In Memoriam: Ronald S. Kareken, INTA Past President and Dedicated Volunteer

Published: June 1, 2020

Ronald (Ron) S. Kareken served as INTA’s President from 1988-1989. He made many contributions to the Association during his time as a member. He passed away on April 14, 2020, in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA, at the age of 84. 

Born in Buffalo, New York, USA, on December 15, 1935, Mr. Kareken graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as an ROTC scholarship student in engineering in 1958 and subsequently served in the United States Navy for three years. 

After leaving the Navy, Mr. Kareken attended law school at George Washington University in Washington D.C., where he received his JD. He was then recruited by the Eastman Kodak Co. in Rochester, New York. While working at Eastman Kodak, he would earn his MBA at the University of Rochester. He retired from Eastman Kodak in 1991 as an Assistant General Counsel. Afterwards, he practiced law at a number of firms in the Rochester metropolitan area. 

Among his many accomplishments with INTA, Mr. Kareken worked extensively with members of the United States Congress in passing the 1988 Trademark Law Revision Act (TLRA), which was both introduced and passed during his tenure as President. 

The TLRA was a priority to INTA because there had been no substantial update to the Lanham Act of 1946 since its enactment. The Association, through Mr. Kareken, thought it was important to draft and promote legislation to reflect the contemporary interests of the public and brand owners.

“Ron was just a picture of clarity and ethics. He maintained a sense of professionalism on behalf of the Association without compromise,” said Robin Rolfe (Robin Rolfe Resources, USA), who served as the Association’s Executive Director from 1981 to 1998. 

“He always had the best interest of the Association at heart, not just for the moment but for the long term,” Ms. Rolfe said. 

Another INTA leader also acknowledged Mr. Kareken’s commitment to INTA. David C. Stimson, INTA President from 1997 to 1998, was hired by Mr. Kareken at Eastman Kodak in 1986 after Mr. Stimson posted that he was looking for a new job on INTA’s job board. “He was a real mentor to me, both at Kodak and at INTA,” said Mr. Stimson. 

“He was a very kind and caring person, he wasn’t showy, but he was a workhorse who did the work and never cared about getting the credit for it,” said Mr. Stimson. “I saw the ways that Ron was so involved with the Association and it really encouraged me to get involved as well. 

Mr. Kareken was married to Lynne Marcus, a former ballerina with a number of ballet companies in the New York, Norfolk, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., areas. Together, they raised two children, David Kareken, who serves as head of neuropsychology in neurology at the Indiana University School of Medicine, and Jeremy Kareken, a playwright residing in Baltimore and New York.

Mr. Kareken is survived by his brother, sister, two sons, and four grandchildren. 

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.

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