36th Annual Conference "Marques"
After a 2-year absence, the 36th Annual Conference MARQUES 2022 was finally held in Madrid, on 20 – 23 September. Our IP team was represented by our partner, Pigi Konstantinou, and our associate, Marialena Mavrikaki. This year’s Conference focused on the impact of new technologies and sustainability to the future of brands, featuring inspiring presentations from representatives of various sectors and provoking the exchange of interesting and even controversial ideas.
Among the highlights:
It was extensively acknowledged that in an era of augmented environmental sensitivity, both the brand owners and trademark lawyers are forced to adjust to the new reality. Sustainability does no longer seem to be an option, but a necessity. Sustainable businesses must clearly communicate such “asset” to their consumers and trademarks are there to play a decisive role in successfully conveying this message. Thus, putting the sustainability parameter to the core of a trademark strategy is in present times of major importance.
On the other hand, with AI and Blockchain, having dramatically changed the purchasing habits, created new assets and constantly influencing the buying decisions of consumers (NFTs, 3D-Avatars, Augmented Reality (AR), algorithms for collecting consumers’ behaviour data are only few examples to name) it is inevitable for the brand owners to embrace new marketing techniques (with “gamification” being the leading one) and business models, as well to position themselves to new environments (“Metaverse is here to stay”). The challenges for IP law (new ways of infringement, new methods of exploitation of IP rights, appropriate classification of goods and services, jurisdiction issues etc.) and for the daily practice of an IP lawyer are also countless. Are systems based on AI technology just a useful tool to the hands of an IP practitioner – offering “digital jurisdictions”, tracking and tracing technologies, AI-based algorithms for collecting, organizing, and optimizing (trademark) data – or are also capable of providing services, such as prediction of outcomes of trademark conflicts, in a more efficient way? It is not more a question of “if”, but “when”. The future shall definitely be hybrid and we need to embrace it.