Around mid-March, Winterfeldt IP Group, in response to growing concerns about the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus), moved most employees to remote work for what we hoped would be a brief window. Now, over eight weeks later, we are still in the midst of a global pandemic, and even as some areas are gradually rolling out reopening plans, we are facing the reality that it may be many more weeks, if not months, before our lives in the business and personal realms return to their prior state.
I am reaching out again to assure each of you that, although the physical locations of our work and some of its mechanics have been adapted for the current situation, Winterfeldt IP Group remains fully operational and available to provide support for your intellectual property needs. In particular, we are taking the following steps to ensure that you continue to receive the highest level of service and support:
- COVID-19 Resource Center. We have established a COVID-19 Resource Center on the Winterfeldt IP Group website, collecting a number of our articles and advisories from recent weeks on issues relating to the impact of the pandemic on the global intellectual property community. We will continue to update this with new information and advisories frequently as new developments unfold.
- Ongoing Monitoring of Impact on Industry. We have continued to monitor, very closely, how the pandemic is affecting the operations of national and global trademark offices, other government-level services, and dispute resolution providers. We are regularly distributing advisories that contain updated information. For example, our recent advisory on Updates from the Spring 2020 Trademark Public Advisory Committee Meeting contains information on how a number of international trademark offices are handling deadline extensions.
- Expanded Programming. Winterfeldt IP Group is launching a webinar series this spring, and our inaugural webinar, Digital Brand Enforcement: Adapting to an Evolving Global Economy, will be held on Tuesday, May 19 from 12:00 to 1:00 pm Eastern time. This overview of the current digital enforcement landscape will include a significant focus on the increased volume of infringement brand owners are experiencing during the pandemic. Please review our event page linked above or email us at email@example.com to register for this free program, and stay tuned for information about additional events we will be organizing in the coming weeks. If you would be interested in a webinar or training program that is designed specifically for your organization, please reach out to us and we will be glad to develop an event for you.
- Adapting to Client Needs. We understand that the pandemic is affecting organizations in dramatically different ways, in that some industries are largely on hold due to broad restrictions on movement and travel, while others are seeing an unprecedented increase in demand due to the changes in which we are all living and working. Whatever the adjustments to your current business landscape may be, we are committed to working with you in a manner that incorporates your 2020 realities while protecting your intellectual property for the long-term. Our strategic recommendations and budgets continue to be tailored for each client’s specific needs and we can meet you where you are.
- Winterfeldt IP Group Operations. For the time being, most Winterfeldt IP Group team members will be continuing to work remotely. In this regard, we are closely monitoring and following guidelines of local government and health authorities in the Washington, DC and New York areas where our offices are located. I am working with the other members of our leadership team, including our Managing Director, Omar Akrouk, our CFO, Scott Shaffer, and our CMO, Emily Murray, on a daily basis to adapt operations as needed for the frequent changes in the business climate. Our understanding is that even where there are small steps being taken to reopen some types of businesses, broad recommendations remain in place for the vast majority of employees to work from home when it is possible for them to perform their roles in that manner. Following these recommendations is an important part of being good local and global citizens in a manner that contributes to the health and safety of the front-line workers who cannot stay home. Of course, we remain available in both DC and New York to handle securing and shipping physical materials when they are required for legal matters, such as legalized and notarized documents, so please be assured that we can attend to such items promptly as they arise. We will reach out to you if it appears your matters may be impacted through delays from other parties, such as government offices.
Finally, I just wanted to take a moment to thank each of you for being a part of the larger Winterfeldt IP Group family. While I think we can all safely say that 2020 has been a most challenging year, I have also been so very touched in recent weeks by the extraordinary levels of kindness and compassion that have reverberated throughout our community. By keeping this spirit of collaboration, I know we will all be able to maintain the fortitude necessary to see each other through to the better times ahead. We may be physically separated, but with some effort our relationships - the deep personal connections that make our industry such a collegial place within the legal profession - can emerge stronger than ever.
Until we may be reunited in person, I wish each of you a healthy and safe season filled with warmth and kindness.
Brian J. Winterfeldt
Founder & Principal
Winterfeldt IP Group, PLLC
Winterfeldt IP Group remains committed to providing you with ongoing updates regarding how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the intellectual property and global business communities. Please feel free to reach out to any of the following team members to discuss how we can support you by providing additional information in our COVID-19 resource center, developing customized training for you and your team, or adapting your brand protection strategies and priorities to reflect the new business landscape:
Brian Winterfeldt, firstname.lastname@example.org +1 202 903 4422
Omar Akrouk, email@example.com +1 202 759 5837
Scott Shaffer, firstname.lastname@example.org +1 202 759 5855
Emily Murray, email@example.com +1 202 759 5838