INTA Bulletin

December 1, 2017 Vol. 72 No. 20 Back to Bulletin Main Page

INTA Hosts Successful Leadership Meeting in Washington, D.C.

Last month, INTA convened the largest Leadership Meeting in the Association’s history in Washington, D.C. Held at the Washington Marriott Marquis, INTA committee members and Association leadership gathered for education, networking, and the last in-person committee meetings during the 2016‒2017 committee term. INTA welcomed members of Congress at several events, including the Welcome and Awards Ceremony and the INTA Political Action Committee (PAC) reception. Additionally, several committee meetings featured dialogues with government officials.

Board of Directors Meeting

On Tuesday, November 7, the Board Meeting was held at the USPTO, where the Board elected several new Directors and Officers. Additionally, the Board discussed the updated and expanded report on “Best Practices for Addressing the Sale of Counterfeits on the Internet,” which outlines best practices for Internet service providers, search engines, auction sites, and payment providers.

Since the 2016 Leadership Meeting, some of the major milestones for the Association recounted by the Board include the opening of the Latin America & the Caribbean Representative Office in Santiago, Chile, an increase in global outreach and engagement on all continents, and the development and implementation plan for the 2018‒2021 Strategic Plan. Further, the Brand Restrictions Presidential Task Force presented to the Board with recommendations for action/future study, as well as strategies for advocacy and communications efforts to raise INTA’s visibility on brand restrictions within a defined scope of issues. Following the Board review of the report, later in the week there was a Leadership Meeting education session focused on this topic, in which panelists discussed the need for brand owners to be focused on this issue with the increase on brand restrictions globally and its challenging effects on brand owners’ products.

The Board also passed two new Board Resolutions:
  • Copyright Registration as a Precondition to Infringement Suit Resolution, which recommends that courts permit infringement actions to proceed when a copyright owner has filed an application to register a copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office, along with the required application and fee, rather than requiring applicants to obtain a registration certificate back from the Copyright Office before filing suit.
  • The second resolution adopted Model Design Law Guidelines, which will serve as a standard for INTA analysis and comment on national and regional design laws and regulations.
Association Opens Exhibit at the National Inventors Hall of Fame Museum

The Board of Directors, in collaboration with officials from the National Inventors Hall of Fame (NIHF), also held a ribbon cutting for the opening of INTA’s exhibit at the NIHF museum, located at the USPTO. At the opening, the NIHF representative stated that “the museum stands as a monument to innovation with the goal to show the power of trademarks, copyright, and patents while educating visitors on issues including the dangerous effects from counterfeiting as illustrated in INTA’s exhibit.” The exhibit was curated by an engaged INTA brand owner project team in collaboration with INTA staff and NIHF officials.

INTA’s exhibit at the museum focuses on trademark education and outreach on counterfeiting with interactive activities, published data about the challenges presented by counterfeiting, and tips to help protect consumers from purchasing counterfeit products. It is expected that more than 30,000 visitors will come through the museum in the next year, including school groups, visiting tourists, and the global IP community. INTA is excited by the opportunity to engage with the visitors through the exhibit about the challenges posed by counterfeiting products. INTA’s exhibit will be on display until May 2019 and the museum is free and open to the general public. If you have plans to be in the D.C., Maryland, or Virginia area, we hope you will consider a visit to the NIHF museum!

Welcome and Awards Ceremony

Following the INTA Board of Directors meeting, the Welcome and Awards Ceremony kicked off at the Washington Marriott Marquis. INTA CEO Etienne Sanz de Acedo welcomed Leadership Meeting registrants to Washington, D.C., and provided brief opening remarks, including an update on the Board Meeting, and announced the incoming Directors and Officers elected to begin their term in January 2018.

For the first time at an INTA Leadership Meeting, two Congressional Trademark Caucus (CTC) co-chairs from the U.S. House of Representatives, Representative Ted Deutch (D-Fl-22nd) and Representative John Ratcliffe (R-TX-4th) addressed the audience at the opening ceremony. (Their remarks are available here.) As champions for trademarks on Capitol Hill, their leadership of the bi-partisan, bicameral CTC provides opportunities for education and outreach about trademarks and provides a strong voice for the importance of intellectual property enforcement on Capitol Hill. Their remarks provided registrants with insight about how INTA works with the CTC and its direct effect on educating consumers, businesses, and policymakers about trademarks.

In a state of the Association address, INTA 2017 President Joe Ferretti (Pepsico, Inc., USA) touched upon some of the many accomplishments made under the 2013‒2017 Strategic Plan. Highlighting key successes from the past four years, Mr. Ferretti covered a wide array of Association activities, from increased engagement with governments and policymakers worldwide, such as the Congressional Trademark Caucus; expanded global engagement and outreach, including the opening of new offices in Latin America and Singapore; expansion of global education programs, including programs on several continents; and a major global increase in INTA membership. Mr. Ferretti also spoke about how INTA has heightened its presence as a global thought leader with new quantitative studies that focus on data collection and information to help INTA educate, strategize, and collaborate with policymakers, businesses, and consumers. Concluding his address, Mr. Ferretti stressed how the hard work of members and staff are “innovating and moving our Association into the future,” concluding that, “we are poised to begin our next chapter. I believe—and submit to you—that the state of our organization is strong.”

