Directory of Resources for Trade Mark Administrators and Practitioners
This month more than 300 trade mark administrators and practitioners will gather in Arlington, VA, to network, learn, and share their experiences of working in our fascinating industry. It is an excellent event that is not perhaps as widely known as it should be. This got us thinking about other resources that are useful for trade mark administrators, paralegals, and practitioners, but aren’t always easily discoverable – especially for new entrants to the industry.
We have quizzed our colleagues – many of whom are experienced trade mark paralegals themselves – and pulled together some of the go-to resources that help make life easier in the trade mark world!
One of the best ways to learn more about the business is to attend some of the fantastic events and conferences held all around the world.
TMAP The Trade Mark Administrators and Practitioners meeting: the premier event for trade mark administrators, paralegals, young practitioners, and attorneys who manage a global trade mark portfolio. A great opportunity to network with peers from across the world and learn from the many interactive and panel sessions. It is organised by the International Trade Mark Association (INTA) and the association has even put together a justification letter to help prospective attendees pitch the idea to their firm.
INTA Annual Meeting: the industry’s largest event, it sees around 6000 trade mark professionals at all levels convene in a different international city each year. The next event is in Singapore and promises a return to the scale of pre-Covid times.
CITMA Paralegal Seminars: learn top tips for managing key tasks and stay up to date on the latest industry issues. Advance your leadership skills and career journey.
CITMA spring and autumn conferences: the UK trade mark sector convenes to debate emerging issues and challenges.
MARQUES: Marques is the European association representing the interests of brand owners. Its annual conference is held in a European city and the next stop is Madrid in September.
Need to check a country rule or contact a national IP office? The links below have all you need.
Country Index: this is great for checking facts such as non-use periods, opposition periods, maintenance requirements and more. WebTMS users will find all of this information under the Rules tab and all calculations are completed automatically by the software, but if you haven’t yet got your WebTMS subscription, Country Index is your friend.
IP Illustrated: a comprehensive collection of resources curated by Jessica Gore. Includes a Global IP Office Directory (also includes copyright and patent offices) and links to a wealth of open access resources including books and journals on a fascinating range of topics.
collated by our very own Christinne Wiss, these link directly to the searchable databases of a large number of countries.
TMView: run by EU IPO, it acts as a free world wide searching tool for over 106 million marks. A word of caution: some countries are not included, and some registrations will be double counted if an international registration and the designated country also allocates it a national number.
TMClass: a free online tool allowing users to search, translate, or classify goods and services when applying for a trade mark. It can be filtered to the specific country you are targeting and it shows the accepted terms. This gives the application the best chance of proceeding through examination.
If you are just starting out in the trade mark sector, these educational resources will help you get under way.
CITMA Introduction to Trade Mark Administration and Formalities Course: delivered by the Chartered Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys, this course is an interactive introduction to trade mark administration and formalities designed for new formalities staff with less than six months’ experience.
CITMA Paralegal Course: the official qualification for the UK trade mark paralegal profession. It covers “the legal aspects relevant to a paralegal’s role, as well as their often crucial tasks in handling formalities and the administration of trade mark portfolios”. CITMA also runs a full programme of webinars and seminars, all of which are valuable for paralegals. Attending events and webinars contributes to the CLE required to retain Chartered Trade Mark Paralegal status and CITMA also has a dedicated paralegal hub.
USPTO Trade mark basics: an introduction to the basic process for applying for a trade mark in the US.
EU IPO trade mark basics: an introduction to the role of trade marks and how to register them in the EU.
UK IPO How to register a trade mark: a straightforward outline of the trade mark registration process in the UK.
WebTMS client webinars: if you are already a WebTMS client you get free access to our monthly webinars offering you all the inside knowledge to help you get the most out of our product. We cover a huge range of topics, from creating WIPO records to exploring quirky country laws and getting WebTMS to automate the hard work of calculating deadlines. We also dive into reporting options and how to analyse data efficiently, among a myriad other subjects. Full of time-saving tips and ways to make your work flow simpler and more professional, WebTMS webinars really are worthwhile – an hour invested once a month can save you much more than that in future!
INTA Introduction to trade marks: INTA’s free fact sheets on trade mark rights, language, registration and more.
