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February 26
In a New York Minute: How Tech is Changing Legal Teams

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This blog post is written by ​Juan Felipe Acosta Sánchez​, Director of Litigation and ADR, OlarteMoure, Bogota, Colombia and a project team member for INTA's 2020 New York Conference. 

As an Intellectual Property and Competition Litigation attorney and an advocate for emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, holochain, and 5G, I am excited to moderate the session "The Fourth Industrial Revolution: How Legal Teams are Changing at INTA's 2020 New York Conference—Brands in Society: Their Influence and Responsibility, March 16-17, in New York, NY. 

Pieter van den Bulck (Anheuser-Busch InBev S.A., and Conference Co-Chair, Belgium), Julius Stobbs (Stobbs IP, United Kingdom) and Yo Takagi (World Intellectual Property Organization, WIPO, Switzerland) will join me on stage as we take a look at the way technology is changing how we practice law. We'll explore the tools that have changed our lives and helped us conquer some of the challenges we face in our daily law practice. 

Mr. van den Bulck will discuss how technology has changed the day-to-day strategies of managing a worldwide trademark portfolio. Mr. Stobbs will explain how tech tools are integrated into his practice and how his firm has become a provider of those tools. Mr. Takagi, Assistant Director-General of WIPO, will join the panel to share his experience developing the Global Intellectual Property Infrastructure at WIPO- a set of innovative and disruptive tools to help clear, search, detect, and analyze Intellectual Property assets.

Register today for the New York Conference to attend my panel and many more. Check out the full education program here​

February 25
Facebook Launches Anticounterfeiting Guide to Help Curb Sale of Counterfeit Goods on its Platform

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In late 2019, Facebook updated its anticounterfeiting policies and launched a dedicated page on its website detailing its approach to intellectual property (IP) protection and anti-counterfeiting efforts. The page outlines initiatives ranging from notice-and-takedown to proactive measures, and education and transparency efforts. 

Anticounterfeiting measures on Facebook and Instagram, an image and video sharing social media platform owned by Facebook, feature an IP notice-and-takedown program that provides publicly accessible channels for rights holders to report content they believe infringes their rights (including counterfeits). Rights holders can file infringement reports on Profiles, Pages, Groups, ads, or Marketplace listings. The following forms can be used to report counterfeits on Facebook and Instagram.

Facebook’s global Intellectual Property Operations team processes and takes action in response to complete and valid reports year-round on a 24/7 basis. Content is typically removed within a day after Facebook receives a rights holder’s report. For more information on becoming a rights holder on Facebook or Instagram check out the rights holder’s tool

Other online platforms also have published anticounterfeiting policies. For example, also on social media, Twitter’s policy prohibits the sale or promotion of the sale of counterfeit good​s, and explains how to report counterfeit goods. Among online retail platforms, Amazon’s counterfeiting policy also strictly prohibits the sale of counterfeits and states that sellers “must provide records about the authenticity” of products if Amazon requests that documentation. 

According to Facebook’s website, its new initiatives include: 

Enhanced report processing: Facebook allows rights holders to report pieces of content individually or in bulk, as well as entire Profiles, Pages, or Groups. Even when a rights holder reports only one item to Facebook as counterfeit, Facebook may take steps to review an entire Page, account, or ad account if there is evidence of widespread infringement. 

Repeat infringer policy: In addition to taking down reported content or users, Facebook disables the accounts of repeat infringers where appropriate. Facebook also takes other actions to help stop someone from becoming a repeat infringer, such as temporary feature limits or removing access to certain product features. 

Recidivism: Facebook has a variety of measures in place aimed at detecting new accounts created by previously disabled users—including those disabled for counterfeiting—and preventing them from continuing to misuse the services. 

Specialized reporting tools: Facebook has developed specialized tools to help rights holders report IP infringements at scale. Its streamlined reporting tool—the Commerce & Ads IP Tool—empowers brands to easily search for and report infringing Marketplace or Group sale posts on Facebook and ads across Facebook and Instagram. The tool provides unique functionalities, such as the ability to search Marketplace globally in a single search, and to search across all currently active ads by any keyword. 

