Get INTA the groove

It’s that time of year again as thousands of trade mark and other IP practitioners, including kats Jeremy, Birgit, Neil and me, gather together for the INTA Annual Meeting. Merpel is also attending to host a sold-out Table Topic on the intellectual property challenges facing cats in the twenty-first century.
For the first time, the Annual Meeting takes place in Asia, in Hong Kong. With more than 8,500 attendees from over 140 countries, the meeting is already the fourth largest in its history (a statistic which may improve with on-site registrations), demonstrating a real interest amongst the profession for the development of IP in the Far East.
To get you INTA (into, geddit?!) the groove, here’s 11 essential INTA titbits:
1.   INTA, the International Trademark Association, is over 135 years old and began life as the United States Trademark Association in 1878, the same year Thomas Edison reportedly patented the gramophone.
2.   What many people think of as Hong Kong is merely the skyscraper-packed Hong Kong Island. The luscious green countryside of Kowloon on the Chinese mainland is also part of Hong Kong along with the New Territories and over 200 offshore islands the largest of which is Lantau Island. Most of INTA takes place on the Island, at the Hong Kong Convention Centre. Don’t let that stop you getting out to explore!
3.   The average high temperature in Hong Kong in May is 28.4 degrees Celsius (83.1 degrees Fahrenheit) with 83% humidity. For us Europeans, that’s hot. But beware the subtropical rain – more than 300 inches of it tends to fall in May. Bring an umbrella, or plan to use the many shopping centres that connect much of the city for cover.
This is the actual forecast for HK...
4.   The Chinese dominate the attendee list, with strong showings from the United States, the UK, Germany and Japan. There are, however, attendees registered from all over the world. A prize* for those who spot the lone attendees from such far flung places as Belize, Gambia, Madagascar and Turkmenistan.
5.   For those curious to ascertain whether us Kats are real people or just some sort of feline-focused automated computer program, come meet us in person at the Meet the Bloggers event taking place on Monday 12 May from 8pm to 10pm at The Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club.
6.   Attendees spend much of their time at the Annual Meeting doing just that, meeting – be it clients, associates, contacts, acquaintances or complete strangers whom, after one too many beers, become the best of friends. But don’t forget INTA also lays on a fantastic selection of free talks and presentations, you’ll find the full programme here.
7.   That said you’ll not enjoy success at INTA if you’re not putting effort into networking. If you’re not a natural small-talk making extrovert, just remember – you’re not alone. The Internet is awash with networking tips, but three of my favourites: (a) approaching a lone person or a trio is safer than approaching a pair, who are more likely to be having a private conversation; (b) don’t be afraid to excuse yourself from a conversation purely to go and meet others – that’s why everyone is there and it’s not rude to do so; and (c) feel free to talk about something other than trade marks, every IP lawyer is a real person too!
8.   You’ll not want to get lost in the swirling metropolis of Hong Kong Island, so consider investing in an offline-compatible smartphone map app (that’s a mouthful) such as TripAdvisor’s Hong Kong City Guide, available for Android here. There’s also an official INTA app, again available for Android here. There are iPhone versions, if you look for them.
9.   For an unusual meeting location, take your contact to Ah-Meow, one of Hong Kong’s only cat cafes. For the avoidance of doubt, cats are not on the menu, but will happily keep you company during your visit.
12. Once your meetings are done, find a
reception with music and dance!
10. Among the 8,500 plus attendees, you will find 81 with a first or second name featuring “kat”, while 64 attendees belong to organisations which feature “kat”. The most popular name among attendees would appear to be David, while there are only nine Darrens. That means that if you meet one, there’s a good chance it’s me.
11. Wear comfortable shoes, you’ll be doing a lot of walking.
*there’s not really a prize, sorry!

Get INTA the groove Get INTA the groove Reviewed by Darren Meale on Wednesday, May 07, 2014 Rating: 5


  1. Have a great time.
    Re 6 note the talks are not Free they are supposed to be what the conference is about. Of course you may be referring to value. We need to keep INTA on its toes on educational input because it can make the difference for a business case to attend. Today if you don't want to market/party it doesn't add up

  2. Edison did not patent the gramophone, it was patented my Emil Berliner ten years later. Edison patented the cylinder phonograph. "Gramophone" was originally the trade mark of the Gramophone Co. Ltd., UK (later HMV/EMI/Sony), but in many European countries it became a generic term for record players.
    Meanwhile, in the USA "phonograph" became a generic term for all record players. An interesting case of trade mark dilution.


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