As part of its efforts to assist entrepreneurs in growing and protecting their businesses, the International Trademark Association (INTA) will hold its first-ever virtual legal clinic on June 15.
Hosted by INTA’s Pro Bono Subcommittee of the Brands for a Better Society Committee, the inaugural event is designed to function like an in-person legal clinic where qualified applicants from anywhere in the world can consult with volunteer trademark attorneys free of charge.
The clinic is open to low-income individuals, small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and not-for-profit and nonprofit or charitable organizations with low operating budgets that meet eligibility requirements and that might not otherwise have affordable access to legal assistance.
On June 15, “office hours” will be from 11:00 am to noon (EDT). Applications to participate in the clinic are due by May 21, and potential clients will be pre-screened for eligibility.
At the virtual clinic, attorney volunteers worldwide will answer legal questions, explain the trademark registration process in the relevant country, and direct clients to local services that might be able to further assist them. The clinic will focus on trademark clearance and prosecution matters. Relevant issues to be discussed may include:
- How do I search and register my trademark?
- How much does it cost to protect my trademark?
- What if I already know of someone else using the trademark I want?
- How long does the registration process take?
- I already filed my trademark application, but it was refused by the Trademark Office. Now what?
- How do I renew my existing trademark registration?
INTA is encouraging its members to sign up to volunteer for the clinic by June 7, providing a gratifying opportunity to give back and to partially satisfy professional requirements for pro bono hours.
Year-round, similar matchmaking takes place through INTA’s Pro Bono Clearinghouse, a global initiative that services eligible clients. Since 2020, more than 400 attorneys have volunteered to participate and nearly 200 cases have been assigned in various parts of the world.
The virtual clinic and year-round Pro Bono Clearinghouse align with INTA’s focus on corporate social responsibility and its broader initiative to inform SMEs about the importance of viewing their intellectual property (IP) as a valuable asset that should be protected. Last month, marking World IP Day, which had the theme of “IP and SMEs: Taking your ideas to market,” INTA unveiled online resources, “For SMEs,” on its website.
The International Trademark Association (INTA) is a global association of brand owners and professionals dedicated to supporting trademarks and related intellectual property (IP) to foster consumer trust, economic growth, and innovation. Members include nearly 6,500 organizations, representing more than 34,350 individuals (trademark owners, professionals, and academics) from 185 countries, who benefit from the Association’s global trademark resources, policy development, education and training, and international network. Founded in 1878, INTA is headquartered in New York City, with offices in Beijing, Brussels, Santiago, Singapore, and Washington, D.C., and a representative in New Delhi. For more information, visit inta.org.