Saturday 28 May 2016

INTA for small business

I have just returned from the INTA meeting in Orlando. When I worked for a large firm I had to write a report for the committee that paid the bill. It was never easy. As the meeting gets bigger (attendance broke 10,000 for the first time this year) the possibilities of making fruitful new contacts diminishes. A modest number of meetings with loyal clients makes it worthwhile. I also attend the educational sessions in the hope of education.

INTA is an organisation for trademark owners. Lawyers attend as hangers on, while the owners experience a parallel universe.

What I learned this year:
  • The core members don't think trade marks stop at indications of origin and want to cover all manner of personal brands, marketing devices (eg hashtags) and merchandising rights within the remit of trademark law
  • Associates of associates don't count to some brand owners. Their briefing sessions/receptions/awards are for those they directly instruct.
  • Large brand owners are very fond of service providers that provide cheap infringement monitoring services and just love using cheap and effective take down services
  • Registration is becoming an ever easier, more automated process but do remember class headings only cover what they say
  • 3D printing wont bring about the demise of intellectual property but there is a book I could buy that says so - it was a very slick and enjoyable presentation
  • The significance of the EU TM reforms 
Guy Heath reviewing some EU law
The best sessions as usual were the surveys of the year's case law from the USA and Europe. The European session had no chair (actually neither did and chairing seems to be a dying art). It would have been useful to manage the interruptions from the floor. Its nice to know that folk are listening, but it loses the rest of the audience.

Either INTA or the speakers do not believe in making slides or materials available. Do you remember the days when you got a lever arch folder full of course notes, some of which were really good articles? I should be able to replay recordings of sessions from the meeting portal but this image is the most common
There is a similar one for all the presentations I tried.

Both EU IPO and WIPO gave excellent presentations on Sunday morning - the only crowded room sessions I attended.

Obviously the best reception was the intimate Tweetup which provided an hour or two's respite from the humidity and some genuine human contact.

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