INTA’s Tomorrow Leader Award Winners Look to the Future

Published: December 16, 2019

INTA President David Lossignol with Sher Hann Chua (Tilleke & Gibbins, Thailand), one of the recipients  of the Tomorrow’s Leader Award

INTA’s Tomorrow’s Leader Award recognizes two outstanding young practitioners for their early leadership merit in the intellectual property (IP) industry. The award was established to strengthen the recipients’ professional and personal development and to raise their visibility as tomorrow’s leaders within the trademark community. Winners receive registration to the Association’s Annual Meeting, the opportunity to serve on an INTA committee, and other benefits.

This year’s award recipients are Sher Hann Chua (Tilleke & Gibbins, Thailand) and Suzannah Wood (King & Wood Mallesons LLP, Australia).

Here, the young practitioners talk to INTA about various aspects of their careers and their participation in the Association.

At this point in your career, how do you define leadership and what kind of leader do you aspire to become?


Sher Hann Chua: Leadership means influencing, guiding, and mentoring individuals, while allowing them to maximize their efforts in their own development.

I aspire to be a leader that will encourage and inspire other intellectual property practitioners to steadily push the boundaries of IP law in order to adapt with the advancement of technology. I hope to inspire other young IP practitioners to harness their potential in making a difference by contributing within and beyond our community.

Suzannah Wood: The leaders I look up to are experts in their field but, more than that, they are well-rounded, kind people who are impressive whether they are at work or away. I aspire to become a leader like them, someone who can be called upon to give expert advice and guidance on a trademark issue, and can model other important values at the same time.

Suzy Wood profile pic.PNG  Suzannah Wood (King & Wood Mallesons LLP, Australia) a recipient of the Tomorrow’s Leader Award

What excites you about this opportunity to serve on an INTA committee?  


SHC: I’m looking forward to being in conversations and networks with the brightest IP minds in the world. I will be serving on the Emerging Issues Committee for the 2020-2021 term, and I hope to be able to contribute to the Committee’s goals and objectives by providing insights, particularly from the Southeast Asian perspective.

SW: I’m excited to serve on INTA’s Non-Traditional Marks Committee.. This Committee does very important work in a space that is rapidly evolving, as the law grapples with how to handle the unique challenges of  protecting these signs. While it is no surprise to a trademark lawyer that such signs-sound, shape, color, motion, and so on-can, and do, function as trademarks in the minds of consumers, the law is not necessarily well-adapted to dealing with the complexities of examining and enforcing these rights. I hope to be able to contribute an Australian perspective while learning about the models employed overseas.

Do you feel that young practitioners play a particularly relevant role in the IP community? What IP issues are particularly relevant to them, and to you as a young practitioner?

SHC: Young practitioners bear the responsibility of continuing the advancement of IP to foster innovation and economic growth while standing on the shoulders of the giants of today. I believe that it is vital for young practitioners to be involved in the education, communication, and advocacy efforts of INTA from the early stages of our career so that we can learn directly from seasoned practitioners and become leading advocates of brand owners globally.

SW: In my role at King & Wood Mallesons, I am fortunate to work in a team of dynamic and brilliant young IP practitioners. As young practitioners, we do not necessarily know the answers to the big questions, but we are always encouraged to ask  €œwhy, € and to learn. I think it is our curiosity and open-mindedness that enables us to play a relevant role in the IP community

As you look forward to the 2020   Annual Meeting, what do you hope to gain by attending?


SHC: The INTA Annual Meeting provides exposure to a massive network of influential IP practitioners that I will be able to engage in intellectual discussions with, and learn from, through the mutual sharing of practical lessons from cross-cultural and cross-jurisdictional experiences.

SW: It will be wonderful to put faces to the names of my overseas colleagues, and to meet like-minded individuals from all over the world and hear about current challenges and developments in their trademark law and practice. I have so much to learn from my overseas friends and colleagues.

What has belonging to INTA meant to you so far, and in what ways do you anticipate deepening that connection in the future?  


SHC: INTA has been, and will remain, an exceptional network, resource, and platform to facilitate knowledge sharing across the world. Tilleke & Gibbins is a huge supporter of INTA’s Unreal Campaign, and I certainly want to continue contributing to this fantastic initiative.

SW: My journey with INTA is just beginning, and I am very excited to deepen my connection with this important organization. I hope to contribute to INTA’s important work on trademark law well into the future, and to one day serve as a mentor for a young practitioner myself.

INTA’s 2020 Annual Meeting will take place April 25-29 in Singapore. Registration opens January 8.