In the final part in our series of articles leading to the 2023 MARQUES Conference, we sit down with Hannah Finster, Principal, who is based in our London office, to discuss MARQUES.
The 2023 MARQUES Annual Conference is being held in Berlin this September where the theme for focus will be ‘The Next Frontier’. What are you most excited to discuss about the next frontier of brand protection and trade marks whilst at the event?
One of the most fascinating aspects of being an intellectual property professional is seeing how technological developments present never-ending challenges and opportunities for our clients. We, in turn, must consider how we apply the law in light of these developments and advise our clients on how to adapt and protect their IP in the new environments they find themselves in. I attended the MARQUES Luxury Summit in Florence last year where one of the big focuses was the Metaverse. This ‘buzzword’ has been around for some time, but its relevance persists. I am looking forward to hearing an update from brands and my fellow IP colleagues on how they are dealing with the risks and rewards the Metaverse presents, as well as other technologies, such as AI, that are becoming more and more mainstream.
The event will also focus on brand authenticity, in particular how economic, social and cultural factors influence branding strategies. Which brands do you think are doing this well and why?
Consumers are becoming more and more discerning and it is important that brands engage authentically with them. We can all think of examples where brands have got it wrong, whether that be through greenwashing, rainbow washing, cultural appropriation etc. This can be extremely damaging.
Patagonia CEO Yvonne Chouinard’s announcement last year that all the company’s profit will go towards fighting the climate crisis is one “grand gesture” example of a company putting its money where its mouth is that really resonated with its customer base. But there are other brands who value authenticity without giving away 100% of profits, which is admittedly quite a radical proposition! I think the B Corporation certification is a really valuable way of demonstrating to consumers that a brand is committed to social, environmental and governance best practice. When I buy from brands like Tony’s Chocoloney, Who Gives A Crap, Veja etc, or I come across a new brand that has B Corp status, I feel like I can put a higher level of trust in that brand because its practices have been independently verified.
This year you will be attending the conference as a team member, what does this mean for you and how will this MARQUES be different as a result?
I am joining the IP Emerging Issues Team. I am looking forward to meeting my fellow team members in the dedicated team meetings ahead of the main conference.
Being on the IP Emerging Issues Team will provide another avenue for me to keep abreast of the key issues affecting brands now and in the future. I look forward to discussing these issues, sharing expertise with my fellow IP colleagues, and contributing to MARQUES throughout my tenure.
Details of our team of experts on the ground in Berlin, together with some of our latest relevant insights can be found here.