February 2nd, 2010

suzankKenneth D. Suzan

Partner, Hodgson Russ LLP

Trademark, Copyright and Internet Attorney

Social Media Blogger

Today we’re tweeting with trademark, copyright and internet, social media and new media law attorney @ksuzan

  1. @ksuzan thank you for joining us today on Twitter. Tell us: who is @ksuzan?
    I am an explorer and an intellectual property attorney and help companies and brands protect their names worldwide.
  2. Tell us about your law practice.
    I protect brands from all angles. Trademarks, copyrights, domain names, social media and all IP matters non-patent.
  3. What type of clients do you represent?
    Large companies, start-ups, individuals – all seeking to protect, defend, license, and develop their IP portfolios.
  4. and what would you say is the single most important legal issue facing those clients?
    Acquiring and maintaining their exclusive rights in brand names, logos, slogans, and other brand indicia in the USA and worldwide.
  5. What do you say to every new client before you start working for them?
    I advise them of the process of obtaining IP protection including the estimated fees and costs for obtaining the protection.
  6. Tell us about one of the more significant client representations you’ve had.
    I’ve protected a famous children’s dinosaur and his friends from infringement and dilution. The exhibits were memorable.
  7. Hmmm. I wonder which dinosaur that could have been…. Why do your clients hire you?
    Primarily to protect their IP; whether it be a new brand name, social media campaign or artistic work needing copyright protection.
  8. What’s the most active area of your practice at the current time? Is that typical?
    We have been filing many new marks; there are new products in the pipeline and it is important to file ITU trademark applications
  9. You’ve written on legal strategies in the age of social media. What do IP rights holders need to worry about most?
    Social media has the potential to make or break a brand; brand owners need to be proactive by using and monitoring these new tools
  10. How then can companies find the right balance between the risks of active social media engagement and the rewards it brings?
    Experiment wisely with multiple tools; Check your ROI on a monthly basis and view it in chart form; it is an evolving landscape
  11. What are your own social media strategy and objectives? How well are you meeting your goals?
    To tweet and post useful content on a regular basis. I also enjoy expanding my network of professionals throughout the world…
    I am meeting my goals. I have established connections with people and have developed valuable writing and speaking opportunities.
  12. How are your Web 2.0 activities perceived by your firm’s leadership? Are there others in your firm as active as you?
    That remains under review for the time being. However, I continue to tweet and have integrated Web 2.0 tools into my practice…
    Others in my Firm are embracing LinkedIn and Facebook, but I am probably the most active with Web 2.0 tools.
  13. If your clients are active in that space…. How do you describe what you do to people you meet at a cocktail party?
    Think about the aisles in stores. There’s a trademark lawyer behind every brand on the shelf. Trademarks are part of life.
  14. A lotta lawyers…. What specific impact on referrals and/or client engagements have you realized from Web 2.0 activities?
    Many lawyers indeed!… Web 2.0 has yielded numerous requests and potential engagements from artists and brand holders
  15. That’s great to hear. How much time do you spend each day developing / enhancing your brand?
    My fiancee would say too much! — About 1 hour a day; from posting new content to reading and listening to the content of others.
  16. Sounds like it is time well spent…. What is the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
    Proper mentoring of the next generation of lawyers. Law school can only do so much for the newly minted lawyers.
  17. What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
    Lawyers will meet clients in virtual spaces and we will have lots of case law where Web 2.0 evidence is deemed the “smoking gun”.
  18. What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    A few things come to mind – TV newscaster, journalist or a teacher.
  19. How do you want to be remembered?
    A great leader, a trusted advisor and a loyal friend to many.
  20. What do you do when you’re not working?
    I enjoy travel, music, the arts, and reading. My next big trip is to Athens and the Greek Islands. I’m a photographer too.
  21. What advice can you pass along to lawyers currently under- or unemployed due to the economic crisis?
    Use Web 2.0 tools to make critical connections and use the time to coordinate personal goals and aspirations with reality.
  22. And our final question for you: what advice do you have for people going to law school today?
    Think about ways to help others by serving your community. Our institutions need great thinkers!

That’s good advice. Thanks very much for sharing your thoughts and perspective with me today.

Lance, it has been a pleasure. Many thanks for this opportunity.

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