Proactive anticounterfeiting measures: Facebook is using technologies like machine learning and artificial intelligence to help block or reduce the distribution of potentially counterfeit content on both Facebook and Instagram.

Transparency: Facebook regularly releases a transparency report that includes updated information on its IP practices, the volume and types of IP reports it receives, and how much content those reports affect. 

February 24
2020 Leadership Meeting and United States Presidential Election

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INTA’s 2020 Leadership Meeting will take place in Miami, Florida, November 3–6. This coincides with Election Day in the United States—which includes the Presidential Election—on November 3.

We regret that this scheduling conflict may cause some inconvenience for registrants, and recognize that it may result in registrants arriving in Miami after the Meeting has begun.

Locations for INTA events are selected months and sometimes even years in advance in order to secure suitable venues. Due to the limited availability of hotels that can accommodate an INTA Leadership Meeting, we were limited to the selection of November 3–6. At this time, we are not able to change the dates.

Alternative voting options:

We encourage affected Leadership Meeting registrants to take advantage of pre-Election Day voting options, including early voting, absentee voting, and mail voting. 

  • Early Voting: In most states and the District of Columbia, any qualified voter may cast a ballot in person during a designated period prior to Election Day. 
  • Absentee Voting: Absentee voting allows you to vote by mail. Though every state has absentee voting, rules vary on who can take part. Your state may require you to have a valid excuse to vote absentee. Being on business travel outside of your county or city of residence on Election Day is regarded as an acceptable excuse in most states.
  • Mail Voting: In some states, elections are conducted entirely by mail. A ballot is automatically mailed to every eligible voter (no request or application is necessary).  
Visit usa.gov/absentee-voting​ to learn more about the options and rules in your state.

Leadership Meeting schedule:

We’re pleased to be able to adjust the meeting schedule to accommodate registrants who arrive in Miami late Tuesday or early Wednesday. Regular educational programming and committee meetings will begin on Wednesday.

Miami is serviced by three major airports offering over 2,000 daily flights from 170 domestic and international destinations, allowing for arrival at various times throughout the day and night.

As we plan future meetings and conferences, we will continue to monitor major events and, whenever possible, take them into account when screening possible dates.  

Again, we apologize for the conflict.
February 03
How Intel Corporation Is Embracing Esports and Why Your Brand Should Too

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Traditional sports have long held importance to brands around the world, but in recent years more and more brands are also tapping into the burgeoning esports industry. Both hold enormous potential for big “wins”!

INTA’s upcoming 2020 Europe Conference—Brands, Sports, and Esports: A Brand (R)evolution, February 17–18 in Madrid, Spain, offers a great opportunity to learn about the convergence of the sports and esports industries. Experts in the legal, marketing, and business fields will look into hot topics and discuss why it’s so important for brands to be proactive in the sports and esports spaces, especially given the proliferation of technology.

We’re at the point in time where the explosion of esports is finally getting noticed. In the last couple of years, the participation in the industry from different types of brands has been growing.

At Intel Corporation, we are playing a unique role in both the sports and esports industries right now, and have emerged as a technology leader in the evolving PC gaming and esports markets. We’re creating new experiences in which we immerse players and viewers from all over the world. Whether people are participating from a virtual reality standpoint, or benefiting from our Intel® True View 360 replay technology, it’s a really exciting time from a technology standpoint.  

More is definitely on the horizon. I believe we’re getting closer to esports becoming a part of the Olympic Games.  Initially we may only see the Olympics incorporate esport games based on traditional sports like soccer and basketball, but it will be exciting to watch this evolve.  For now, Intel and the International Olympic Committee are coordinating an esports event prior to the Summer 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, and similar to the Olympics, players will play on teams that represent their nations.

If you come from a traditional sports background and you’re not embracing the interplay between esports and sports, this is an important time to plug in.