Timeanddate.com: Allows you to coordinate meetings in different countries making it easy to suggest times in other attendees’ time zones and avoid missed meetings due to time zone clashes.
Headspace on Youtube: guided meditations offering a great way to relax if you’re hit by a stressful situation. Also offers great Work From Home tips for getting your mind into (and out of) work mode when needed.
Pomodoro® technique: if you struggle with time management, the Pomodoro technique may help. It works by helping you recognise the tricky stress moments that spark distraction or procrastination and learn how to deal with them efficiently.
Career and personal support
For when you need guidance and support. Never be afraid to reach out for help.
IP Inclusive: IP Inclusive is the collective initiative of the IP professions in the UK to encourage diversity and inclusion. It includes communities for people who are female, minority ethnic, disabled, LGBTQ+, early career, and/or from non-traditional families and every at intersections between these groups. It runs a series of events, webinars and resources to support everyone working in the industry, at all levels, and aims to foster best practice for Diversity and Inclusion in the IP sector.
Jonathan’s Voice: aims to reduce the stigma associated with mental health issues in the workplace and to empower people to speak up and reach out for help when they need it.
Lawcare: the mental health and wellbeing charity for the legal community. Among many other resources, Lawcare offers free confidential online, phone and email support – provided by trained counsellors with first-hand experience in the industry.
Industry news sites:
Keep up to date with the latest happenings in the sector with these key publications.
World IP Review: news, webinar, events and directories covering the IP industry
World Trademark Review: specialising in trade marks, with research, insights, events and the coveted WTR1000 and WTR300 listings of top trade mark professionals in key jurisdictions around the world and corporate trade mark professionals.
The Fashion Law: for those working in apparel or just interested in this fascinating area, The Fashion Law has the latest news on everything going on from luxury brand battles to metaverse musings, and more.
Blogs and podcasts
WebTMS blog: in our monthly blog posts we look at the trending topics in the trade mark world – from the metaverse to craft brewing, fake products to tribute bands. We also regularly quiz our contacts and colleagues for articles like this that offer career and productivity tips.
IPKat: one of the longest running blogs in the industry, examining all aspects of IP. It’s normally a fun read without too much legalese – and lots of cute cat photos!
The TTABlog®: blog following key decisions of the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board at the USPTO. Written by trade mark and copyright counsel John L. Welch.
iPelton blog: video blog covering all aspects of trade marks and their management. The site also includes visual resources and hints and tips.
Two IPs in a Pod: Not quite trade marks, as it is run by the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys, but it is an engaging dive into the world of IP.
Crafty Counsel: “Joy, insight and connections for in-house legal professionals.”
Humour and social
The IP industry is a hotbed of creativity, and this leads to its own humour – particularly where puns are concerned.
Chris McLeod: Follow Chris on LinkedIn for his trade mark of the week drawn from the UK IPO trade mark journal, then put your brain to work to add a pun of your own!
@PatentMemes: memes about patents, and sometimes trade marks and copyrights, but never trade secrets…
#TrademarkTwitter: Twitter has a solid community of trade mark and IP experts. There are academics, former USPTO examiners, in-house practitioners and law firms. Five of the most active and engaging individual accounts are:
Darren Cahr: “Metaverse Cassandra since 2003. Trade marks, advertising law, IP, pop culture. Author: The Secret Root & Time to Change. Neuroscience.”
Rachael Dickzen: “Visiting Assistant Professor in charge of IP and Entrepreneurship clinic at Suffolk law; Trade mark and Cannabis Attorney; History and fiction writer.”
Alexandra J. Roberts: “professor of law & media at @nusl & @nu_camd teaching & writing on IP, trade marks, music branding, entertainment law, & advertising.”
Sarah Burstein: Professor @Suffolk_Law. Coauthor of @PatentLawBook. Researching & writing about design patents.
Jessica Gore: Future IP Attorney. Creator of @ipillustrated. Using design & tech to make modern resources for the legal community.
…and check out our follow lists on @WebTMS twitter for more!
We hope that you find something useful in the links above. What have we forgotten? Get in touch with your must-use resources, timesavers, and general pointers on where to get key information in the trade mark world!