For the half-year to 31 December 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Rebecca Gulbul, Lucas Michels and Marie-Andrée Weiss.

Regular round-ups of the previous week's blogposts are kindly compiled by Alberto Bellan.

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

PTMG in Dublin, Day Two

[For news of Day One and programme details click here]

Opening the programme for Day Two of the Pharmaceutical Trade Mark Group's Spring Conference in Dublin, Brannon Cashion (Addison Whitney) and Uday Bose (GlaxoSmithKline) both tackled the same topic -- "Creating and launching a new pharmaceutical brand". Ostensibly Brannon was giving a US perspective while Uday was to give the European view. In reality, though, the split was different: Brannon focused on how difficult it is to sell a new brand name to the company that needs it, while Uday dealt more with the task of getting the new brand name on an upward trajectory at the point at which it was launched.

Right: Brannon Cashion -- the key words for anyone to remember when developing new brand names with corporate clients: "patience, patience, patience"

Both did an excellent job and both emphasised the need for what might best be termed 'creative patience' and the need to sell the idea of how a product has to be solf before you can even start to sell the product itself.

After coffee Anthony Sauerman (Allergan) gave a frank account of the problems relating to the marketing of Botox -- in the public's mind an iconic wonder-treatment for wrinkles but in the hands of a skilled medical practitioner a powerful and dangerous drug used in the treatment of bladder problems and some forms of spasticity, among other things.

Left: a wrinkle-free Anthony Sauerman extols the virtues of his company's policy of aggression towards anyone who takes the name of Botox in vain.

Anthony was followed by a well-known crowd-pleaser, Frederick Mostert (Richemont), on issues arising from famous brand protection. After launching into a criticism of the muddling of the terms 'well-known' and 'famous' in regard to brand protection he discussed the instance of Nelson Mandela receiving international "national symbol" protection under Article 6 ter of the Paris Convention; he also discussed the human cost not just of counterfeits but of closing counterfeit operations down, looking at the social responsibility of brand-owners and the remarkable results that can be secured when brand-owners accept that responsibility [IPKat note: there's more to come on this subject - which will be looked at in a separate post].

After lunch, Gordon Wright (Elkington & Fyfe] reviewed non-traditional marks in the pharma sector. Demonstrating the subjectivity of taste, he drew volunteers from the audience whom he subjected to a variety of chemically-impregnated taste strips, showing how samples that some of his human guinea pigs found entirely without taste were regarded as slightly sweet or repugnantly bitter by others.

Right: Gordon Wright handing out a sample of chemically impregnated to a self-confessed broccoli-hater

Gordon was followed by Joshua Braunstein (CT Corsearch), who shared some of the methodology for name search with the audience, reminding them how much can be achieved through the use of the internet. Closing the programme, Reckitt Benckiser's Rosina Baxter also looked at search-and-protect topics, bringing the perspective of a company with a large range of products which required constant monitoring.

Flying back to his kitty basket in London, the IPKat was happy to have learned so much in such pleasant and congenial company. He congratulates the PTMG for retaining the personal touch even when having to cater for so many people's interests and requirements.

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