On the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere, with snow still on the New York City streets, the INTA Board of Directors gathered for its first meeting of 2017.
Not only was this the first meeting for the newest class of Board members, but it was also the first ever meeting to include our three Advisory Directors. The Advisory Director role was introduced during the 2016 Bylaws revision to incorporate individuals with special expertise into the Board. We were very pleased to welcome our Advisory Directors: Doug de Villiers, CEO, Intergroup Brand Consulting; Andrea Gerosa, Chief Thinker, Founder, ThinkYoung; afnd Cindy Tian, formerly the Asia-Pacific Regional Vice Chair, Edelman.
One of the main agenda items of this meeting was the approval of the Association’s 2018–2021 Strategic Plan, as presented by the Planning Committee of the Board. In order to be as inclusive and forward thinking as possible, the Planning Committee solicited feedback not only from INTA past presidents, the Board of Directors, members, and staff, but also from IP offices around the world, individuals from other IP organizations, and individuals from non-IP organizations. The full roll-out of the 2018 – 2021 Strategic Plan will begin at the Annual Meeting in May and will serve as a road map that INTA will follow to set objectives for the 2018–2019 committee term and to track that all Association activities advance the Plan.
The Board also approved the leadership for the Saul Lefkowitz Moot Court Competition. The competition runs from March to March, and planning for the next competition will begin immediately following the 2016–2017 national finals that were just held on March 18. The Board approved the election of Joe Nabor, Fitch, Even, Tabin & Flannery, LLP (USA) as Chair and Cindy Walden, Fish & Richardson P.C. (USA) as the Vice Chair of the 2017–2018 Saul Lefkowitz Moot Court Competition. Please join me in congratulating them.
Finally, the Board approved the Resolution on the Madrid Protocol Dependency Period, which supports reducing the dependency period of an international registration on the basic mark from five to three years under the Madrid Protocol.
Following a successful board meeting, there were many INTA activities that took place throughout the week.
On March 21, INTA hosted a luncheon with special guests at the United Nations to discuss Internet capacity building—how trademark law and Internet governance enable sustainable development and growth. This same day, the Association hosted a Free Trade Zone Workshop in New York. The purpose of these workshops is to provide a forum for brand owners, free trade zone authorities, government officials, and other key stakeholders to share their concerns, best practices, and to work together toward solutions to combat the ongoing threat of counterfeiting in free trade zones. To conclude the week of events, the Brands and Fashion Conference took place from March 22 to March 23,. With 354 attendees from 50 countries, it was a sold-out event! An INTA Bulletin article will feature a full report on this conference in the coming weeks.