INTA report: Day 3

Although the INTA Meeting boasted a full selection of talks, break-outs and round-table discussions on a startlingly wide variety of trade mark and related topics, the main topic on the IPKat's agenda was the 5K run. Co-blogger Jeremy managed the distance in around 30 minutes 26 seconds, which was just over two minutes faster than his time at the corresponding event in Toronto last year.

Right: Jeremy about a minute after completing the course. Note the JIPLP shirt. Photo by Peter Groves (Bircham Dyson Bell), who owns the copyright ...

Online charity donations so far total just £175 for Headway and US$25 for the American Brain Tumor Association. The IPKat thanks all the donors so far and hopes that others will not be slow to follow their excellent example. Online donations may be made here (for Headway) and here (for the ABTA).

Sometimes a brand (let's not name names but, say, pick on a hypothetical example - let's call it Reebok) displays an interesting set of characteristics: (i) it enjoys a high degree of recognition among consumers and (ii) products that are made under that brand are generally agreed to be of good quality, but (iii) the combination of the first two factors does not appear to generate particularly good sales and growth in market share. Both at the Meet the Bloggers session on Monday night and in the course of many discussions on Tuesday the IPKat mentioned the Reebok Factor to experts drawn from the ranks of trade mark owners, private practitioners and others: no-one felt they could accurately pinpoint the cause of this and prescribe a solution. Accordingly, the Kat thought that it would be fun to ask readers: what causes the Reebok Factor and how would YOU cure it? Email the IPKat here: best solutions will be published. Note: this phenomenon affects many brands at different times in their cycle, and not just Reebok. If you have your own favourite examples, do mention them.

The most powerful lesson in branding and consumer resonance in Chicago this week came not from the INTA but from a street demonstration by over 150,000 illegal immigrants and their supporters in favour of law reforms that would legitimise the position of many of them and enable their families still living abroad to join them. It struck the IPKat, as he stood there in the street in his running gear, unable to return to his hotel for a shower till all 150,000 had passed, that this exercise is a reflection on the branding of America. Throughout the world it is fashionable to knock the USA, to criticise its foreign policies and its domestic selfishness, the mental capacity of its leading politicians the the credibility and integrity of its public servants. Even those of us who are fond of the USA and respect its institutions easily slip into critical mode - it's an easy way to strike up a conversation with a stranger. And yet here are tens of thousands of illegal and unwanted people who have correctly identified the core values of Brand America - opportunity, enterprise, equality under the law and rewards for hard work, persistence and creativity. What message does this have for the CEOs of major brand-based corporations in terms of how to get their message across, the Kat wonders.

Deeply concerned about the welfare of some of the INTA's older participants during the four strenuous days of the Meeting, the IPKat has had an idea for their comfort and happiness. Next year in Berlin there should be an INTA Silver Session for the elderly. This would be held in a room in which there was no music to shout over and in which induction loops were installed for those with hearing aids.

Left: Branding for the elderly - this figurative mark and accompanying text have probably already been successfully registered as national trade marks in Spain, where the term "elderly people" has no meaning, just in case anyone thought of applying to register them as a Community trade mark

The programme for the session would have speakers on topics such as "Topical tales from the USTA", "My five favourite venues", "Practical tips on remembering where you put your badge" and "Living on, and beyond, one's laurels". There would also be a creche where Silver Session attendees could install those of their children who now, duly qualified and in some cases running their parents' practices, would play business cards with one another until collected at the end of the session.
INTA report: Day 3 INTA report: Day 3 Reviewed by Jeremy on Wednesday, May 02, 2007 Rating: 5


  1. I'll give you a properly written assignment of the copyright when next I see you, for the sake of tidiness. Well done on the two-minute improvement!

  2. Thanks, Peter, for the offer of an assignment. Actually, I'd be quite content with an implied licence. Thanks also for giving me back my camera :-)

  3. Not really IP related, but why does the sign in question depict an old lady fondling an old man's bottom? That's always concerned me!

  4. I admire your eyesight. I thought she was merely picking his pocket


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