I am excited to be welcoming everyone to the 139th Annual Meeting in Barcelona, Spain. With more than 10,400 registrants from more than 150 countries, this is the largest and most diverse Annual Meeting in INTA history!
I encourage all registrants, over the next five days, to take advantage of everything the Annual Meeting and the beautiful city of Barcelona have to offer. All INTA activities will take place at the Fira Gran Via—this is where everyone will be! This year’s meeting includes a fantastic program featuring more than 300 customized educational sessions, 35 general educational sessions, more than 225 table topics, 20+ networking opportunities, and more than 100 committee meetings. The program covers pertinent trademark-related topics, including anticounterfeiting, data protection, new gTLDs, social media, and trademark protection in regional trade agreements, to name but a few.
A couple of highlights to mention: INTA has expanded the Anticounterfeiting Workshop to two days of dedicated programming for corporate members and government officials. New this year, the Lunch and Learn series, which features dynamic and innovative speakers from beyond the world of trademarks, is intended to bring a new dimension and perspective to our IP discussions. Come hungry…for food and insight! Also on Tuesday, at 3:15 pm, join us for an open discussion with IP Offices, focusing on electronic filings and transactions, customer education initiatives, and more.
Of course, I hope everyone has marked their calendar for the Opening Ceremony, this Sunday at 4:00 pm. I’ll be speaking alongside INTA CEO Etienne Sanz de Acedo and Annual Meeting Co-Chairs Jomarie Fredericks and Slobodan Petosevic. I’m personally excited to hear the keynote address from Íñigo Méndez de Vigo, Spain’s Minister of Education, Culture and Sport. Mr. Méndez de Vigo will share with us his thoughts on the future of Europe and IP—a very timely discussion.
To conclude the week, we’ll all loosen our ties and let our hair down at the Grand Finale, taking place on Wednesday evening on Barceloneta Beach. It will be a beautiful Barcelona night to conclude what promises to be a successful week of education, networking, and fun!
And to those of you who are attending your first Annual Meeting: Take advantage of everything! Spain may be the home of the siesta, but there will be plenty of time to sleep once what is sure to be the busiest week for you this year has concluded! More important, remember that INTA is a community. This is my 15th Annual Meeting, and more than anything, it feels like home! Welcome to the INTA family!