It took a week to get through the files that were sitting on my desk when I returned, so I let a week go by without writing about the INTA Leadership Meeting that happened in Phoenix, Arizona earlier this month. It was the biggest Leadership Meeting yet, with over 1300 attendees.
Of course, the best part was the Academic Committee meeting and its session hearing from adjunct professors in the U.S. and Canada on varying teaching styles. (If you are an INTA attendee, put the Academic Committee’s Trademark Symposium on your calendar – it will be the best hours you spend at the whole conference, I promise). and ten different sessions on all manner of trademark matters, only two of which I will tell you about. I’m telling you about only these two even though of course every word that was uttered at Leadership Meeting was important and intriguing, these are two that are going to require action either for your clients or by your own companies and law firms sooner rather than later:
Wire Transfer Fraud – in the Session titled “Schemers, Scammers, and Swindlers,” we heard from digital forensics and security expert Chad Pinson on the Fake Invoice Scam that requires diligence from all of us – scammers are making convincing copies of letterhead (including law firms) and sending invoices with wire transfer instructions and often a request for rush payment. From vendors with whom a company has a lot of wire transfer activity, the company is likely to pay a familiar-looking invoice without a second glance. This Wall Street Journal article has a lot of good advice for dealing with the risk, but the short story is, now would be a good time to advise clients to institute a verification procedure before initiating wire transfers.
Trademarks in Canada – In no way shape or form having anything to do with fraud, but potentially equally disruptive, is what is happening to trademark law in Canada in late 2015 or early 2016. I wouldn’t dare advise anyone on Canadian law, but I can tell you that since Canada is eliminating the use requirement for trademark registration, you should seek advice from Canadian counsel as soon as possible if you or your clients have any intent to do business there. We know of course, that this is bringing Canada in harmony with most of the rest of the world, and is part of a lot of activity around Canadian trademark law surrounding its accession to the Madrid Protocol, the Singapore Treaty and the Nice Agreement. But of course, it puts our northern friends at odds with the U.S. (but just on trademark use, of course). By the way, you’ll be hearing more on use of trademarks from this camp in the coming months……
Finally, although it is coming up quickly, there is still time to register for INTA’s Munich Conference December 8 and 9, When Trademark Rights Overlap, and I’d love to see you there!