The Europe Conference will help you do that. It will appeal to so many people—those involved in traditional sports and those who are part of this huge explosion in esports, whether it’s from the legal, technology, sponsorship, or influencer perspective, or from the perspective of building of your business. We’ll cover all the angles at this Conference—and that’s really exciting.​

Learn more about INTA’s 2020 Europe Conference here: www.inta.org/madrid2020​

January 30
INTA’s Europe Conference: Traditional Sports Brands Have Lessons to Share 

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A unique lineup of speakers discussing a wide variety of cutting-edge issues related to both sports and esports will take center stage at INTA’s 2020 Europe Conference—Brands, Sports, and Esports: A Brand (R)evolution, February 17–18, in Madrid, Spain.

Speakers will include representatives of some of the biggest brands in the sports and esports industries, including Major League Baseball, FC Barcelona, World Rugby., Fnatic, NBA Properties Inc., and my employer, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA).

Working in the sports industry, I see day-to-day how traditional sports are still very important, but also how esports are gaining more and more momentum. It’s a real evolution.

Four or five years ago at FIFA, we didn’t yet have a very large esports side, but we did have the popular EA Sports FIFA video game. We saw the opportunity for growth in that world. Now, there are tournaments for national teams and basically every member association has a national team that plays esports. It’s really come a long way in a short time.

Many lessons from the traditional sports industry can translate directly to the esports world. For example, a gamer builds up his or her brand with sponsorship and endorsement deals, and now their name becomes a brand, maybe even a household brand. They can learn lessons from some of the big athletes, teams, and sports leagues in traditional sports that work diligently to maintain brand value.

It will be valuable to hear panelists speak about other topics related to the business of sports and esports. They’ll provide important insights on constructing great sponsorship deals, the importance of social media influencers, how to capitalize on fan movements, and more traditional topics like enforcement and counterfeiting.

This Conference is not only for trademark attorneys. It’s for the wider legal community and for the business community, to get a holistic overview of cutting-edge topics that are relevant for the sports and esports industries and for the legal industry at large.

Learn more about INTA’s 2020 Europe Conference here: www.inta.org/madrid2020

December 16
INTA’s Tomorrow’s Leader Award Winners Discuss Their Roles Now and in the Future


​INTA President David Lossignol with Sher Hann Chua (Tilleke & Gibbins, Thailand), one of the recipients of the Tomorrow's Leader Award

INTA’s Tomorrow’s Leader Award recognizes two outstanding young practitioners for their early leadership merit in the intellectual property (IP) industry. The award was established to strengthen the recipients’ professional and personal development and to raise their visibility as tomorrow’s leaders within the trademark community. Winners receive registration to the Association’s Annual Meeting, the opportunity to serve on an INTA committee, and other benefits.

This year’s award recipients are Sher Hann Chua (Tilleke & Gibbins, Thailand) and Suzannah Wood (King & Wood Mallesons LLP, Australia).

Here, the young practitioners talk to INTA about various aspects of their careers and their participation in the Association.

At this point in your career, how do you define leadership and what kind of leader do you aspire to become?

Sher Hann Chua: Leadership means influencing, guiding, and mentoring individuals, while allowing them to maximize their efforts in their own development. 

I aspire to be a leader that will encourage and inspire other intellectual property practitioners to steadily push the boundaries of IP law in order to adapt with the advancement of technology. I hope to inspire other young IP practitioners to harness their potential in making a difference by contributing within and beyond our community. 

Suzannah Wood: The leaders I look up to are experts in their field but, more than that, they are well-rounded, kind people who are impressive whether they are at work or away. I aspire to become a leader like them, someone who can be called upon to give expert advice and guidance on a trademark issue, and can model other important values at the same time. 

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Suzannah Wood (King & Wood Mallesons LLP, Australia) a recipient of the Tomorrow's Leader Award

What excites you about this opportunity to serve on an INTA committee? 

