Alt Legal Connect 2023Keynote Address from Alt Legal CEO Nehal Madhani
Alt Legal Team | February 06, 2023
Welcoming over 300 attendees to Alt Legal Connect 2023, Alt Legal CEO and Founder Nehal Madhani delivered an exciting keynote address. Nehal began by giving a brief history of Alt Legal Connect and set the goals for what he hopes to achieve at this year’s conference. Specifically, these goals are to (1) deliver unique, practical content that addresses both significant issues in trademark and IP law as well as the business of law and practice, and (2) provide a respectful, inspiring, and genuinely fun environment for diverse, like-minded, forward-thinking trademark practitioners to connect, reconnect, and form lasting relationships.
After discussing some conference highlights and various ways in which attendees can get the most out of their conference experience at Connect, Nehal shared some exciting updates from Alt Legal and how the company thinks about the future of trademark practice.
Alt Legal Updates – Commitment to Community and Innovation
Nehal began by stating that the future of trademark practice is anchored in two key attributes: community and innovation. Alt Legal is committed to furthering both of these attributes by continually updating and evolving its product offerings.
Nehal noted that it’s rare to come across a practice area that is as collaborative as trademarks. The notion of trademarks themselves is collaborative. Trademarks are a collaboration between businesses and consumers to help consumers find products and services and to hold businesses accountable to the value and connotations consumers associate with these brands relative to other brands. Nehal said that trademark practitioners are similarly collaborative. He noted that trademark law is a rare practice area that spans borders and languages. It requires unique knowledge and specialized expertise to understand the nuances of a country’s IP office.
Nehal stated that because trademark practitioners are so unique and highly-specialized, community is so important for them. However, Nehal noted that before the COVID-19 pandemic, it seemed that the only meaningful path to develop your network of fellow trademark professionals was through in-person events like INTA Annual Meeting and local city and state bar association events. Nehal said that the limited opportunities for in-person interactions during the pandemic encouraged Alt Legal to think outside the box and build other pathways towards making connections.
Next, Nehal described some of the many ways in which Alt Legal is working to build the Alt Legal Community and beyond.
Alt Legal Webinars
The webinar series began in the midst of the COVID-19 lockdown as a way to stay in touch with friends and colleagues, to keep learning, and to broaden the trademark community. Since Alt Legal’s debut webinar in April 2020, there have been 42 webinars that have drawn over 5,000 registrants. Attendees love that the webinar platform allows presenters to directly engage with the audience and audience members to reconnect with each other through our lively chat full of resource exchanges and questions. You can view all of our past webinars here and see our upcoming webinars here.
I ♡ Trademarks Newsletter
Alt Legal’s weekly email newsletter contains concise and often lighthearted summaries of legal updates, mentions of successful and laughable filings, job listings, tips for managing your practice, and has as many puns as we can cram in! Subscribe here.
Alt Legal Blog
The Alt Legal Blog is an excellent source for IP-and trademark-related content. In 2022, over 50,000 unique visitors found Alt Legal’s content, and some favorite articles from this past year include:
- How to Search TESS like a Trademark Examiner
- In 2(d)eep: How to Effectively Respond to 2(d) Refusals
- How to Respond to Section 2(e)(4) Surname Refusals
- WIPO Basics and Key considerations
Alt Legal Resource Library
To make it even easier to find relevant IP- and trademark-related content that Alt Legal has produced, we launched the Alt Legal Resource Library which is a compilation of all of Alt Legal’s blog articles, webinars, Alt Legal Connect sessions, and more, organized by topic and easily searchable.
Nehal shared one of his latest initiatives, IIPSG, International Intellectual Property Standards Group, a nonprofit that seeks to bring together IP offices, IP owners, and other stakeholders to create and implement standards for the access and availability of global IP office laws and data. Learn more about the goals Nehal hopes to achieve with IIPSG and sign up to get involved at the website.
Additionally, Nehal shared several community-building initiatives that Alt Legal developed specifically for trademark paralegals/administrators.
Trademark Paralegal Course
Launched in 2020, the Trademark Paralegal Course has been met with a fantastic response with over 1,000 students enrolled. The course is designed for new and experienced trademark administrators alike to learn and level up trademark skills. The course is taught by expert attorneys and trademark administrators in the field covering everything from IP basics to docketing trademarks and beyond. It even covers ethics for non-lawyers and provides a session on career development. Participants can even earn a certificate of completion by demonstrating proficiency on a final exam.
