Escalator Going Down? A Global Perspective on Genericism

Recorded On: 05/29/2020

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A primary goal for brand owners is to have their brand on the mind and in the heart of consumers across the globe. But without adequate protection, a brand owner’s popularity may blur the line between the trademark and the product category.

Join us as experts from Germany, Hong Kong SAR, China, and the United States discuss how courts address genericism in their countries. Learn some dos and don’ts for brand owners to help ensure that their marks remain strong and protectable. Get an inside peek into the strategy adopted by Velcro Companies and see how protecting brand rights is not just the work we do, it also can be fun!

Tish Berard (Moderator)

Velcro USA, Inc.

Tish L. Berard is Senior Counsel of Trademarks for Velcro USA, Inc. and its related companies (“Velcro Companies”) based in Manchester, New Hampshire.  She joined Velcro Companies in 2018 as Legal Counsel for North America, and was then promoted to Senior Counsel, Trademarks.  In this role, she enjoys protecting the iconic VELCRO® Brand and educating the public about the proper use of Velcro Companies’ marks.  

Prior to her role at Velcro Companies, Tish was trademark counsel, and subsequently Vice President and General Counsel, for Hearts On Fire Company in Boston, Massachusetts for ten years.  Tish was responsible for all legal matters for Hearts On Fire, including intellectual property maintenance and enforcement.  

Tish also practiced in Phoenix, Arizona in the firm of Squire, Sanders & Dempsey, LLP where she worked in both the litigation and trademark practice sections, and the boutique intellectual property firm of Sullivan Law Group, where she led the trademark practice group and also focused on intellectual property litigation.  

Tish served as the President of the International Trademark Association (INTA) in 2018 and currently serves on its Board of Directors. 

Maximilian Kinkeldey

Grünecker (Germany)

Legal Education

1987-1992         Munich University School of Law (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München)

1992-1994         Clerkship (Referendariat) in Munich

1995                  Admitted to the Munich Bar

1996                  LL.M. at New York University School of Law, New York

(Specialization: Trade Regulation – Intellectual Property Law)

1997                 Doctorate in Law at the University of Regensburg

Professional Career

1995                 Attorney at law in the field of criminal defense law at the law offices of Bossi, Ufer & Dr. Ziegert, Munich, Germany

since 1997        Associate at the law firm of Grünecker, Kinkeldey, Stockmair & Schwanhäusser, Munich, Germany

since 2001        Partner at the law firm of Grünecker, Kinkeldey, Stockmair & Schwanhäusser, Munich, Germany

Practice Areas

Trademark, design and unfair competition law (litigation and prosecution)


INTA Board of Directors 2011 - 2013, ECTA


German, English, (French)  

Patsy Lau

Deacons (Hong Kong SAR China)

Patsy is qualified in Hong Kong and California.  She holds a JD and a BA from the University of San Francisco.

Patsy specialises in the protection of large multinational and regional trade mark portfolios.  She has extensive experience in conducting trade mark audits and, in advising on portfolio structure, brand management and filing strategy.  Patsy’s practice also concentrates on complex trade mark disputes and negotiations, opposition, invalidation and rectification matters including trade mark appeals before the High Court.

Patsy also advises on all forms of commercial transactions affecting trade marks from simple assignments to complex multinational licensing arrangements and conducting due diligence.

Jason Sneed

SNEED PLLC (United States)

As the founding and managing member of SNEED PLLC, Jason M. Sneed has litigated intellectual property disputes before the United States Trademark Trial and Appeal Board and on behalf of clients in federal courts in over 20 states. Mr. Sneed’s intellectual property litigation background includes representing some of the most famous brands in the world in areas such as consumer goods, footwear and apparel, entertainment, insurance and financial services, additive manufacturing and personal and retail security. 

Mr. Sneed graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1997, and received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Texas Christian University in 1993. Mr. Sneed has been recognized for excellence in intellectual property law and litigation by Best Lawyers®, North Carolina Legal Elite™, IP Stars® and Super Lawyers®.  

Mr. Sneed is active in the International Trademark Association and the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy and has served in leadership capacities in both organizations. He regularly writes and speaks on legal developments in the areas of trademark and copyright and has made presentations to the American Institute of Architects’ Annual Meeting, the International Trademark Association’s Business of Brands Forum, the Trademark Administrators Meeting, the International Trademark Basics Conference and in Table Topic sessions at the INTA Annual Meeting. 

Prior to founding SNEED PLLC in 2011, Mr. Sneed practiced law for 14 years with national firms in Kansas and North Carolina, including Alston & Bird LLP where he served as a Partner and Charlotte Group Leader for the Trademark and Copyright Practice Group.

A General Certificate of Attendance is available for participants who are located outside of the United States. 

CLE for the following states have been approved and a certificate of attendance is available for download:

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A note about NY State CLE:

Although we currently track attendance by log in and log out times, the New York Continuing Legal Education Board specifically requires a verification code be entered during the program to ensure attendee engagement. NY State has notified us that they will not be able to approve CLE for past webcasts. We are currently working to implement a verification system that will meet these requirements for future webcasts.

Additional states will be added as they are approved. Please email with any questions


Escalator Going Down? A Global Perspective on Genericism
05/29/2020 at 8:30 AM (EDT)   |  75 minutes
05/29/2020 at 8:30 AM (EDT)   |  75 minutes
Certificate of Attendance (Non-US)
Live and Archive Viewing: No credits available and certificate available
Live and Archive Viewing: No credits available and certificate available
Up to 1.50 CLE credits available  |  Certificate available
Up to 1.50 CLE credits available  |  Certificate available