SHC: I’m looking forward to being in conversations and networks with the brightest IP minds in the world. I will be serving on the Emerging Issues Committee for the 2020–2021 term, and I hope to be able to contribute to the Committee’s goals and objectives by providing insights, particularly from the Southeast Asian perspective. 

SW: I’m excited to serve on INTA’s Non-Traditional Marks Committee.. This Committee does very important work in a space that is rapidly evolving, as the law grapples with how to handle the unique challenges of protecting these signs. While it is no surprise to a trademark lawyer that such signs—sound, shape, color, motion, and so on—can, and do, function as trademarks in the minds of consumers, the law is not necessarily well-adapted to dealing with the complexities of examining and enforcing these rights. I hope to be able to contribute an Australian perspective while learning about the models employed overseas.

Do you feel that young practitioners play a particularly relevant role in the IP community? What IP issues are particularly relevant to them, and to you as a young practitioner?

SHC: Young practitioners bear the responsibility of continuing the advancement of IP to foster innovation and economic growth while standing on the shoulders of the giants of today. I believe that it is vital for young practitioners to be involved in the education, communication, and advocacy efforts of INTA from the early stages of our career so that we can learn directly from seasoned practitioners and become leading advocates of brand owners globally. 

SW: In my role at King & Wood Mallesons, I am fortunate to work in a team of dynamic and brilliant young IP practitioners. As young practitioners, we do not necessarily know the answers to the big questions, but we are always encouraged to ask “why,” and to learn. I think it is our curiosity and open-mindedness that enables us to play a relevant role in the IP community

As you look forward to the 2020  Annual Meeting, what do you hope to gain by attending?

SHC: The INTA Annual Meeting provides exposure to a massive network of influential IP practitioners that I will be able to engage in intellectual discussions with, and learn from, through the mutual sharing of practical lessons from cross-cultural and cross-jurisdictional experiences.

SW: It will be wonderful to put faces to the names of my overseas colleagues, and to meet like-minded individuals from all over the world and hear about current challenges and developments in their trademark law and practice. I have so much to learn from my overseas friends and colleagues. 

What has belonging to INTA meant to you so far, and in what ways do you anticipate deepening that connection in the future? 

SHC: INTA has been, and will remain, an exceptional network, resource, and platform to facilitate knowledge sharing across the world. Tilleke & Gibbins is a huge supporter of INTA’s Unreal Campaign, and I certainly want to continue contributing to this fantastic initiative. 

SW: My journey with INTA is just beginning, and I am very excited to deepen my connection with this important organization. I hope to contribute to INTA’s important work on trademark law well into the future, and to one day serve as a mentor for a young practitioner myself. 

INTA’s 2020 Annual Meeting​ will take place April 25–29 in Singapore. Registration opens January 8. 

October 10
Request for Information: Counterfeit Targeting Information for Latin American Authorities

​INTA has been given the opportunity to help provide important counterfeit targeting information to two offices in Latin America:

The National Directorate of Taxes and Customs of Colombia (DIAN) is gathering information on illegal importation to organize a pilot information sharing program within customs. DIAN is requesting that brand owners provide a list of their authorized importers to use as a basis for the information sharing program. 

The National Institute for the Defense of Competition and Protection of Intellectual Property of Peru (INDECOPI) is actively seeking information from the private sector in order to strengthen the country’s borders against counterfeit trade. INDECOPI is looking to create a blacklist of importers and has asked for brand owners’ assistance in gathering this information.

INTA and its Anticounterfeiting Committee (ACC) are dedicated to combatting the growth of counterfeit trade globally through the development and passage of legislation, regulations, and trade agreements throughout the world that increase national and international enforcement mechanisms against counterfeiting. The ACC is committed to raising awareness about counterfeiting by engaging with relevant stakeholders and supporting the efforts of our public sector partners.

