ITMA: IP rights in a new digital world


Chris McLeod

ITMA: IP rights in a new digital world


Developments in technology are proving to be both a disrupter and an enabler for IP lawyers, but registered trademark attorneys are adapting to the many challenges, says Chris McLeod, president of the Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys.

The discovery of a new, digital world is revolutionising the very nature and purpose of intellectual property. Of all the agents for change, the internet has been the largest for a generation. But in our profession, technology has revolutionised far more than working practices.

In the past 12 months there have been serious developments in the work of trademark and patent attorneys. Both a blessing and a curse, digital disruption has transformed the exercise of IP rights and the challenges facing their owners.

A major positive factor resulting from the internet is the ease in finding evidence of confusion in trademark cases. While historically, finding evidence of confused consumers may have been difficult, now it is simpler to find evidence by consulting the internet and in particular unprompted expressions of confusion by consumers on social media.

IP law, ITMA, trademark, patent, English Court of Appeal, IPEC