June 1, 2019

HFL Participation at INTA 141th Annual Meeting in Boston, USA

This May 2019 a new annual INTA event has taken place in Boston, and HongFangLaw had the opportunity to visit the city together with colleagues coming from all over the world. Latest statistics tell us that this year more than 12,000 participants were greeted by the city of Harvard and MIT. Once again, the INTA presented itself as the prime enhancer of the trademark industry, thanks to its educational and networking events. Professionals from 150 countries were present including IP experts and corporate members.

As always, the INTA focused on the main innovations and achievements in the intellectual property practice, in order to push forward, on the limits of IP protection all around the globe. International experts have taken part in the event and shared their insights on their own countries IP regulations and news.

HongFangLaw was part of the event, represented by our firm partners, Nikita Xue, Tiger Zhao, Eric Su, Irene Zeng, Zhang Xu and Kevin Xu, and our Business Development manager Federico Bartolini.

This year, our partner Nikita Xue?had an active part in the INTA Bulletin committee thanks to her renewed appointment as Co-chair of the Asia &Pacific, Law & Practice Sub-committee of INTA.

This year the event lasted from May 18th until May 23rd with each day focusing on a separate topic, related to the IP practice.

Most notably, on the first day, the focus was set on nurturing innovation, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises, which are crucial to the global economy, unfortunately, many do not understand the importance of intellectual property and require support from IP offices. Attention was given towards recent development in the Chinese IP administration and on how to grow your brand prudently. Panels were held on topics such us: Bringing Marketing and legal teams together; revolutions on 3D printing and the challenges for IP experts; and the hot topic on changes expected in the EU IP law from the Brexit happening this year.

May 19th was the official opening day of the event, the INTA president David Lossignol kicked off the meeting with messages of inspiration and a call to dream the impossible dream and as such to investigate and reach a future without any counterfeiters. As Keynote speaker for the event was invited Michael Haddad, a paragon of virtue and an ambassador for climate change, who fought against his invalidating circumstances to reach impossible, or so it seemed, objectives. Leading by example is the best way to break through the mind of people who look for a better future. In addition, attention was given on Gen Z and on how they look at counterfeits, as well as how brand need to adapt and engage these new generations. We had panels sharing on insights into co-branding and influencers and the rise of the machines with a focus on introducing artificial intelligence to help IP professionals soon.

The third day, the focus was mostly on making connections, and the dangers and opportunities of the devices we are using on our everyday life, even if it’s true that they help in networking and remaining connected with your groups, they add complexity to an already complicated IP landscape. This day, we had insights on Blockchain, and how it could work to support IP researches and the fight against counterfeiters. Brands could also utilize it to preserve their own IP portfolio. Panels looked into the mind of marketing and BD experts and helped us understand their intentions when entering a new market, and how to maximize your resources when protecting your IP in already established markets; in addition, we also looked into how to use machine learning to analyze big data can affect out IP investigation.

May 21st, we shifted focus on practicing what we preach. Corporate social responsibility has always been an important issue for brands, but good outcomes come out only when companies do the right steps to secure it. Together with our panelists, we explored alternative realities, and new technologies, with which companies try to connect with consumers in a new and exciting way, that naturally create new IP issues. In conclusion to the day, we focused on choosing the right path to protection, each country, and each legal environment has different ways of dealing with specific issues, and brands need to be mindful of their own approach.

May 22nd was the last day for the conferences, leaving it mostly for the final networking and events. The focus on this day was more on geographical legal requirements and the advertising and branding restrictions, mostly around regulations, right of publicity and TM issues.

On the last day, we had the opportunity to join all the participants for a night of fun at the Museum of Science in Boston. We had our last networking opportunities, and we had the chance to learn and have some fun to relieve ourselves of the stress of these long days.

The 2019 INTA was a big success in many ways, and an opportunity to share insights with professionals around the world; preparations are well underway for the 2020 annual meeting in Singapore, where all will enjoy an exciting program and fun city, this time around will be set in April, taking into consideration the Hot weather of the city. We will look forward to meeting our colleagues there as well.

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