If you are a brand owner interested in connecting with DIAN or INDECOPI for the above initiatives, please contact INTA’s Anticounterfeiting Manager, Maysa Razavi, at mrazavi@inta.org

If you would like to learn more about INTA’s anticounterfeiting initiatives and/or the ACC and its activities, please visit our website here​ or contact Ms. Razavi or INTA’s Anticounterfeiting, Advisor, Tiffany Pho at tpho@inta.org​​​​

This blog post was written by Maysa Razavi, Anticounterfeiting Manager. 

October 08
​Malaysia Advances Trademark Reform, Promotes Brand Owners’ Rights

This blog post was written by Susan Taplinger, Managing Editor, Communications

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YBhg. Dato’ Mohd Roslan bin Mahayudin (pictured, right) was appointed as Director General of Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia (MyIPO) on January 2, 2019. With more than 30 years’ service in government, Dato’ Mohd Roslan has extensive experience in the field of prosecution. Prior to his appointment as Director General of MyIPO he was the Director of Enforcement at the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs.

Here, Director General Mohd Roslan discusses some of the key legislative and policy developments affecting the intellectual property community in Malaysia.

How does MyIPO work to strengthen intellectual property (IP) laws and promote awareness of IP in Malaysia?  How is MyIPO taking the lead to promote brand value in Malaysia and globally?
To strengthen IP laws in Malaysia, it is necessary for MyIPO to make sure that the country’s IP legislation is in line with international standards. 

Over the years, MyIPO has acceded to seven treaties administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), including the Paris Convention, the Berne Convention, the Patent Cooperation Treaties, the Nice and Vienna Agreement, the WIPO Copyright Treaty, and the WIPO Performance and Phonograms Treaty.  Malaysia is also a signatory to the Trade-Related Aspects of the Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement. 

There are three main International treaties that are priorities for Malaysia: the Madrid Protocol, the  Budapest Treaty, and the Marrakesh Treaty. Due to the commitments and obligations under these international treaties, the law in Malaysia has undergone a great transformation to align the local IP laws with standards as provided under these agreements. Compliance with the treaties has shown that Malaysia’s IP laws have the appropriate legislative structure in protecting IP rights. Nevertheless, due to the rapid changes in the technologies and demand from markets, Malaysia IP law has also needed revision from time to time, in order to take into account current IP issues, and to align with international practice.

In developing Malaysia’s IP structure, MyIPO also works to enhance strategic partnerships with international IP offices, such as the Japan Patent Office, the European Union Intellectual Property Office, the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and others to collaborate in organizing trainings to educate and increase awareness of IP issues.

MyIPO also has held a number of programs and initiatives to raise awareness of the importance of IP protection, and to facilitate filing procedures and utilization of IP practices. Additionally, MyIPO has held trainings, workshops, and seminars based on its target participants. For instance, MyIPO organized National IP Day activities and awards, which were introduced to recognize the highest IP achievements in each category, to increase the recognition of the value of IP, as well as to encourage local companies, universities, researchers, SMEs, individual entrepreneurs, and students to be more creative and innovative in creating IP. 

Additional programs included seminars and workshops for stakeholders on the protection of IP and filing procedures in Malaysia. For students and teachers, MyIPO organized IP Summer Camp, aimed at raising awareness of IP protection among the younger generation through fun and interactive educational activities, and set up the IP Portal for Youngsters, which is a database of ideas for youth or students, where they can send their innovations or creative works.

MyIPO is also working to strengthen its partnership with INTA by increasing collaborative efforts in promoting the public’s awareness of IP rights and educating young consumers about IP. It is particularly important, in light of MyIPO’s accession to the Madrid Protocol, to educate the public regarding the implications of this system. 

In addition to the initiatives mentioned earlier, Malaysia has adopted brand development best practices for SMEs by through IP CONNECT, which is a major program of MyIPO and government universities in collaboration with private companies. This program includes IP Talk, IP Clinic, and Entrepreneurs Filing. Through IP Talk, MyIPO provides guidance to entrepreneurs on brand management, marketing, and growing the business, while the IP Clinic provides one-on-one consultations with companies. At the filing stage, with Entrepreneurs Filing, university involvement comes into play in the form of funds to cover the cost of application and registration.

