Earlier last month, International Trademark Association (INTA) successfully concluded its 136th Annual Meeting. SpicyIP is glad to bring to our readers some of the highlights of the event, as provided to us by Simran Daryanani, INTA’s India representative:
India makes its presence felt in Hong Kong
On May 14th the International Trademark Association (INTA) wrapped up its 136th Annual Meeting. 8,605 IP professionals from over 150 countries traveled to Hong Kong for INTA’s first Annual Meeting in Asia, making it one of the largest in recent years. Despite the unseasonably heavy rain, the meeting was a major success.
Among the 8,605 attendees were a record 2,774 IP professionals from Asia and 271 from India alone, also a record for INTA. The high representation from India in Hong Kong was evident at the India Reception. The well-attended social event provided attendees from both India and abroad with the opportunity to network and interact with INTA leadership and staff. INTA President Mei-lan Stark welcomed attendees to the reception and INTA CEO Etienne Sanz de Acedo gave a brief presentation during which he provided an overview of the Association’s activities in India and around the globe. He also touched on INTA’s recently launched 2014-2017 Strategic Plan and newly-formed Global Advisory Councils (GAC) with special mention to the India GAC members, including the Co-Chairs Alexander Klett (Reed Smith LLP) and Purnima Singh (Mulla & Mulla & Craigie & Blunt & Caroe).
This year’s educational program included a number sessions covering IP in India. Officials from the USPTO and Japan External Trade Relations Organization (JETRO) based in India spoke during a Regional IP Attachés Update. Murlidhar Balasubramanian (Castrol India Limited) and Shantanu Sood (Quest IP) sat on an India and Middle East Regional Update panel moderated by Vaibhav Vutts (Vutts & Associates LLP). They discussed some of the region’s most pressing trademark issues such as parallel imports, ambush marketing and developments in well-known trademarks. Chander Lall (Lall & Sethi Advocates) provided an Indian perspective during a session entitled IP Issues in the Digital Era: Impact of the Digital Revolution. And, as part of a special track of Focus on Asia programming, a Doing Business in India session provided the meeting’s international audience the opportunity to hear from both local and international speakers about their experiences working in India’s dynamic business environment. Alexander Klett (Reed Smith—Germany), Molly Baxi (Groth & Co.—Sweden), Anupam Pandey (Obhan & Associates—India) and Purnima Singh (Mulla & Mulla & Craigie & Blunt & Caroe—India) shared insights and best practices for how to enter the Indian marketplace and establish a successful long-term business venture.
INTA extends a special thank you to Mr. Ram Awtar Tiwari, Assistant Registrar, Trademarks and GI, at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, for his participation in the Annual Meeting. Mr. Tiwari took the time out of his busy Annual Meeting schedule to speak at WIPO’s Madrid System Users’ Meeting (MSUM). Mr. Tiwari provided users with an update on his Office’s Madrid accession and discussed shared issues across the system as they relate to India. Following the MSUM, Mr. Tiwari spoke to INTA TV about Madrid in India (a snippet of the interview can be viewed here). He also spoke to the INTA Daily about recent improvements made to the Indian Trademarks Registry services brought about by a streamlined procedures and increased digitalization (the full article can found on here on page 15).
Looking ahead, INTA will be holding an in-house practitioners meeting on June 20th in Mumbai and seminars in two cities in India on the Madrid Protocol in October 2014. And, following the very successful INTA Delegation to India earlier this year, INTA leadership looks forward to returning to India next year. INTA’s 137th Annual Meeting will take place in San Diego, California.