Award Rules

Paul A. Welter Award Rules

1.   The Paul A. Welter Award is an award of merit and shall be given annually to honor outstanding achievements in in-house management in the field of trademark law. The award honors outstanding in-house trademark counsel who have distinguished themselves by their career accomplishments and service to the community. The Paul A. Welter award was founded by Merchant & Gould, P.C. and The William Mitchell College of Law in honor of Paul A. Welter.

2.   Awards shall be conferred at an annual Awards Presentation ceremony held at an INTA meeting.

3.   The competition is open to all in-house counsel responsible for managing trademarks and trademark law of their corporation. No restrictions, such as level of experience or years in practice, apply. Employees of Merchant & Gould, William Mitchell, and any company for which a judge in the competition works, their respective parents, affiliates, divisions, subsidiaries, advertising and promotional agencies (collectively "Sponsors"), and the immediate family members and persons living in the  same household as such individuals, are not eligible to participate or win.

4.   One first prize will be awarded consisting of a plaque and a $5,000 honorarium to the charity of his or her choice. The prize may not be transferred or assigned except by Merchant & Gould, P.C. in its sole discretion. Only the listed prize will be awarded and no substitutions, cash equivalents or redemptions will be made.

5.   The Award entry period commences ends upon January 31, 2010. Upon recommendation from the trademark community, top candidates will be presented to the nominations committee for final consideration. To enter yourself or nominate another, complete the official nomination form, which is located at By entering, you consent to being contacted by a panel of fact gatherers to gather information for the panel of judges to further evaluate credentials for the award. Please return completed forms to: Paul A. Welter Award, c/o Merchant & Gould P.C., 3200 IDS Center, 80 South Eighth Street, Minneapolis, MN 55402.

6.   Candidates will be judged according to criteria related to work in house for a corporation and the demonstration of notable achievements in one or more of the following aspects of trademark practice:

  • Managing a large portfolio of intellectual property for the corporation with an emphasis on trademarks;
  • Practicing and promoting the highest standards of professional ethical conduct;
  • Creating and maintaining efficient and streamlined processes to value, protect, maintain, and enforce intellectual property rights and improve performance practices, capabilities, and results;
  • Promoting awareness of and enhancing the appreciation for the value of intellectual property within and outside the corporate workplace through presentations, publications, or corporate policies and procedures;
  • Providing leadership within the corporation by mentoring others, recognizing the achievement of co-workers, and fostering a positive work environment;
  • Providing leadership in the community and profession through service in not-for-profit professional and/or community organizations;
  • Improving employee skills and career development through education and training programs; Fostering diversity in the workplace; and
  • Developing, coordinating, and enhancing positive relationships with outside counsel.

7.   A panel of judges will evaluate each candidate's qualifications. The judges' evaluations of the candidates should not be affected by their personal views of the corporations for which they work. Other than these specific rules, the committee of judges shall have sole discretion to make all necessary interpretations of these Rules.

8.   The potential winner will be notified after selection. Winner will be required to sign, notarize and return an Affidavit of Eligibility and Liability Release (and where lawful, a Publicity Release) and provide any additional information (such as social security number), that may be required by Sponsors. Except where prohibited by law, winner's acceptance of prize constitutes permission for Sponsors to use such winner's name, address (city and state only), statements, photograph, voice and/or likeness for any advertising and promotional purposes relating to the Award without further notice, compensation, consideration, review or consent. By entering, participants: (a) release and hold harmless the Sponsors from any and all liability.

9.   NO PURCHASE IS NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A PURCHASE OF LEGAL SERVICES DOES NOT IMPROVE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. ENTRY FOR CONSIDERATION FOR THIS AWARD CONSTITUTES YOUR ACCEPTANCE OF THESE OFFICIAL RULES. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. This Award is governed by the laws of the United States, the State law of Minnesota, without regard to conflicts of laws. All federal, state and local laws and regulations apply.

10.   For more information contact:   Scott Johnston

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