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August 22
INTA in Brazil – a new memorandum and much more

I’m finishing up an action-packed week in Brazil, accompanied by INTA Board member Susan Crane (Group Vice President of Legal Intellectual Property at Wyndham Worldwide), INTA CEO Etienne Sanz de Acedo and Laura Cruz, INTA's External Relations Manager for Latin America. We’ve accomplished a great deal during our time here and I’d like to share some of the highlights with you:

We scheduled the delegation to coincide with the 50th Anniversary of the Brazilian Association of Intellectual Property (ABPI). As Latin America’s largest economy, home to many international brands, and host of the 2014 Soccer World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games, Brazil is an increasingly important player in the global economy. I had the pleasure of addressing ABPI’s 33rd Congress on IP, held in Rio de Janeiro, and took the opportunity to discuss some of the latest global trademark developments and issues impacting the Brazilian trademark community, such as ambush marketing and need for greater trademark law harmonization. ABPI also hosted INTA as an honored guest at the Anniversary Gala Dinner.

The most notable event of the trip was the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Institute of Industrial Property of Brazil (INPI) on August 21st. While INTA has developed a close, productive relationship with this national office over the years, INPI President Jorge Ávila and I were enthusiastic to sign this agreement on behalf of our two organizations, paving the way for even closer cooperation in the future.

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INTA President Toe Su Aung and INPI President Jorge Ávila signing the Memorandum of Understanding

The MOU sets a foundation for joint programs and technical cooperation, including information exchanges, and tailored education and training for trademark office staff and the users of Brazil’s trademark system, many of whom are INTA members. The document also outlines our shared goals of improving systems and procedures, especially opposition proceedings, mediation in trademark conflict dispute and online protection.

This week’s trip to Brazil builds upon INTA’s ongoing work in the region. At this year’s INTA Annual Meeting in Dallas, INTA signed an MOU with Mexico – similar to the one just signed with Brazil –and we are working closely with Mexico and Colombia, the latest Latin American countries to sign the Madrid Protocol, as they transition to the harmonized trademark filing system. Likewise, we look forward to offering the same support to Brazil in the near future. The Brazilian Chamber of Foreign Trade has approved Brazil’s accession to the Protocol and we now await Congress’s consideration of the legislation. We hope that Brazil will become the next (and final BRIC) country to join the Madrid community.

My thanks to the INTA members and staff who took part in the delegation, and to ABPI and INPI for their warm hospitality and ongoing support of our work in Brazil.

For more information about the INTA-INPI MOU, please refer to this press release.

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