NEW YORK, N.Y., April 10, 2013 – The International Trademark Association (INTA) announced today that its Board of Directors has selected Etienne Sanz de Acedo as the Association’s new Chief Executive Officer. Spanish-born Sanz de Acedo will join INTA executive staff from the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM), the official European Union agency responsible for overseeing trademarks and designs, where he serves as a Member of the Cabinet of the President and Head of Communications. Sanz de Acedo will succeed INTA’s current leader Alan Drewsen following his retirement this summer.
Sanz de Acedo’s expansive international credentials reflect the multicultural spirit of INTA, and his years of service in the areas of trademark law, public administration and academia uniquely position him to represent the interests of the global trademark community.
“Over the many years I’ve worked with the trademark community, I have experienced first-hand INTA’s influence in shaping the policies that protect brand innovation and support the economic success and viability of its members,” said Sanz de Acedo. “During my tenure, I will continue INTA’s legacy of focusing on our members, and I look forward to strengthening the value that brands bring to consumer choice, innovation and competition, and ensuring those brands are protected.”
Sanz de Acedo will work to cultivate meaningful partnerships in new regions and with other IP and industry associations, as well as with non-traditional entities such as trade unions, public administrations and governments. He will collaborate with INTA members and partners to begin a global dialogue on critical issues such as the expansion of international registration systems and the importance of educating the public about the value of trademarks in protecting consumers and promoting vibrant economies.
“As the global economy evolves, so must our organization. The Board’s decision to elect Etienne as CEO is yet another example of its commitment to providing world-class education and advocacy on the issues that are mission-critical to our members,” said Toe Su Aung, President of INTA. “His global perspective and depth of knowledge in trademark law through practice and teaching will foster new relationships to advance INTA’s global mission.”
At OHIM, Sanz de Acedo was integral in navigating a complex legislative environment and establishing new competencies that fostered international cooperation. As a member of OHIM’s Cabinet, he led an extensive global consultation process with influential multi-national IP NGOs, government and EU officials, which ultimately led to the adoption and approval of OHIM’s new strategic vision. In addition, as an associate professor of IP law at Alicante University and a former visiting professor of strategic marketing at the Estonian Business School and FUNDESEM Business School, Sanz de Acedo is devoted to educating future leaders of the IP industry and has a passion for continued learning, which is a key tenet of INTA.
Sanz de Acedo emerged from a highly competitive pool of candidates based on an exhaustive 18-month process led by the Board-appointed Search Committee in close partnership with global executive search firm Korn/Ferry International.
“INTA’s search for a new leader further aligns the organization with the complex needs of a changing global economy,” said Gerhard Bauer, Chief Trademark Counsel of Daimler AG and past president of INTA, who led the executive search process on behalf of the Association’s Board of Directors. “Etienne’s extensive knowledge of the trademark and IP issues affecting all of our members as well as his meaningful relationships within the industry makes him the right choice to continue INTA’s growth and strengthen its global influence.”
“Under Etienne’s leadership, INTA will remain steadfast in advocating for the public policy issues of greatest consequence to our growing membership,” said Alan Drewsen, Executive Director of INTA. “I congratulate my friend and colleague on his selection by the Board to lead this outstanding association.”
Fluent in Spanish, French, English and Italian, Sanz de Acedo will serve as INTA’s first European executive. He will be introduced at INTA’s Annual Meeting this May in Dallas, Texas, and will assume responsibilities as Chief Executive Officer this summer following Drewsen’s retirement.
“I applaud the great work that Alan Drewsen has done in establishing INTA as a world-class trade organization, and look forward to working closely with the impressive INTA team to support their professional growth while building our international presence,” said Sanz de Acedo.
Sanz de Acedo will relocate from Spain to the U.S. to lead INTA from its global headquarters in New York.
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Founded in 1878, the International Trademark Association (INTA) is a global association of trademark owners and professionals dedicated to supporting trademarks and related intellectual property in order to protect consumers and to promote fair and effective commerce. Members include more than 6,200 trademark owners, professionals and academics from more than 190 countries, who benefit from the Association’s global trademark research, education and training, policy development, and international network. Headquartered in New York City, INTA also has offices in Shanghai, Brussels and Washington, D.C., and representatives in Geneva and Mumbai.