INTA President Mei-lan Stark meets with members at the China Reception
This year’s Annual Meeting was a first in many ways. Of course, it was the Association’s first Annual Meeting ever held in Asia, fostering the strategic goal of international expansion. It welcomed the most attendees from the Asia-Pacific region, among them a significant number of first-time attendees, all of whom enjoyed access to the many educational sessions, networking and member services offered during the Annual Meeting.
But perhaps most critical to INTA’s mission and Strategic Plan, this year INTA leadership also hosted a number of high-level Chinese government officials during the meeting, and welcomed their valuable participation in several key sessions and meetings. As China becomes a more open market and continues to strengthen its IP regime, the importance of engagement at the government level cannot be emphasized enough.
Following a productive visit with INTA President Mei-lan Stark, CEO Etienne Sanz de Acedo and other INTA delegation members in April, Mr. Li Zhenzhong, Director-General of the Office of the National Leading Group on the Fight against IPR Infringement and Counterfeiting (NLGO) graciously accepted the Association’s invitation to Hong Kong. Mr. Li’s participation was instrumental to a session that marked another first—a panel comprised of Chinese government officials that was conducted in Mandarin and simultaneously translated into English. The session also included Judge Yin Shaoping of the Intellectual Property Tribunal of China’s Supreme People’s Court; Ms. Zhang Feifei from the Division of Intellectual Property Rights at the Economic Crime Investigation Department of the Ministry of Public Security; and Mr. Tao Xinliang, Dean of the Intellectual Property Institute of Shanghai University. The panel provided an interactive forum for each of the representatives to report on the work of their departments and to exchange views with one another, as well as INTA members and other attendees.
NLGO Director-General Li speaking at the China government session
Mr. Li also participated in the China Subcommittee meeting of the Anticounterfeiting Committee, where he reported that China dealt with 280,000 criminal cases relating to IP crime in 2013, captured 53,000 criminal suspects, concluded 12,000 criminal cases and effectively sentenced 14,000 suspects.
A delegation of 10 representatives from the China Trademark Association (CTA), which is under the leadership of China’s State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC), also attended the Annual Meeting. They introduced CTA’s mission to INTA leadership and explained their key goal of publicizing and implementing the new China Trademark Law. CTA also plans to launch a Product Brand Research Institute by September of this year, aimed at gathering public opinion on key project topics; will celebrate their 20th anniversary in September with the Brand Economy Summit; and will host the China International Trademark Festival in November.
INTA also hosted a number of officials from Guangdong province IP-related ministries. Notably, officials from Guangdong Customs attended the full committee meeting of the Anticounterfeiting Committee.
To balance out all the hard work, over 300 attendees turned up to the China Reception on Monday, May 12 to network and enjoy delicious Chinese cuisine and cocktails. The event marked the best-attended China Reception ever, and offered INTA leadership a chance to interact with Chinese members in a more casual setting.
INTA plans to stay actively engaged with all of these groups, and is sincerely grateful for the time and effort they committed to attend and participate in the Annual Meeting. More detailed reports from Hong Kong, including more photos, will be published in the June 15 issue of the INTA Bulletin—so check back with us soon!