Association Presents 2019 President’s Award, INTA Service Awards, and Tomorrow’s Leader Awards

Published: December 15, 2019

More than 1,500 INTA volunteers gathered in Austin, Texas, USA, last month for the 2019 Leadership Meeting. Among them were many of the 17 recipients of the 2019 President’s Award, newly revised INTA Service Awards, and Tomorrow’s Leader Awards.

At an awards ceremony on the first day of the Leadership Meeting, the Association recognized the achievements and contributions of 14 individuals and three regular members in five categories.

The President’s Award is given to the most distinguished and deserving INTA volunteers for a career dedicated to trademarks and intellectual property (IP) protection and advancement. This year’s winners are Marion Heathcote (Davies Collison Cave, Australia) and Lara Kayode (O. Kayode & Co, Nigeria). Learn more about their impressive careers and INTA service in their interview with the INTA Bulletin.

The INTA Service Awards, which recognize individuals and organizations that provide exemplary service to INTA, have been revised this year to more closely reflect the Association’s mission, vision, and strategic priorities. Additionally, eligibility to nominate and be nominated has been expanded to include more individuals from the INTA community. The new award categories include Advancement of Association Objectives and INTA Members for a Better Society.

The Advancement of Association Objectives Award is presented to one or more individuals of an INTA Member organization whose participation, efforts, and innovative thinking during the year have advanced (a) substantive trademark and related IP law and practice; (b) committee or subcommittee objectives; or (c) the Association’s strategic objectives. This year’s winners are:

  • Joe Simone (SIPS (Shanghai) Ltd., China): Mr. Simone has been a leading volunteer for INTA in China for decades. He has been instrumental in the Association’s engagement with the China National Intellectual Property Administration, most recently with his participation on INTA’s Bad-Faith Registration Task Force, which produced a series of recommendations presented to the Chinese authorities. His efforts were also evident throughout the public comment period on recent amendments to China’s Trademark Law, which took effect November 1, 2019. Mr. Simone participated in identifying advocacy opportunities, translating draft laws, and developing initial comments for consideration by various INTA committees.
  • Daniela Rojas (Pirkey Barber PLLC, USA): Ms. Rojas has been instrumental in the Association’s efforts to fight counterfeiting, specifically through its Unreal Campaign, to educate young consumers, ages 14‒23, about the value of trademarks and brands, and the dangers of counterfeit products. She has participated in the Unreal Campaign since 2016 and chaired the Unreal Committee during the 2018‒2019 Committee Term. Under Ms. Rojas’s leadership, the Committee has exceeded its goal to conduct 90 student presentations and reach 8,000 students globally during the 2018‒2019 Committee Term, and has engaged an increasing number of young consumers through an ambitious social media strategy.
  • Larisa Colton (YUM! Brands, Inc., USA): Ms. Colton has been a tireless supporter of INTA for years, having served both on the Board of Directors from 2005 to 2008 and the Association’s Foundation Board. In 2018, she was Co-Chair of the Presidential Task Force on Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises and Entrepreneurs, whose work links to objectives set out in INTA’s 2018‒2021 Strategic Plan. Defining the needs of SMEs globally and carving out the role that INTA can play to further support this important constituency required a great deal of thought leadership. Ms. Colton embraced the challenge with commitment and quality.
  • Scott Phillips (Epsilon Economics, USA): Mr. Phillips led a team of members of INTA’s Impact Studies Committee in the development of an attitudinal study, Gen Z Insights: Brands and Counterfeit Products. The study focuses on Gen Zers between 18 and 23 years old in 10 countries-Argentina, China, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, Russia, and the United States-and their relationship with brands and their attitudes toward counterfeit products. Mr. Phillips’s diligence, decisiveness, and authoritative eye for details were instrumental in drafting the study, which provides enormous insights to brands and catapults INTA among the leading IP research institutions globally.
  • Latha Nair (K & S Partners, India): Ms. Nair is a long-time principal editor of and contributor to INTA’s Geographical Indications, Certification Marks and Collective Marks: An International Guide. She also led the Project Team for the Association’s sold-out 2019 India Workshop and participated in a panel on geographical indications and appellations of origin at INTA’s 2019 Annual Meeting. She frequently solicits contributors to INTA’s scholarly journal, The Trademark Reporter, and has participated in the Association’s Unreal Campaign to educate young consumers about the value of trademarks and brands and the dangers of counterfeit products.