Finally, Mr. Ferretti honored members of the INTA community with Volunteer Service Awards, the President’s Awards, and the inaugural Tomorrow’s Leaders Awards. INTA congratulates these members on their achievements and dedication to the Association’s work.

INTA PAC Reception Features Senator Cornyn (R-TX) and Representative Issa (R-CA-49th)

On Wednesday evening, INTA’s Political Action Committee (INTA PAC) hosted a Leadership Meeting reception with a packed Presidential Suite and remarks from U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) and U.S. House of Representatives Member, Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA-49th). Senator Cornyn, who is serving as the Senate Majority Whip, discussed current issues in the Senate and answered questions posed by INTA registrants. Representative Issa, who is a patent holder himself and an entrepreneur, noted the importance of the trademark system and the challenges presented by counterfeiting. INTA PAC attendees enjoyed the opportunity to talk with Senator Cornyn and Representative Issa at the reception and appreciated their support and advocacy for brand owners’ interests.

INTA Concludes Successful Strategic Plan and Implements New Strategic Plan in January

In January, INTA will implement its new Strategic Plan (2018‒2021) and kick off the new committee term with the committee’s objectives and goals tied to the new Strategic Plan.

The Strategic Plan and its corresponding Implementation Plan were presented in-depth during a panel discussion featuring INTA President Elect Tish Berard (Hearts On Fire Company LLC, USA), INTA Vice President David Lossignol (Sandoz International GmbH, Germany), INTA Chief Governance Officer Randi Mustello, and Mr. Sanz de Acedo. During the course of the hour-long presentation, which included a lively Q&A, the panelists demonstrated continuity from the 2013‒2017 Strategic Plan to the new Strategic Plan, provided insight into the methodology behind the development of the new Strategic Plan, the rationale behind the updated mission statement, and a shared vision for the future of the Association and its role on the global trademark community. A key goal of the session was to infuse a common understanding of what needs to be accomplished over the next four years among Association leaders and committee members. Looking at the Implementation Plan, Mr. Sanz de Acedo provided concrete examples of projects to be undertaken during the course of the next four years, while Ms. Mustello explained how the committees can be most effective in serving the new Strategic Plan and reminded committee leaders of the various tools available to them.

The session was video recorded and will be made available to all members in the coming weeks.

Educational Sessions

The Leadership Meeting was co-chaired by Elisabeth Escobar (Marriott International Inc., USA) and Peter Chalk (Ashurst, Australia) who developed an innovative program with three days of educational sessions on cutting-edge topics, including sessions on the Madrid Protocol, rights protection mechanisms included in the gTLDs program, public policy strategies, trademark piracy, and the intersection of trademarks and copyrights.

A highlight of the educational program was INTA’s Leadership Development Committee session, through its L.E.A.D. (Leadership Enhancement and Development) initiative, which invited the Smithsonian Institution’s Director of the Office of International Relations and Global Programs, Molly Fannon, to address Leadership Meeting registrants. Ms. Fannon spoke about her views on leadership, including that “you have to be human to be a good leader.” In her speech, she encouraged registrants to be innovative in their leadership and to think about how to best share their ideas and passions with others as part of an effort to achieve shared goals and objectives.

During an engaging session on the Madrid Protocol, panelists noted the importance of understanding the key role and value of using the Madrid System and the opportunity it provides through trademark protection in a streamlined and cost-effective manner. With increased interest by governments and brand owners, the panelists noted that they believe that the number of Madrid Protocol filings will increase as brand owners further educate themselves about the process. Additionally, with several countries interested in joining the Madrid Protocol, especially in the ASEAN region, interest in the Madrid Protocol will likely soar.

With the Leadership Meeting being held in Washington, D.C., there was a unique opportunity to have a public policy and lobbying education session. The panelists provided an overview of the lobbying and compliance rules and processes in the United States, including how political action committees (PACs) work, and discussed components of lobbying and public policy programs.

In the trademarks and copyrights session, panelists discussed the importance of reviewing companies’ copyright policies and ensuring that companies have licenses for the content that is being used internally and externally. The panelists explained their compliance programs and how they monitor copyright use in their company and with their customers.

See You in Seattle!

INTA thanks its members for serving on committees during this committee term and for their active engagement throughout the term, including at the Leadership Meeting. The Association looks forward to an exciting 2018, with the launch of the new Strategic Plan, the new committee term and new committee leadership, and the 2018 Annual Meeting in Seattle, for which registration launches in January. See you in Seattle, Washington!

Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of items in the INTA Bulletin, readers are urged to check independently on matters of specific concern or interest.

© 2017 International Trademark Association