Trademark Administrators’ Exchange
The Trademark Administrators’ Exchange (TMAE) is an email discussion forum created just for trademark administrators and paralegals to share resources and learn from one another. TMAE has grown to hundreds of members since launching 6 months ago and hundreds of messages have been exchanged among members addressing topics ranging from salaries to strategies for filing in the UAE. If you’re interested in learning more or would like to join the TMAE, visit the website.
Lastly, Nehal announced an exciting upcoming community initiative from Alt Legal – in-person events. Alt Legal will be coming to various cities throughout the country to host full-day events that will include sessions on practical topics for your IP practice, the business of IP law, and networking. Essentially, these events will be like a mini Connect but in your region, in person, and of course, involving delicious food and your favorite Alt Legal swag!
Next, Nehal discussed the ways in which Alt Legal is furthering its goal of constantly innovating. Alt Legal believes that innovation is key to providing trademark professionals with the cutting edge tools they need to do their jobs. Alt Legal has been committed to a culture of innovation, regularly soliciting feedback from customers on what they need. Additionally, Alt Legal has historically invested upwards of 50% of top line revenue right into product development and continue to do so. This allows Alt Legal to regularly deliver a platform that is evolving and always getting better.
Nehal proceeded to introduce Alt Legal’s most recent feature launch: Alt Legal Trademark Protection.
Nehal mentioned that after countless conversations with brand owners and law firms that used Alt Legal IP Docketing Software, he learned that customers were frustrated with the current approaches to trademark monitoring. Time and time again, Nehal heard that their approaches were quite binary: either the brand owner opted to monitor a particular mark, or they did nothing at all. This wasn’t because brand owners didn’t care about trademark monitoring. Rather, it was because the costs of traditional trademark monitoring services were so high that monitoring one or more marks would have been completely cost prohibitive. This felt fundamentally broken when so many brand owners were describing the market this way and how their needs were unmet.
Nehal hoped that Alt Legal could provide a monitoring service that would be cost-effective and on-point with §2(d) Trademark Watch. Since launching in late 2020, §2(d) Trademark Watch has been adopted by over 1,000 US law firms and brand owners. But Alt Legal sought to further extend its monitoring capabilities. This became particularly important given the recent lag at the USPTO in examining new applications. To address this problem, Alt Legal developed another monitoring tool, Trademark Application Match. Launched in late 2022, Trademark Application Match works by identifying new USPTO applications that contain identical or significantly overlapping literal elements as the USPTO trademarks in your portfolio. With Trademark Application Match you can now provide a baseline level of monitoring over your entire USPTO trademark portfolio at a fraction of the cost of what you would spend monitoring just a single mark using a traditional monitoring service.
Nehal explained that the purpose of Alt Legal Trademark Protection, which includes Trademark Application Match and §2(d) Trademark Watch, is to democratize trademark monitoring services, making monitoring accessible to all and changing the market for watch services. Additionally, Nehal noted that by combining monitoring services with trademark docketing, Alt Legal has created a unique product and integrated docketing + monitoring experience.
Nehal noted that Alt Legal customers are already excited to incorporate monitoring with their docketing and many have found new revenue opportunities through Alt Legal Trademark Protection. For example, one firm generated nearly $10,000 in new legal fees from a TTAB proceeding that was initiated as a result of a §2(d) citation alert from Alt Legal. Another firm has started selling cost-effective trademark monitoring subscriptions to clients. They’ve priced these subscriptions at under $100 per year, and have sold dozens of subscriptions to their trademark clients within just a few weeks. Clients receive monitoring services for their trademarks through Alt Legal’s Trademark Application Match and §2(d) Trademark Watch and also get read-only access to their trademark portfolio within Alt Legal.
Nehal concluded that trademark monitoring is truly a win-win as it helps firms drive new revenue while helping clients and brand owners more effectively enforce their IP rights. If you’re interested in learning more about the service or how to monetize your Alt Legal subscription and increase your firm’s revenue, please feel free to reach out at email@example.com or any member of our team.