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Alt Legal Connect 2023 Session Summaries

Alt Legal Connect 2023 featured 8 amazing sessions on substantive IP law and practice management. Learn more about these sessions below and click on the links within the individual session descriptions to view the full session summary.

Keynote Address from Alt Legal CEO Nehal Madhani

Nehal Madhani discussed two major themes that will impact the future of trademark practice: community and innovation. He also discussed how Alt Legal is working to further these goals with many key initiatives. In terms of building comunity, Alt Legal produces regular webinars, sends the weekly I ♡ Trademarks Newsletter, posts frequently to the Alt Legal Blog, and updates the Alt Legal Resource Library. Madhani himself is also proud to have launched 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. Madhani was also proud to share Alt Legal’s community-building resources developed specifically for trademark paralegals/administrators including the Trademark Paralegal Course and the Trademark Administrators’ Exchange (TMAE).

Madhani then explained how Alt Legal is furthering the theme of innovation in trademark practice by developing its newest feature launch, Alt Legal Trademark Protection, an innovative, low-cost monitoring product that includes Trademark Application Match and §2(d) Trademark Watch.

Keynote Summary

Nothing Compares to Using Others’ Brands?: Limitations of comparative advertising

On Monday, February 6, Richard Lehv, Senior Litigation Counsel, Fross Zelnick Lehrman & Zissu presented the session, “Nothing Compares to Using Others’ Brands?: Limitations of comparative advertising.” Richard explained strategies and best practices for comparative advertising, how to minimize likelihood of confusion, and more.

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When Imitation Is Not Flattering: Cultural appropriation in trademarks

On Monday, February 6, Nicole Gaither of SageHaus Legal moderated a panel discussion with Angela Grayson of Precipice IP, Keely Herrick of KHerrick Law, and Katherine Belzowski of the Navajo Nation DOJ, “When Imitation Is Not Flattering: Cultural appropriation in trademarks.” The panel discussed why cultural appropriation matters when it comes to trademarks, what obligations trademark practitioners have to the public when it comes to these sensitive situations, and how trademark practitioners can guide their clients who want to apply for culturally-sensitive trademarks.

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The Ex-Filings: Expungements and ReExaminations Explained

On Monday, February 6, Tamara Rabenold, IP investigator & CEO of Vaudra International, moderated a panel discussion with trademark attorneys Britt Anderson of Perkins Coie, Charis Dorsey of The Dorsey Firm, and Eric Perrott of Gerben Perrott, “The Ex-Filings: Expungements and ReExaminations Explained.” The panel explained how and when to file the new Trademark Modernization Act expungement and reexamination proceedings, discussed what a reasonable investigation involves, and provided tips and strategies to consider based on examples of initiated and rejected proceedings.

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Live TTAB Hearing

During this live TTAB hearing, the audience had the opportunity to view and observe an oral hearing for the opposition proceeding, Eden Foods, Inc. v. The Ethnic Group LLC dba Edenic Blends. During this hearing, both parties to this proceeding presented oral arguments. Afterward, the attendees discussed the hearing with a TTAB judge (not part of the proceeding) to gain insight into TTAB oral hearings and how to best prepare for an appearance before the TTAB.

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Trade Dress for Success: Strategies for securing trade dress protection

On Tuesday, February 7, Jamie Sternberg of Saunders & Silverstein LLP presented the session, “Trade Dress for Success: Strategies for securing trade dress protection.” During this session, Jamie discussed what qualifies as trade dress and provided tips for successful trade dress registration and enforcement.

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Claim on You!: Proactive steps you can take to avoid IP malpractice claims

On Tuesday, February 7, Tracy Kepler—the former Director of the Center for Professional Responsibility for the ABA and now CNA’s Risk Control Consulting Director presented the ethics CLE session, “Claim on You!: Proactive steps you can take to avoid IP malpractice claims.” During this session, Tracy discussed current and emerging trends in IP professional liability claims, the USPTO Rules of Professional Conduct at issue, lessons learned, and best risk management practices.

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Market to Your Heart’s Content: Creating content to generate business

On Wednesday, February 8, attorney and firm founder Kyona McGhee presented the session, “Market to Your Heart’s Content: Creating content to generate business.” During this session, Kyona discussed how to use social media—and its ever-changing algorithm—to grow your client list and increase your cash flow. She explained how to find and build the right audience, which topics your content should address, which media and platforms work best for your firm, how to produce alluring and authentic content, and how to monetize your fanbase and turn followers into clients.

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Go with the Current: Recent changes in IP law

On Wednesday, February 8, Christine Farley of American University lead Tiffany Shimada of Greenberg Traurig and Chris Turk of FisherBroyles in a panel discussion, “Go with the Current: Recent changes in IP law.” The panel discussed current trends in IP law including the intersection of IP protection and the First Amendment, the rise of generic refusals and increasing risks of genericide, the important copyright case before the Supreme Court, Warhol v. Goldsmith, Web 3 and its impact on IP protection, and more.

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