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How Coca-Cola protects its rights in Asia

Managing Intellectual Property

Protecting the IP rights of one of the most valuable brands in the world is a daunting task. In few places is it more challenging than in Asia. Daniel Greif, trade mark counsel for Coca-Cola's Pacific Group, tells Emma Barraclough how he manages the company's regional portfolio of more than 5,000 trade marks

Would you explain how Coca-Cola structures its trade mark team?

Coca-Cola’s entire legal function reports functionally to general counsel Geoff Kelly. Historically, all the trade mark lawyers were based in Atlanta. However, several years ago, the company placed some of its in-house trade mark lawyers in its group offices (North America, Latin America, the EU, Eurasia, Africa and the Pacific). This has allowed them to better serve Coca-Cola’s client base because matters are addressed in real time.

In Atlanta, Bill Lummus, Coca-Cola’s associate general counsel for marketing, strategy, innovation and customer, heads the company’s trade mark function, which has three lawyers and four staff. They are responsible for overseeing Coca-Cola’s global portfolio of 30,000 registered marks and the coordination of global projects. Lummus also heads Coca-Cola’s patent function.

Together, all of the Coca-Cola trade mark lawyers work through the Trademark Practice Team. We...

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