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INTA Honors Members for their Support of the Association and Advancement of Trademark Law

16-Nov-2013 | Source : AG-IP News | Visits : 18986
NEW YORK, NY - The International Trademark Association (INTA) announced in a press release the winners of its annual President’s and Volunteer Service Awards.

The President’s Award is presented to the most distinguished and deserving INTA volunteer for a career dedicated to trademarks and intellectual property protection and advancement, and whose contribution has advanced INTA’s mission and had a lasting impact on the Association.

Robert Weston of Phillips & Leigh is the recipient of the 2013 President’s Award.

Mr. Weston’s most significant and enduring contribution to the Association was achieved as the founding and principle editor of Country Guides, INTA’s most popular online publication. Country Guides was first printed 17 years ago and, in 2011, was identified as one of the Top 10 online trademark research tools by the World Trademark Review. Over the years, Mr. Weston has also served on the Publications Committee and the Programs Committee, and co-chaired the Italy Forum Project Team in 2006.

The following INTA Volunteer Service Awards honor those who go beyond their regular duties as INTA volunteers in service of the Association and the broader public.

Kerstin Gruendig-Schnelle, of Lichtenstein, Koerner & Partners, and Neil Wilkof, of the Bressler Group, share the Advancement of Trademark Law Award.

Ms. Gruendig-Schnelle has been at the center of the Association’s efforts with regard to the ongoing reform of the EU trademark system, which has been a major focus for INTA for many years. This past March, she played a key role among INTA’s many policy committee members who extensively reviewed the Commission’s proposed legislative package and revised the CTM Directive and Regulation.

Over the years, Mr. Wilkof has contributed to INTA as a writer, a speaker and an educator. Most recently, while serving on the Editorial Board of INTA’s peer-reviewed law journal, The Trademark Reporter®, Mr. Wilkof was instrumental in expanding the journal’s global reach and enriching its content.

Pavel Gorokhov, of Baker & McKenzie – CIS, Limited, and Kevin McDevitt, of Neal & McDevitt, LLC, are the recipients of the award for Advancement of Committee or Subcommittee Objectives.

Under Mr. Gorokhov’s leadership, the Opposition and Cancellation Standards & Procedures Subcommittee has researched and recommended four Board Resolutions. He has also translated several INTA documents into Russian, including a congratulatory letter to the presiding judge of the newly established Russian Specialized Court for IP Rights.

Over the past two years, Mr. McDevitt has led the Leadership Programming Project Team and advanced the goals and objectives of the Leadership Development Committee. At INTA’s 2013 Annual Meeting, his team presented a session that promoted committee work and involvement with INTA, hosted group discussions on leadership development, and collaborated on joint programming with the Young Practitioners, Academics, and In-House Counsel.

Murlidhar Balasubramanian, of Castrol India Limited, and Michael Wolnizer, of Davies Collison Cave, share the Advancement of the Association Award.

Mr. Balasubramanian is an integral part of INTA’s outreach in India and is an advocate for the interests of brand owners in the region. Working with INTA’s representation in India, Mr. Balasubramanian launched In-House Practitioner Luncheons in cities throughout the region, bringing together brand owners to discuss their challenges and share best practices.

Mr. Wolnizer has been the project leader for INTA’s Trademark Office Benchmarking Database for over six years which, thanks to his dedication and commitment, was launched in February 2013. This publicly available database enables users to compare information on more than 170 trademarks offices, and will help improve office practices and cooperation between offices.

Chris Bennett of Davis, LLP wins the award for Pro Bono Services Provided by Individuals. As head of Davis LLP’s Trademarks Law Group and a member of its IP, Technology and Outsourcing groups, Mr. Bennett has assisted a range of organizations—from Cures for Kids and Education Beyond Borders to Earth Day Network and the Hockey Education Reaching Out Society (HEROS)—with pro bono IP services including trademark clearance and trademark dispute resolution.

The award for Pro Bono Services Provided by Organizations goes to McDermott Will & Emery LLP. Through their pro bono program, McDermott’s IP lawyers are providing legal services to non-profit organizations and small businesses that focus on low income communities and the environment. The firm also provides legal services to several “Lawyers for the Arts” organizations, and its London office participates in a monthly Own-It pro bono advice clinic, which caters to art students and creative businesses.

The winners accepted their awards during a ceremony that took place today at INTA’s Leadership Meeting in Miami, Florida.


Founded in 1878, the International Trademark Association (INTA) is a global association of trademark owners and professionals dedicated to supporting trademarks and related intellectual property in order to protect consumers and to promote fair and effective commerce. Members include more than 6,300 trademark owners, professionals and academics from more than 190 countries, who benefit from the Association’s global trademark research, policy development, education and training, and international network. Headquartered in New York City, INTA also has offices in Shanghai, Brussels and Washington, D.C., and representatives in Geneva and Mumbai.

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