Managing IP is part of the Delinian Group, Delinian Limited, 8 Bouverie Street, London, EC4Y 8AX, Registered in England & Wales, Company number 00954730
Copyright © Delinian Limited and its affiliated companies 2023

Accessibility | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Modern Slavery Statement

INTA 2022: IP pros must use tech for brands to triumph

Kimiya Shams at Devialet speaking at INTA's 2022 Annual Meeting

Speakers at the INTA Annual Meeting in Washington DC talked about using tech to better protect IP, manage applications and create contracts

Intellectual property professionals needed to embrace tech if they wanted brands to triumph in an increasingly tumultuous world, speakers told onlookers at the INTA Annual Meeting in Washington DC today, May 4.

Counsel from Faegre Drinker, IPSTYLE, WP Thompson and Devialet said technology could be of particular help when it came to protecting trademarks, managing applications at various IP offices, or creating contracts.

Kimiya Shams, legal and business affairs manager at Devialet in New York, kicked off the session called ‘Technology in Society and the Future of IP Assets’ by saying businesses should invest in RFID tags to help prevent counterfeiting.

These tags, she said, could be scanned to identify legitimate goods, helping customs to spot fakes, and could be used to track products at various stages of the supply chain. The tags were also cheap, she noted, costing as little as a few cents and as much as $1.05.

If the shoe fits

Shams added that it was particularly important to take advantage of tech in the shoe industry, pointing out that footwear was the most counterfeited kind of good.

“Sneakerheads in the room will know that some people queue for hours to get the latest pair of new Nike or other branded shoes,” she said.

She pointed out that the market dynamics of footwear manufacturing appealed to counterfeiters. It would cost a legitimate manufacturer between $11 and $24 to make a pair of shoes that could be retailed at $124, she said. It would cost just $8 to make a fake pair that could be sold at the same price.

That was a problem, Shams noted, because genuine manufacturers found it hard to distinguish between their goods and counterfeited products. She pointed out that in 2006, shoemaker Jordan ran ads and created merchandise unknowingly featuring fakes.

Shams added that a few businesses had developed solutions to the problem. Blockchain company Chronicled, for example, created 3D printed external tags that could be scanned to prove authenticity. Cypheme, an AI firm, created a program capable of detecting counterfeit products by analysing packaging with a neural network.

Smarter contracts

Next up was Julian Potter, partner at WP Thompson in the UK, who spoke about smart contracts.

“There are plenty of lawyers in this room who write smart contracts,” he said. “But what I’m talking about is contracts that are implemented in software and automated.”

He explained that smart contracts automatically triggered obligations when contract terms were satisfied, and that these virtual documents were stored in blockchain systems to prevent hackers from changing their terms.

“One example of a smart contract would be a contract that sent a digital key to a prospective tenant once said tenant had submitted a payment to the landlord’s bank,” he said.

He added that there were obvious IP use cases for smart contracts, such as contracts used to license design patents to manufacturers. These agreements could be linked to machinery to monitor production and facilitate payments for units manufactured in real time.

Smarter offices

Mariya Ortynska, managing partner at IPSTYLE in Ukraine, then took the stage. She said IP offices and their users would benefit hugely from using blockchain.

She pointed out that the EUIPO had launched its IP Register on blockchain, which improved speeds while maintaining high-quality data transfers.

The office was also connected to TMView and DesignView, its search platforms, through blockchain to enable it to deliver trademark and design data in real time, she noted.

The INTA Annual Meeting is being held this week at the Walter E Washington Convention Center in Washington DC.

more from across site and ros bottom lb

More from across our site

The IPO must change its approach and communicate with IP owners about its attempts at clearing up the trademark register
Counsel are looking at enforceability, business needs and cost savings when filing for patents overseas
James Perkins, member at Cole Schotz in Texas, reveals how smaller tech companies can protect themselves when dealing with larger players
We provide a rundown of Managing IP’s news and analysis coverage from the week, and review what’s been happening elsewhere in IP
The EUIPO management board must provide the Council of the EU with a performance assessment before it can remove the executive director
The European Commission confirmed that plans for a unitary SPC will be published in April alongside reforms to the SEP system
The court held that SEP implementers could be injuncted or directed to pay royalties before trial if they are deemed to be unwilling licensees
Patentees should feel cautious optimism over the EPO Enlarged Board of Appeal’s decision in G2/21, say European patent attorneys
Significant changes to the standard of law are unlikely, say sources, who note that some justices seemed sceptical that the parties disagreed on the legal standard
Sources say the High Court of Australia’s ruling that reputation is immaterial in trademark infringement cases could stop famous brands from muscling out smaller players