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As changes in the law, technology, the economy, and conditions related to the pandemic continue to impact brands and the legal profession, the International Trademark Association (INTA) will address how brands can adapt, thrive, and stay resilient, at its 2021 Brand Resilience: Risk, Recovery, and the Future of the Brand Practitioner Conference.

The event will take place virtually on September 22 and 23 and will feature robust educational sessions and business development opportunities, including Speed Networking and a unique workshop in which registrants will be divided into teams. An impressive lineup of corporate and academic speakers will focus on the risks that today’s brands face, how they can navigate missteps, and the future of brands and brand legal practitioners.

Scheduled corporate speakers represent iconic brands such as American Express, Ford Motor Company, H-D U.S.A., LLC, Mars Incorporated, NBA Properties, Inc., Patagonia, Inc., Target Corporation, The Procter & Gamble Company, and World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc.

From the academic community, Loretta Ross, an activist and associate professor at Smith College, will provide a Capsule Keynote address on the topic of “Challenging the Call-Out Culture.”

Also on the agenda are topics that demonstrate other emerging issues that brand professionals are dealing with now and will face in the future. Among them are issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion; brand restrictions, including a look at INTA’s new study from the perspective of Gen Zers and millennials; navigating “policies, activism, and criticism”; and new digital assets.

At the session on new digital assets, leading experts will explain non-fungible tokens (NFT) and address various legal issues related to the intersection of these digital assets and intellectual property. One of the speakers on the panel is Arif Khan, CEO and co-founder of Alethea AI, whose startup made headlines when it sold the world’s first intelligent NFT at Sotheby’s for almost half a million dollars and just recently secured an investment from renowned entrepreneur Mark Cuban and others.

“The volatility of the last 18 months has certainly shaken up brands and caused a major change in all industries—and we haven’t seen the end of it yet,” said Megan Bannigan, co-chair of the Conference’s project team and a partner at Debevoise & Plimpton, LLP. “Our goal through all the sessions at the Conference is to provide a toolkit for brand lawyers to face the unexpected and get through those times when they need to continue to be resilient with the most ease and efficiency possible.”

According to Adraea Brown, co-chair of the Conference’s project team and assistant general counsel—trademarks at H-D U.S.A., LLC, registrants can expect to hear a lot about “agility and flexibility.” At educational sessions, including an interactive workshop, brand owners will share how they have adopted this mindset.

“Agility and flexibility are strengths that many brand practitioners possess,” Ms. Brown noted, “but sometimes it just needs a little exercise to remain strong, and that’s exactly what we aim to provide at the conference.”

Registration is open now for INTA members, with Premium Access at a discounted fee through September 10. For non-members, registration begins on September 11. The last day to register is September 17.

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