What are some of the most important developments and recent amendments to Malaysia’s trademark law that practitioners and brand owners should be aware of? Will this encourage greater numbers of trademark registrations? 
On July 23, the Malaysian parliament passed a new and revamped trademark bill titled “Trademarks Bill 2019.” The new act, which will soon come into force, would bring significant changes to the existing legal regime for trademark protection and enforcement in Malaysia. The major reforms in the Trademarks Bill 2019 include:

  1. A new definition of “trademark” and the recognition of nontraditional trademarks;
  2. New examination approach and practices by the substitution of current practices with provisions on absolute grounds and relative grounds of refusal;
  3. Extension of the mode of applications from single class application to multiple class application;
  4. New provisions regarding the international registration system to facilitate Malaysia’s accession to the Madrid Protocol;
  5. Enhanced provisions on infringement, including remedies such as injunction, damages, account profit, delivery order, destruction, order as to disposal of infringing goods, and erasure of offending marks;
  6. The introduction of criminal offenses for counterfeiting a trademark (Sections 8 and 9 of the Trade Description Act 2011 are adopted into Trademark Bill 2019.);
  7. Provisions on monetization and securitization of trademark rights in the financial sector; and
  8. Additional provisions on licensing where licensees are allowed to bring proceedings for infringement, introducing collective marks as obligation under the Paris Convention as well as enhancement of border measure provisions for customs. 

MyIPO believes that the coming Trademark Act may encourage greater numbers of trademark registrations due to a wider scope of protection for trademarks, including sound marks, scent/smell marks, and color marks. In addition, being a member of the Madrid Protocol may also contribute to increase trademark protections for other countries that are members of the Madrid Protocol. MyIPO estimates an increase of 7‒10 percent in yearly trademark applications. 

What opportunities will there be to provide feedback on draft implementing rules? How does this kind of feedback help MyIPO advance its initiatives?
In implementing the trademark rules to align with Malaysia’s economic growth and to protect customers’ needs, from 2010 to 2018, MyIPO conducted several public consultation sessions, seminars, meetings, and dialogue sessions with stakeholders, universities, government agencies, legal practitioners, and the public in order to receive their feedback and suggestions. 

MyIPO has also conducted regulatory assessments through the Malaysia Productivity Corporation to determine the regulatory costs and the impact of the new proposed regulations on businesses. The assessment also emphasized strategies for implementation, including mechanisms to ensure their effective implementation. MyIPO is currently considering all the feedback, comments, and suggestions received from all the above initiatives regarding the new Trademark Bill 2019.

What do you see as some of the most important emerging issues for enforcement of trademarks in Malaysia? How can brand owners feed into efforts and initiatives by authorities? 
The most important emerging issues for the enforcement of trademarks in Malaysia is the same that many other countries are facing, such as counterfeit goods in the market, especially through online selling. Monitoring counterfeit trade and controlling cross-border counterfeit goods are among the most important and challenging issues to be tackled by enforcement bodies in Malaysia.

For brand owners, it is important for them to be aware of their IP rights, and not to hesitate to initiate their own legal actions against those that breach those rights. Brand owners may bring civil actions against infringers in the High Court or file complaints at the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs for criminal enforcement. 

With the new Trademarks Bill 2019, MyIPO has enhanced the criminal enforcement of trademark rights with respect to the false application of trademarked goods and services. The provision also grants powers to investigate, arrest suspects, search, and seize suspicious goods—powers which were previously governed under the Trade Description Act.


Join us at the 2019 Asia Conference: Brands in Changing Times

Innovate. Protect. Enforce. GrowOctober 17–18, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

This two-day, advanced-le​vel Conference features leading business and legal experts and government officials, to help you navigate innovation in the marketplace and in the practice of trademark law, IP protection strategies, the changing enforcement landscape, and growth opportunities in the region. 

