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INTA 2016: CEO and president set the tone for the year ahead


INTA 2016: CEO and president set the tone for the year ahead

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Challenges for the year ahead and beyond include harmonising registration procedures and tackling counterfeiting, the chief executive of the International Trademark Association (INTA) has said, revealing some stark figures in the process.

Speaking during the INTA annual meeting’s opening ceremony, Etienne Sanz de Acedo revealed some of the organisation’s achievements over the last 12 months and its challenges still to come.

Addressing a packed arena housing some of what was confirmed as a record breaking 10,000 registrants, de Acedo revealed some more firsts for INTA in 2016.

The list included a meeting held in Panama and another in Alicante that welcomed hundreds of first time attendees. Later this year, INTA will head to the African continent for the first time in 20 years, de Acedo added.

After noting these achievements, he began speaking about some of the challenges for the year ahead.

One major challenge, he said, was to address attitudes and approaches to counterfeiting.

To do this, INTA is compiling a report outlining how counterfeiting affects the GDP in five North, South and Central American countries: Colombia, Chile, Mexico, Panama and Peru.

De Acedo revealed that the total value of counterfeit products worldwide in 2013 was $461 billion. “This figure is the same as the entire GDP of Austria or Thailand,” he added.

Another challenge is addressing the “strong anti-IP sentiment” in some areas.

“I’m sure many of us feel that consumers, wider society, the media and law makers do not understand the benefit of a strong IP profession,” he added.  

In what was an interactive opening session, videos of local children were displayed on the big screen throughout.

After amusing introductions for de Acedo in which his name was mispronounced several times, the children then spoke about what a brand means to them and how to define a brand.

“Stylish products” and “something that offers a service” were some of the ideas put forward as well as the more simple definition of “a company that makes products”.

INTA’s 2016 president Ronald van Tuijl was then introduced by the children, again with some interesting pronunciations of his name.

Van Tuijl entered to music by US singer Taylor Swift, someone who he described as a great example of a figure who had become “a personal brand” and had made a reputation for herself beyond her talents as a singer.

“Everyone has a personal brand,” he added. “It’s the way you walk and talk and in every message you communicate.” In a tip to brand owners he added that “uniqueness is relevance”.

The INTA annual meeting runs until May 25.

counterfeiting, INTA, trademarks, Etienne Sanz De Acedo, Ronald Van Tuijl

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