Also new this year, the INTA Members for a Better Society Award is given to individuals of an INTA Member organization or INTA Member organizations who have demonstrated during the year how brands positively impact society and build consumer trust through initiatives relating to: (a) corporate social responsibility (CSR); (b) diversity and inclusion; or (c) pro bono legal services. The 2019 recipients are:

  • Alice Kelly (Ice Miller LLP, USA): Ms. Kelly has been an advocate for pro bono services throughout her career, and in addition to her own pro bono work, she has engaged in multiple initiatives to further INTA’s efforts to assist those in need. Leading the Association’s Pro Bono Committee’s Communications Subcommittee in the 2018‒2019 Committee Term, she has diligently promoted INTA’s Pro Bono Trademark Clearinghouse, including assisting several pro bono clients and running a Pro Bono Clinic at INTA’s 2019 Annual Meeting. Ms. Kelly has been at the forefront of efforts to provide pro bono services, and, in doing so, has emphasized the value of trademark registration and enforcement, and helped to better society and protect brands.
  • Peter Dernbach (Winkler Partners, Taiwan): Mr. Dernbach is a progressive thinker and trendsetter for how professionals can better incorporate CSR into the DNA of their law firm. Winkler Partners’ core principles include a commitment to sustainability. The firm actively measures its carbon footprint, makes efforts to reduce waste, has a rooftop garden that works as a way of shading the office and growing food, and installed solar panels that supply a good portion of its energy needs. Mr. Dernbach and his firm have a clear vision for inclusion, diversity, and sustainability, and have set the standard for law firms and lawyers aspiring to do good in the world.
  • Toms Shoes Inc. (USA): Toms Shoes created the “one-for-one” principle, donating a pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair sold. This seemingly counterintuitive idea (in terms of the profit margin, at least) has in fact proven good for the bottom line and had a positive social impact. Toms is also a certified B Corporation, which compels the company to meet both the CSR goals it sets for itself as well as strict CSR provisions with regards to its impact on its workers, customers, community, and environment.
  • Natura Cosmeticos S. A (Brazil): A producer of personal care cosmetics, Natura Cosmeticos is a global leader in sustainability, diversity, community, and ecology. The company was among the first to embrace the “refill” system through which customers can have their product containers refilled rather than used once and discarded. It also employs women in local communities, works to protect natural resources and biodiversity, and has a reputation for the use of natural, non-toxic ingredients.
  • FSC Global Development GmbH (Germany): The original pioneer of forest certification, FSC Global Development GmbH (the Forest Stewardship Council) has set the bar globally in terms of sustainable forest management and responsible forestry product and paper use. FSC has become a household name among corporations working to reduce their environmental impact by using FSC certified products. FSC also owns certification marks around the world, creating a synergy between IP and sustainability.

INTA Membership Champions are individuals who during the year help grow INTA membership, increase awareness of INTA, and promote member benefits, demonstrating their combined passion for trademark and related IP law and their commitment to INTA through exceptional efforts with such things as introductions to potential members, hosting recruitment events and roundtables, participating in delegations, and sharing their own INTA experience to facilitate knowledge and understanding of the Association. This year’s Membership Champions are:

  • Mohamed Eldib (EldiB & Co, Egypt): When INTA began expanding its outreach in the Middle East and Africa region, Mr. Elbid immediately asked how he could help introduce the Association to prospective corporate members, government officials, and other stakeholders in Egypt. His successful efforts to raise the Association’s visibility in Egypt has included many “firsts” in the region, including helping to develop a membership roadshow and hosting an anticounterfeiting policy dialogue in Cairo. Mr. Elbid has worked tirelessly and enthusiastically to help expand INTA’s footprint in Egypt. His on-the-ground support proved crucial in raising the Association’s visibility in the region and protecting brand owners.
  • Matias Somarriva (CMS, Chile): When INTA opened its Latin America and the Caribbean Office in Santiago in 2017, Mr. Somarriva immediately reached out to offer his time and local knowledge to help the Association achieve the office’s objectives in Chile. He proved invaluable in increasing the Association’s visibility in Chile, attending events with potential members and sharing with them his own experiences as an INTA member and how his firm has benefitted from participation in the Association. Thanks directly to his efforts, multiple brands have joined INTA and the Association has expanded its footprint in Chile.
  • M. S. Bharath (Anand and Anand Advocates, India): In the past few years, Mr. Bharath has been providing invaluable support to raise awareness of INTA in India and to scale up the Association’s policy, membership, and education initiatives in the country. These efforts have included overseeing the planning and implementation of an INTA roundtable in Bangalore hosted by his firm, meeting with prospective members to explain the benefits of joining INTA, and promoting the 2019 INTA India Workshop to potential attendees. His notable commitment to advancing INTA’s visibility has helped the Association tremendously in growing its presence in the region.

Finally, the Tomorrow’s Leader Award recognizes two outstanding young practitioners for their early leadership merit in the IP industry. The award was established to strengthen the recipients’ professional and personal development and to raise the recipients’ visibility as tomorrow’s leaders within the trademark community. This year’s winners are Sher Hann Chua (Tilleke & Gibbins, Thailand) and Suzannah Wood (King & Wood Mallesons LLP, Australia). Visit the INTA Blog to read an interview with Ms. Chau and Ms. Wood.

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.

© 2019 International Trademark Association