This year's MARQUES conference takes place in Baveno, on the shores of Lake Maggiore in Northern Italy. Its theme, 'Reality Check', will no doubt serve as a useful warning to those too caught up in the beauty of the surroundings.
The 25th iteration of the MARQUES conference is set against a backdrop of continued economic vulnerability, as government cutbacks bite and unemployment figures grow. With less money around, brands may be looking to consider new strategies when selecting, protecting, promoting and enforcing their IP assets. The conference programme is designed to assess whether and how brands are adapting their strategies, and discover the implication of the ‘Reality Check’ provided by the financial crisis.
After a meeting of MARQUES teams and a welcome reception for attendees on September 13, the conference proper kicks off on September 14. First day highlights include a session on trends in marketing, including a look at how brand owners change strategy in response to changing economic environments. Then, a session on social media will see representatives from fashion house Gucci and home products company IKEA discuss trademarks in social media, and how to police and enforce marks online.
The day’s third session looks rather more traditional. Chaired by Peter Wild, of Wild Schnyder in Switzerland, it will provide an update on the legal analysis of the trademark functions, and consider traditional and non-traditional trademarks.