Register today!

October 02
INTA’s 2020 Membership Renewal Is Now Open

​This post written by Ken King, Manager, Member Engagement and Retention. 

As a member, what does belonging to INTA mean to you? 

This year at INTA’s 141st Annual Meeting in Boston, Massachusetts, we asked members what belonging to INTA means to them, and we asked them to post their answers on sticky notes on a central message wall at the Meeting.IMG_7370.jpg

Some responses included “professional development,” “getting knowledge,” “building relationships,” “coming together and future of IP,” and “Education/Service/Lifelong connections and friendships forever.” This feedback allows the Association to continue its efforts to foster community spirit and to provide value to our members around the world. 

2019 has been a busy and rewarding year for INTA. Here are just a few examples of the information, knowledge, and resources that INTA has been working on to support you and your organization:

  • Over 2,300 hours of innovative, forward-looking educational programming with CLE credits
  • A Brexit Toolkit to help your organization prepare for the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union
  • The formation of a Brand Value Task Force focused on the commercialization of brands
  • The attitudinal study Gen Z Insights: Brands and Counterfeit Products, which explores the relationship between Gen Zers and brands and their attitudes about and perceptions of counterfeit products
  • The largest Annual Meeting to date with 11,000+ global registrants
  • Introduction of corporate Industry Groups, offering benchmarking with colleagues from the same industry

By renewing your 2020 membership, you and your colleagues not only will continue to have access to innovative educational programs and resources as well as numerous opportunities for networking and business development, but you will also be supporting INTA as it advances its mission as a trusted and influential advocate for the economic and social value of brands.

Our goal is to make this renewal process easy for you. To renew your membership, please log onto www.inta.org, click on “My Profile,” then click on the “renew” button on the right side of the page.

If you need additional guidance, please download our membership renewal FAQs.

Thank you for your continued membership, your participation in our programs, and your volunteer efforts throughout the year.

September 25
New EU Reports Show Substantial Contributions of Intellectual Property-Intensive Industries to Economy, Highlight Counterfeiting Challenge

​This blog was co-authored with INTA Manager, Anticounterfeiting​, Maysa Razavi. 


Three studies released this month highlight the intellectual property (IP) landscape in the European Union, including a look at the current state of counterfeiting in the region. 


The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and the European Patent Office (EPO) jointly published two of the studies. They explore the ever-increasing contribution of trademarks to job creation and the economy in the EU, as well as the ongoing pressing issue of counterfeit products at EU borders and in member states. 


The studies, released on September 19 and September 25 respectively, are: the third update of “Intellectual property rights intensive industries and economic performance in the European Union,” and the new “Report on the EU enforcement of intellectual property rights: results at the EU borders and in Member States 2013‒2017.” 


The first study, which covers 2014‒2016, highlights the strong contribution of IP rights (IPR)-intensive industries to the economic health of the EU. The major findings include:  

  • More contribution to the economy and more jobs. Industries that use IPRs such as patents, trademarks, industrial designs, and copyright contribute EUR 6.6 trillion or 45 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in the EU every year and generate 63 million jobs (29% of all EU jobs). This reflects an increase of three percent to the EU economy and one percent in job growth compared to 2011‒2013. 
  • Higher wages. IPR-intensive industries pay on average 47 percent more in wages than other sectors, a one percent increase compared to 2011‒2013.
  • IPR-intensive industries counterbalance small deficit in non-IPR intensive trade. IPR-intensive industries also account for most of the EU's trade in goods and services with the other regions of the world (81%). This represents a slight decrease since 2011‒2013, which is attributed mostly to the decrease of EU trade overall. Indeed, the EU as a whole had an overall trade surplus in IPR-intensive industries of approximately EUR 182 billion in 2016, counterbalancing a small deficit in non-IPR intensive trade.
  • Trademarks are the main driver, followed by designs. Industries that make intensive use of trademarks contribute 37 percent to the EU’s GDP and support 46.7 million jobs. Industries that use design rights contribute 16.2 percent to the EU’s total GDP and account for 30.7 million direct jobs. 
The second study focuses on fake goods detained by customs at the EU borders and in member states for the 2013‒2017 period. The main findings are as follows:

