against proposed brand restrictions and the role brands can play.

Mr. van Tuijl also believes that meeting to discuss these issues has never been more important.

“As a community, especially in this current time, we rely on our network for references, for benchmarking, and for many other things that we need to do our day jobs,” he said.

Footage used under license from Envato Elements / selectmedias

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Published by: