January 29
Success in China
From left to right: Ms. Zhang Junqin and Lu Guoliang (WIPO China Office) with INTA President J. Scott Evans, INTA CEO Etienne Sanz de Aecdo and INTA China Chief Representative Seth Hays​
The food was simple and fantastic—a bowl of noodles with salty fried pork sauce, a well-known dish called Zhajiangmian that is found in any number of Chinese restaurants. INTA’s first delegation of the year, and the first of two to China, was taking a quick lunch before our last of many events that week. We were in “China’s Silicon Valley,” Zhongguancun, to address a crowd of local Chinese tech companies. In the tech compound’s canteen, we were surrounded by professionals—all, no doubt, busy working on the next great innovative technologies, products and services.
Addressing the conference, I delivered a simple message: Trademarks play an important role in the global economy and support millions of jobs in every corner of the world. And INTA supports Chinese brand owners in China who are seeking to expand abroad.
The week-long delegation included two standing-room-only seminars in Beijing. The first was on Online Counterfeiting. The event brought together the three key stakeholders invested in this issue: government, brand owners and online intermediaries—a tremendous accomplishment for INTA. Officials from SAIC, Customs, National Leading Group and the Supreme People’s Court delivered in-depth information, while INTA members provided industry views—from online providers such as Alibaba to brand owners such as NBA who have been affected by online fakes. The audience was deeply engaged throughout the seminar, and our Anticounterfeiting Committee with its team of dedicated volunteers will keep the momentum going.
Online Counterfeiting Seminar, Etienne addressing panel of government speakers from NLGO, SPC, MPS, SAIC and Customs
The second seminar was entitled, “Building Brands Abroad in the 21st Century,” touching upon an issue of increasing importance among Chinese brand owners. Discussions centered on how Chinese firms, both large and small, are developing, registering and protecting brands; also discussed were the challenges and opportunities these brands face overseas. INTA members from multinational corporations shared their views, best practices and thoughts on these issues. Some of the good advice shared at the event was covered in the China Daily.
Throughout the week, I was greatly impressed by the caliber and dedication of the many officials we met:
  • Our counterparts at CTA, including Secretary General Jiang Ruibin, are spearheading a number of initiatives, such as the development of a Brand Research Institute and the implementation of a new testing regime for trademark agents in China.
  • Director Liu Yan of SAIC’s International Cooperation Department provided an update on the ever-increasing number of trademarks that the CTMO must examine—and their efforts to complete examinations within nine months (as required by the new Trademark Law).
  • The National Leading Group Director Tan Jian recapped the organization’s work over the year on online counterfeiting. We look forward to seeing what projects and priorities are set in the future.
  • And, impressively, we visited the Supreme People’s Court, IP Tribunal. I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting a Supreme Court Justice in the United States, yet already in the first month of this year, I have met three from China’s Supreme People’s Court!
From left to right: Etienne, J. Scott and Supreme People’s Court Chief Judge of IP Tribunal Song Xiaoming
In my opinion, based on years of observation, it is clear that the Chinese government has done more than any other government in the world to improve the state of intellectual property and, in particular, trademarks. It was an honor to meet these leaders, to hear them discuss their top issues and to share with them how INTA can support their future efforts.
The week would not have been possible if it were not for all the great support from INTA members in China. We gathered dozens of our members for a pre-Annual Meeting reception, and I am really looking forward to seeing everyone again at our in China Reception in San Diego.
Dinner with non-member corporates from China talking about trademark issues
As an organization, INTA has a deep repository of best practices, educational information and talent, and we look forward to supporting our members in China with robust IP strategies to help their brands become globally recognized. Also, I am looking forward to taking another delegation back to China in October of this year. Maybe I’ll find that noodle dish again…



Media Coverage from the January 2015 INTA Delegation to China:

  • 电商成假冒伪劣温床? 国际商标协会主席:这是种误解 (E-commerce platform has become hotbed for counterfeiting? INTA President said: It’s a misunderstanding) (
  • INTA在京成功举办“塑造品牌及境外注册商标的策略”研讨会 (INTA Seminar on “Building Brands Abroad in the 21st Century” Successfully held in Beijing) (China IP Magazine)
  • 互联网品牌保护是个系统工程 (Online Brand Protection is Systematic Work) (China IP News)
  • Register trademarks abroad in advance, companies advised (China Daily)
  • 国际商标协会:中国推动知识产权保护和商标事业发展成效显著 (INTA: China Gov’t Gets Impressive Results for IPR Protection and Trademark Industry Development) (
  • China Delegation Expands Engagement with Government, Industry and IP Associations​​ (INTA Bulletin​)



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