By Vicki Matranga, Design Programs Coordinator
Learn how to develop and launch the right products for the right customer—with the right methods! Be sure to attend some of the free executive-level educational sessions at the Innovation Theater. These programs will give you a new perspective as you walk the Show and will inspire, inform and improve your business.
The four days of the 2015 International Home + Housewares Show will be packed with events and educational sessions. To help you plan your valuable time at the Show, we preview the 21 presentations that will take place in the Innovation Theater in the Lakeside Center. Don’t miss the chance to meet the speakers in person and for the opportunity to ask questions relevant to your work. All programs are audio-recorded and will be available on www.housewares.org after the Show.
International IP Protection 101
Monday, March 9, 2015, 12:30 – 1:20 p.m.
Innovation Theater, Lakeside Center, Room E350
Do you know your PCT from your CTM? When entering the international stage, it is important to have a basic understanding of intellectual property issues. From a “defensive” standpoint, not clearing your product’s intellectual property can result in lawsuits, damages and being barred from the market. Furthermore, delays in seeking protection can result in waiving rights altogether or having to deal with bad faith “squatters” and attendant avoidable costs. This session will provide an overview on seeking and securing IP protection abroad with particular emphasis on Canada, Mexico, European Union, Japan, Korea and China.
David Starr is a partner at the law firm Nath, Goldberg & Meyer, an IP boutique firm based in Alexandria, Va. The firm specializes in securing global patent, trademark and copyright rights. Since its formation, the firm has initiated IP filings in at least 116 countries.
David, what is the most exciting or rewarding part of your job? What inspires your passion in your work?
Working with clients and other attorneys the world over. In any given week, we may have dealings with clients and colleagues in Europe, Middle East, Far East, South America as well as Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Mexico. Not only have we developed great working relationships with our international clients and colleagues, but great friendships as well.
In the past few years, what has changed most in your business?
The Patent and Trademark Office has developed a number of resources on its website, including a number of forms for filing in the United States and abroad. We have had a number of clients get into trouble attempting to handle these filings on their own as there remain a number of traps for the unwary. We especially encourage our small and mid-sized enterprise clients to consult with us to ensure they secure the broadest scope of protection available to them.
Of course, the Internet has dramatically affected our international practice. Not only does email, Skype and the Internet facilitate communications with our clients and colleagues, but having access to international IP offices and databases is incredibly useful for advising clients.
Why did you choose to speak at the International Home + Housewares Show?
In addition to the Show’s impressive reputation, the Show markets to our core constituency – businesses with strong brands and innovative products that need to ensure protection as they enter the global market. As companies continue to get involved with international business, it is important for them to remember to protect themselves as much as they can by using various intellectual property means and methods. With the incredible attendance at the International Home + Housewares Show, it is an ideal avenue for us to remind your constituents of the importance of international intellectual property protection.
Tell us what you will be speaking about and how this topic is important for Show audiences.
My topic is International IP Protection 101. The Show brings exhibitors together with suppliers, vendors and partners from all over the world. It is imperative that marketers have their IP duly secured when doing business abroad. As indicated above, the more frequently companies have dealings with international clients and suppliers, the more important it is that these companies keep intellectual property in mind. I hope my discussion will help remind the attending marketers that intellectual property is an important consideration with conducting business inside and outside the U.S.
What do you see as consumers’ biggest concerns regarding housewares products?
The explosion in counterfeit sales affects businesses and consumers alike. Consumers do not want inferior quality and need to be able to trust the name of the brand. Depending on the market area, there can be a large number of “knock-offs” of various products. It is important that companies recognize the damage that knock-offs can do to their brand. So, it is also important that companies know that there are resources and avenues for them to protect their products and their brand names.
What are some of today’s trends or issues that new product development professionals and/or retailers face in the housewares market?
There are some true artists and artisans working in the housewares industries with giftware and dinnerware coming first to mind. Retailers need to trust that consumers are willing to pay for originality and authenticity for the beautifully designed products that will be displayed in their homes and work spaces.
Thank you, David, for sketching out some of the critical issues facing marketers today. You will surely help global marketers navigate the swirling waters of international trade. We look forward to your presentation at the Innovation Theater on Monday, March 9 at 12:30 p.m.
Contact David directly at:
H. David Starr
112 S. West Street
Alexandria, VA 22314