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How I Maximize My INTA Membership: Don Leo Tagatac

Published: April 28, 2021

Don Leo Tagatac

Don Leo Tagatac, IP-PORTUNITY, USA

INTA membership has been crucial to Don Leo Tagatac (IP-PORTUNITY, USA), both in establishing his business from the top down and meeting new clients. Mr. Tagatac, an INTA member since 2012, met his partners in his consulting business at INTA events, and many of his clients have come through the Association.

Mr. Tagatac is the CEO of IP-PORTUNITY, based in Pelham, New York, and a longtime committee member. He spoke with the INTA Bulletin about the benefits of belonging to the Association, how it is helping curb counterfeiting, and why he thinks INTA events are the preeminent gatherings in the trademark world.

How has being an INTA member helped you in your professional career?
“Helped” is probably an understatement as I believe it is solely because of my involvement in INTA that I was able to build my successful business. Through meeting other members at INTA conferences and other programs, I identified a need within the trademark community for an intellectual property (IP) consulting business made up of a brain trust of former in-house IP department leaders.

In 2014, we founded IP-PORTUNITY, and it was solely through my involvement in INTA that I met each of my cofounders and built the business. Additionally, many of our clients have come through building relationships at INTA events.

Apart from attending the Annual Meeting, how do you maximize your INTA membership throughout the year?
I have been involved in committees for a while. I served on the Alternative Disputes Committee for two terms and currently serve on the Building Bridges Committee. In addition to attending the Annual Meeting, I have in all my committee years attended the Leadership Meeting as well as different local INTA events and gatherings at INTA headquarters.

I was also honored to have a lunch meeting with [INTA CEO] Etienne Sanz de Acedo to discuss the value of INTA to me. I continually maintain contact with various INTA Officers and Board Members to keep abreast of INTA happenings, and during my travels I have often met up with other INTA members in cities around the world for both business and social gatherings.

Can you share an example of a challenge IP professionals and brand owners are facing, and how INTA is helping address that challenge?
One of the many challenges that IP professionals and brand owners are facing is the growth of the fraudulent use of trademarks in phishing and online marketing schemes. I believe that it goes beyond the type of counterfeiting of trademarks that IP professionals have faced for decades.

INTA has great anticounterfeiting resources and educational programs for this evolving type of counterfeiting, which isn’t just happening in the brick-and-mortar locations anymore. This evolution of counterfeiting to the online world requires new investigative tools, global cooperation among IP professionals, and the involvement of national criminal enforcement agencies in each country. I believe INTA is the best-positioned organization that can pull together the right teams to help IP professionals and governmental agencies around the world to combat this growing problem.

In sum, why should brand owners and IP law firms join the Association?
The legal trademark community is unique and is unlike any other bar association or any other legal practice area. What makes it unique is its cordiality among the community, where competitors in the marketplace have the unique opportunity to work together on advancing trademark law around the world and finding cost-effective solutions to manage their law firm, in-house, and vendor practices.

I’ve been involved in INTA for nearly a decade and have talked to people who have been involved for 50 years. The common consensus is that INTA is principally responsible for creating this unique community and providing a great experience through events, committee work, and much more.

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

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