I can’t believe it’s been almost three weeks since we were all in San Diego for the 137th Annual
Meeting. For all of us there’s so much work preparing for the meeting and then we get home and we’re exhausted but there’s all the follow-up… which is perhaps the most important part. Don’t forget to follow-up on all those leads!
With the largest number of registrants to date, the 2015 Annual Meeting was a huge success. As many of you may remember, 10 years ago INTA was in San Diego with around 6,000 registrants. This year we reached a groundbreaking 9,875 registrants, broken regional as followed:
From the excellent educational programs to the countless networking events to the exciting excursions, the 2015 Annual Meeting was a great success, and I would like to thank everyone for helping us pull off such a memorable event.
Welcome, Brand Ambassadors!
On Sunday, May 3, the Annual Meeting officially kicked off with the Opening Ceremony (see below). This year’s Annual Meeting Co-Chairs, Joshua J. Burke (General Mills, Inc.—USA) and Mario Soerensen Garcia (Soerensen Garcia Advogados Associados—Brazil), interviewed INTA CEO Etienne Sanz de Acedo (go to 13:00 on video). Etienne shared the Association’s accomplishments from the past year, which included the signing of cooperation agreements with governments and IP offices, Unreal Campaign events, international delegations, Board Resolutions, Association conferences and meetings, and more. He also highlighted some of the Association’s goals for the year ahead. For example, with the introduction of the Presidential Task Forces in 2014, INTA is expanding its committees to enhance and enrich member participation, to build bridges with partners around the world and to research the relationship between brands and innovation. Indeed, the Association looks forward to another busy year ahead!
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My own remarks focused on the concept of “Brand Ambassadors” (go to 31:10 on video). As I have mentioned in the past, I view us—the global trademark community—as one of the most important groups of brand ambassadors in the world. Now, more than ever, trademark professionals must be effective in protecting brand authenticity and strengthening consumer relations in the always-evolving digital age.
The 2015 Keynote Address was delivered by Walter Robb, Co-CEO of Whole Foods. Robb emphasized the need for trademark professionals to believe in and stick to their companies’ core values when developing their business models. Whole Foods started with a flagship store in Austin, Texas, and has grown into an international chain. This success would not have been possible, however, without the core principles of shared purpose and responsibility. The company strives for authenticity by ensuring that employees believe in and practice the principles that are the foundation of the brand. Robb noted that “a brand will only reach its full potential when it’s owned by everyone within the company.”
A Productive Annual Meeting
We also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL). This MOU serves as the foundation to a formal working relationship between INTA and IPOPHL.
The Annual Meeting would not be complete without a Grand Finale! On Wednesday night, INTA descended upon the San Diego’s historical Gas Lamp District for an Association block party. Registrants enjoyed live music and delicious food, while connecting with friends old and new.
To read more about the day-to-day events of INTA’s 2015 Annual Meeting, be sure to read the INTA Daily News, which is published on site during the Annual Meeting, as well as the June 1 issue of the INTA Bulletin.
I want to thank everyone for their participation, effort and contribution to the INTA 2015 Annual Meeting, and for the strong cooperative spirit you have all helped to foster. We have such an incredible community, and this is truly felt at these yearly gatherings. We look forward to seeing everyone again in Orlando next year for the 138th Annual Meeting!