What are some of the biggest professional challenges that you have overcome – and what can others learn from how you achieved this?
As director of Macao’s 2005 East Asian Games’ legal department, I was in charge of brand protection. The key challenge was to ensure successful coordination between the key stakeholders, starting with the East Asian Games Association, the local IP office, the local enforcement authorities and the authorities on the other side of the border assisting us in such endeavours. The key elements of success are communication, establishing such channels as early as possible and ensuring the message is simple and direct.
What does effective leadership mean to you?
Being able to set systems and procedures that allow teams to complete their work in a consistent and efficient manner. This allows for a bigger return for all stakeholders.
What are some of the most common mistakes that foreign rights holders make when doing business in Macao – and how can they avoid them?
The most common mistakes are considering protection obtained in Mainland China to be sufficient and implementing a strategy that works in China but disregards that Macao is a specific niche for luxury or gaming brands, where specific rules impact protection.
How do you measure success of a patent portfolio development strategy?
Patents in Macao mainly revolve around its main industry. The main difficulty lies not only in restrictive gaming laws but also in being able to file and obtain patents that are substantively examined by the China National Intellectual Property Administration in Mainland China, where gaming is not allowed.
Therefore, the key is understanding the client’s business plan in Macao. Reading and drafting claims that can navigate such circumstances allows patent holders to successfully protect and maximise the return of their IP rights.
What tips can you share for engaging – and ensuring buy-in from – key stakeholders?
Enabling communication with key stakeholders is critical. Most of our success comes from conveying not just the rules and procedures, but how they are locally interpreted and implemented. At the same time, we can relay to the authorities any pain points that our clients may have when adhering to locally implemented procedures.
Bruno Nunes is a registered lawyer in Portugal and Macao, the world’s biggest gaming and luxury jurisdiction, where he advises international clients on best practice and strategy. Mr Nunes started handling IP matters in 2002 as director of Macao’s fourth East Asian Games Organising Committee’s legal department, where he was responsible for the Games’ trademark prosecution strategy. Mr Nunes is also a member of the Brands and Innovation Committee