The IPKat was hampered in his attempt to bring you a picture of events in Seattle on the first day of the International Trademark Association (INTA) 131st Annual Meeting by his inability to be in several places at the same time. Still, he covered a good deal of ground (pedometer reading 20,901 paces) since he first ventured off to the Convention Center for registration.
The first big event of the day for him was to read the INTA Daily News, expertly published by Managing Intellectual Property and designed to provide lots of interesting reading material even when there hasn't been much news yet. Two things in this issue caught the Kat's eye. The first was the inclusion of ENCARTA in a list headed "Popular Microsoft Brands". The second was a quote from INTA Madrid System Subcommittee chair Nadine Jacobson:
"This [news of the one millionth trade mark registration under the Madrid System] shows that the Madrid System is still very attractive after more than 100 years ...".The IPKat thinks the Madrid System wasn't very popular at all until the 1990s, when the Madrid Protocol gave it sufficient appeal for most of the world to stop ignoring it, but the world is big enough for more than one opinion.
Much of the rest of the afternoon was spent darting between a selection of pleasantly beery receptions and wandering round the Exhibition Hall, where more than 90 publishers, service suppliers, organisations and trade mark practitioners have set out their booths -- some quite lavishly. Finally at 5pm came the big treat of the day, the Opening Ceremony. Usually this is a bit of an embarrassment, with a small scattering of dutiful registrants dutifully sitting themselves at random around a cavernous hall in order to hear the speeches while their many colleagues are frolicking around in the sunshine. This time, though, the auditorium was packed; the audience was rapt. Some cynics might say that this was in some way connected to the choice of Elle Macpherson (left) as keynote speaker.
The IPKat can however assure readers that nothing was further from the truth. He has it on good authority that the assembled masses had come only to pay homage to a dashing redhead with peachlike complexion and a winning smile -- the lovely Richard Heath (right), who melted all our hearts with talk of expanding private/public partnerships, putting the can on ICANN so far as introducing more general top-level domains is concerned, establishing regional councils and coordinating their assault on counterfeiting, and so on.
Following on from Richard and a neat double-act by the Meeting Co-chairs Katrina Burchell and David Grace came Elle Macpherson herself [historical query: is this the first time in INTA's history that neither the President nor the keynote speaker had American accents?]. Elle spoke eloquently and fluently of her brand -- Elle Macpherson Intimates.