I am very pleased to provide an update on the INTA meetings and events that recently took place in Beijing.
On Monday, September 19, 2016, INTA’s Board of Directors assembled in Beijing for our first-ever meeting in mainland China, an important milestone for our Association. We discussed our recent delegation to Malaysia and Singapore. While in Singapore, we participated in the IP Week conference and celebrated the opening of our Asia Pacific Representative Office.
We updated the Board on our recent Building Africa with Brands Conference. This was INTA’s first conference in Africa. Attendees traveled from 34 countries to join us in Cape Town, South Africa, to discuss the role of brands in Africa’s future.
We also had an in-depth discussion on plain packaging and what INTA needs to do to support brand owners around the world and across many industries.
We ended the day with a reception, where the Board had the opportunity to meet with over 80 members from China.
On Tuesday, September 20, the day started with an informative meeting with multiple officials from the State Administration for Industry & Commerce (SAIC), including officials from the Trademark Office, the Trademark Appeal Board, and the China Trademark Association. Then we held the 2016 Government Relations Program, during which we heard about the changes and effectiveness of the new May 2014 trademark law from local practitioners and government officials. Another panel that included representatives from leading Internet platforms, government officials, and practitioners discussed new policies and practices to combat counterfeiting in the online market in China.
Later that day, the entire Board had the honor and privilege of an audience with judges from the Supreme People’s Court IP Tribunal, including Chief Judge Song Xiaoming. After a presentation from the IP Tribunal judges, the judges welcomed questions from the Board and provided updates on the formation of the Case Study Guidance Center, damages awards for IP infringement cases, and the recent Original Equipment Manufacture (OEM) Judicial Interpretation.
The day concluded with the signing of a Cooperation Agreement between INTA, Zhongguancun Federation of Social Organizations (ZGCFSO), and the Beijing Intellectual Property Protection Association (BIPPA). We look forward to working with ZGCFSO and BIPPA to assist Chinese industry in its journey to build more world-famous brands. Together, our three organizations are uniquely positioned to support brand owners and innovation in China through education, exchange of information, and engagement.
Finally, the events concluded on Wednesday, September 21, with an INTA–BASCAP Anticounterfieting Workshop supported by the Quality Brands Protection Committee of China (QBPC), titled “Intermediaries and Rights Holders—Working Together to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy,” the third in a series of workshops we are planning this year with BASCAP. Our next workshop will be held in Brussels on November 30th. Through these regional events we are looking to develop best practices that we can apply globally in 2017 and onward. Building a strong relationship with our Chinese members and government officials is a priority for INTA. The meetings and events that took place in Beijing reflect the importance of China to the Association and to the international trademark community. We look forward to a long and fruitful cooperation and friendship and will be back in China soon.