Meet the 2017 Annual Meeting Co-Chairs


Jomarie Fredericks and Slobodan Petošević are the Co-Chairs of this year’s Annual Meeting. They sat down with Naomi Jeffreys to discuss what to look forward to in Barcelona.

Being given the role of Co-Chair of the INTA Annual Meeting is certainly an honor.

One of the two people picked for the job this year, Jomarie Fredericks (Rotary International, USA), says “a lot of trust is being placed in us by INTA.”

“It’s something that we took very seriously and we’ve really tried to bring our expertise, our knowledge, our connections to people in the industry, and our organizational skills to the task,” she says.

“It’s been a long process, but a fruitful and rewarding one, and to be able to see everything come together at the Annual Meeting in May in Barcelona is going to be incredibly rewarding.”

Ms. Fredericks and her Co-Chair, Slobodan Petošević (Petošević, Luxembourg)have been overseeing the planning for the INTA Annual Meeting since October 2015.

Discussing what registrants can expect from this year’s meeting, Ms. Fredericks says: “The venue, the Fira Gran Via Convention Center, is a very versatile facility and there’s lots of meeting space available.”

Mr. Petošević agrees. “Put very simply, there has never been an INTA Annual Meeting like this; with respect to the venue alone, it’s going to be different from anything we’ve seen so far.”

A Varied Program

The sessions featured in this year’s meeting promise to be topical, varied, and interesting for registrants.

“The topics will be divided into sections and include those that traditionally are very well attended, such as the current U.S. case law updates,” Mr. Petoševićexplains.

“A European update will also be provided because there are so many things happening there, including Brexit. It’s certainly going to be very interesting,” he adds.

“We’re going to follow the milestone cases that have happened over the last year,” he says, “which is without question a key reason people will be attending the meeting.

“There will also be sessions related to customs issues, mediation, anti-bribery, and all kinds of strategies for in-house and outside counsel, and anticounterfeiting.”

Ms. Fredericks adds that there will be several sessions focused on social media.

“There are so many new and innovative things that are happening online today and trademark practitioners need to adapt to new online brand protection challenges,” she says.  

“The issue of social media may explain why the Annual Meeting has dedicated a bit more time to copyright issues,” Mr. Petošević adds.

“Today, if you’re discussing protection of brands and your IP rights on social media, it’s nearly impossible to go around copyright law.”

Lunch and Learn

Another highlight of this year’s Annual Meeting is the introduction of the Lunch and Learn sessions, which are new this year.

Speakers include Gerd Leonhard, a “futurist,” and business consultant Paul Birch.

“INTA wanted to provide the opportunity for people to have lunch and use that period in a practical way,” Mr. Petošević explains.

These sessions are designed to help registrants broaden their thinking and navigate organizational change.

Registrants certainly have new and exciting sessions to attend this year.

“This Annual Meeting will be something we will remember for many years in the future,” Mr. Petošević concludes. 

Jomarie Fredericks, Slobodan Petošević, INTA, trademark, INTA Annual Meeting