INTA Hosts Education and Outreach Events on Capitol Hill in Celebration of World IP Day

Published: May 15, 2018

On April 25, INTA hosted a Sports Industry Briefing in the Hart Senate Office Building focused on intellectual property (IP) enforcement. The briefing featured remarks from the U.S. Senate Congressional Trademark Caucus co-chairs Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) and Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA); the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator, Vishal Amin; and an all-star panel of representatives from sports leagues and collegiate sports, including Lindsay Victor (IMG, USA); Ashley Page (IMG, USA); Dolores DiBella (National Football League, USA); Tanya Fickenscher (Major League Baseball Properties, Inc., USA); Thomas Prochnow (NHL Enterprises, L.P., USA); Sacha Tarrant (NBA Properties, Inc., USA); and Moderator, Kristi Dosh, a freelance sports journalist. The panel focused on how the sports industry works to ensure strong IP protections for its products and seeks to stop counterfeit products from reaching consumers.

During the keynote speeches, Senator Coons shared anecdotes about discussions with his family at sports events and how he explains to them why fans of all ages should only purchase authentic merchandise. Senator Grassley further discussed how counterfeit products are sold by criminals and the importance of supporting businesses that are selling authentic goods.

The panel provided insight and tips about purchasing goods and how to find authentic goods at varying price points. Speakers discussed the importance of researching retail outlets and suggested purchasing items from your favorite team (or league) website or store. They shared experiences about sales of counterfeit goods and noted the costs of IP enforcement. In conclusion, the panelists noted the importance of working together with the sports community to educate and engage with consumers and especially fans about the direct harms caused by counterfeit products and the importance of buying only authentic sports products in support of their favorite team or league.

On April 26, World IP Day (WIPD), INTA joined with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the IP stakeholder community to host a briefing in the Rayburn House Office Building focused on this year’s WIPD theme of “Powering Change: Women in Innovation and Creativity.” INTA Vice President and Executive Vice President & Deputy General Counsel at NBA Properties, Inc., Ayala Deutsch, presented keynote remarks on behalf of INTA, noting INTA’s commitment to diversity of all forms, including gender diversity and how diversity and inclusion is central to the Association’s mission. Further, Ms. Deutsch shared that INTA currently has a female president, Tish Berard (Hearts On Fire Company, LLC, USA), and that in the past 20 years, 50 percent of INTA presidents have been women.

The WIPD event included a woman in innovation panel and passionate speeches about the importance of IP from Representative Bob Goodlatte (R-VA-6th), Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA-49th) and Representative Hank Johnson (D-GA-4th). In addition to the importance of IP enforcement, the Members of Congress spoke about the importance of IP to the global economy and innovation.

INTA enjoyed the opportunity to partner with the IP stakeholder community and government entities on this successful event. The Association looks forward to its continued work together with the global community on educating consumers of all ages about IP and celebrating how gender parity and diversity leads to increased opportunities for innovation and collaboration.

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. Law & Practice updates are published without comment from INTA except where it has taken an official position.

© 2018 International Trademark Association