For the half-year to 31 December 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Rebecca Gulbul, Lucas Michels and Marie-Andrée Weiss.

Regular round-ups of the previous week's blogposts are kindly compiled by Alberto Bellan.

Monday, 12 May 2014

Kats at INTA 3: A touch of the ceremonials

Today, as grey and humid as yesterday, was the day of the official opening of this year's International Trademark Association (INTA) Meeting -- an opening that curiously takes place almost halfway through the Meeting. While this Kat doesn't blame registrants for not turning out in their thousands for the opening ceremonies, he wishes they would do so if only (i) out of respect for all those people who collectively made the event happen and (ii) to enjoy a chance to sit quietly in a dark, comfortably air-conditioned room and literally chill out for a bit. For the record, the President's Address was delivered by Mei-lan E.W. Stark (Fox Entertainment Group), no doubt on the basis that she was the President. Mei-Lan outlined the three Presidential tasks that INTA was to tackle this year: promoting the relationship of brands to investment in innovation, building bridges with those normally beyond the IP fraternity and who needed genuine dialogue about the importance of trade marks in creating and sustaining employment and wealth (trade unions, consumers, public interest groups etc) and conducting a thorough review of the infrastructure of committees and subcommittees that drive INTA and enable its members to participate.


Jackie Chan demonstrates
the best way to attract the
attention of an HK taxi ...
After John C. Tsang (Hong Kong Financial Secretary) gave a thoroughly positive and encouraging assessment of the "one country, two systems" policy of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Hong Kong's brand "Asia's World City" and its change of logo, INTA CEO Etienne Sanz de Acedo then demonstrated his talent for producing a polished summary of the organisation's many activities in Asia over the past year without notes and while pacing briskly back and forth (Kats do this when they are impatient for their breakfast). 2014 Annual Meeting Project Team Co-Chairs Xuemin Chen (Zhongzi Law Office, China) and Katfriend David Stone (Simmons & Simmons LLP) then wrapped things up, leaving us with a short video clip of local hero Jackie Chan giving this year's Meeting his unqualified blessing.  All in all, the ceremonials were nowhere near as dreadful as many who avoid them fear, and they even yield some fascinating data.  For example the 2,739 Asians who registered by yesterday morning represented 31.8% of the total attendance, meaning that the number of people present was 8,613.21 ...


Following the opening bits, this Kat popped up to the Exhibit Hall and stayed there till lunch, admiring the freebies offered at the 132 stands (a new INTA record) and enjoying a demonstration of WIPO's new Madrid image search facility, which does seem to work rather neatly for anyone who needs to run a search to see what the Apple trade mark looks like. You can see it yourself at exhibit booth 201 -- but not in many other places, presumably since it has only be launched today and doesn't yet seem to be on the WIPO website. Next came the Academic Lunch, at which guest speaker Valerie Sonniér (Louis Vuitton Malletier). Valerie spoke enthusiastically of her country's "zero tolerance" policy towards infringers and fielded some uncomfortable questions about the company's policies relating to the moral rights and remuneration of its designers and on the realities of budgeting for a 'zero tolerance' enforcement policy.

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