  • One fake item detained per EU citizen. Between 2013 and 2017, approximately 438 million fake items were detained in the EU—equating to  one fake item detained per EU citizen (aged 15 years and over). Of these goods, 60‒70 percent were detained in the national markets of member states, and 30‒40 percent were detained at EU borders. 
  • The value of fakes detained equals the GDP of Malta. The estimated value of fake items detained in the EU amounts to approximately EUR 12 billion—almost equivalent to the 2018 GDP of Malta, an EU member state. About 70‒85 percent of the total value of the items was accounted for by detentions in the national markets, while the remainder was detained at EU borders. 
  • Ten member states account for almost 90 percent of the number of items and 95 percent of the estimated value of the fake items detained. Italy recorded the highest individual figures, with 54 percent by volume and 60 percent by estimated value. There is no data currently available for national market detentions in some of the larger member states, such as Germany, Poland, and for part of the United Kingdom. 
  • Fake clothing accessories and toys mark the highest number of detentions. In terms of volume, the four most common subcategories of detained products, accounting for more than 33 percent of the products recorded, were clothing accessories, toys, recorded CDs/DVDs, and cigarettes.
  • Trademark-infringing items rank first in detention by volume and estimated value. Trademark infringement accounted for almost 70 percent by volume and 54 percent by estimated value of detentions at EU borders and in the national markets. 
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Source: EUIPO and EPO
  • Detentions at EU borders have decreased since 2014. Following a peak in 2014, detention of counterfeit goods by customs authorities have gradually decreased through 2017. The estimated value of the detained goods has also decreased, though at a slower pace in three of the years; they rose in 2015 and 2016. 
The third study released this month also looks at counterfeiting in the EU—this time, in 2018. Published by the EU Commission on September 19, the Report on the EU customs enforcement of intellectual property rights: Results at the EU border, 2018 notes that EU customs officials seized nearly €740 million worth of articles that infringed on IPR at the borders last year.

The findings show an increase in the number of cases and procedures conducted by customs officials, but fewer goods seized. The numbers indicate that officials are looking more closely at small parcels coming into the EU. Cigarettes (15.6%) topped the list of fake goods seized, followed by toys (14.2 %); packaging material (9.4 %); labels, tags, and stickers (8.9 %); and clothing (8.6 %). 

The top countries of origins for these goods included China (50.5 %), Bosnia and Herzegovina (9.66 %), Hong Kong (9.43 %), Cambodia (8.77 %), and Turkey 7.02 %. 

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Source: EU Commission

Given the findings of these new studies, public education and strong IPR protection remain important tools for highlighting the value of trademarks and preventing the proliferation of counterfeit goods. 

INTA advocates at the national and international levels to strengthen anticounterfeiting laws and enforcement, to increase governments’ cooperation to eliminate linkages between counterfeiting and organized crime, and to emphasize the serious threats posed by counterfeiting to the health and safety of consumers, economies, and national security.

In addition, the Association supports the development and passage of legislation, regulations, and trade agreements throughout the world that increase national and international enforcement mechanisms against counterfeiting. Through the organization’s Anticounterfeiting Committee, the Unreal Campaign​ Committee, and partnerships with governments and other organizations, INTA emphasizes the importance of strong anticounterfeiting measures and increased awareness of the harms of counterfeiting. 

For more information about the EU reports, please contact Hadrien Valembois, INTA Policy Officer, Europe, at hvalembois@inta.org. For more information on INTA’s anticounterfeiting work, please contact Maysa Razavi, INTA Manager, Anticounterfeiting, at mrazavi@inta.org. For more information about the Unreal Campaign, please contact Catherine Shen, INTA Associate, Strategic Partnerships & Unreal Campaign, at cshen@inta.org.
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