INTA 2024: Atlanta gears up for the world’s largest IP gathering

31 March 2024

INTA 2024: Atlanta gears up for the world’s largest IP gathering

Asia IP Magazine talks to INTA CEO Etienne Sanz de Acedo about what’s in store for participants from the Asia-Pacific region, why they should attend INTA and what to expect in the near future.

By Excel V. Dyquiangco

The International Trademark Association (INTA) is returning to Atlanta, Georgia, for its 146th Annual Meeting from May 18-22, 2024. This marks a homecoming two decades after the city last hosted the event in 2004.

With its theme, “The Business of Innovation,” which centres on how innovation, change and technology are changing how IP professionals do business, the celebrated conference has two curated tracks: an IP and Innovation Track and a Business Track. While the IP and Innovation Track concentrates on practical tips and advice from renowned IP professionals in relation to novel IP matters and related areas, the Business Track provides a view on what business leaders expect from IP professionals and gives attendees a chance to hone their business acumen.

The conference is composed of more than 25 educational sessions, three large workshops and over 350 table topics – with more than 15 business development networking activities for delegates to interact with each other and socialize.

According to INTA CEO Etienne Sanz de Acedo, IP experts in the Asia-Pacific region can attend sessions on topics such as the Asia-Pacific Regional Updates, India Case Law Updates, a session on recent legislative updates and best sharing practices from Japan and, on May 20, a China Day, including the China Enforcement workshop and the China case law updates – which can equip attendees with the knowledge to navigate the complexities of doing business in these key markets.

“There will also be plenty of receptions and speed networking sessions,” said INTA CEO Etienne Sanz de Acedo. “So, it’s a very, very robust program that I think is very interesting for our members from Asia, and I hope to see many of them attending the annual meeting.”

On top of these sessions are two sessions that have always been interesting, said de Acedo – Updates on U.S. and EU case laws. “You get an update on all the jurisprudence in the U.S., in Europe, in China and now in India as well. This is really covering the major regions of the world from a case law perspective,” he said.

In terms of workshops, the anticounterfeiting workshops have always been well-attended, as well as all the committee meetings that are so informative for the committee members.

“It's a very solid programme, and I would encourage as many members from Asia as possible to attend,” he said.

INTA in Atlanta

One of the major highlights of INTA, aside from its sessions and networking activities, is the city itself. According to de Acedo, Atlanta has brought significant changes to its environment, security and its economy since the time it hosted INTA in 2004. From its history as a transportation hub to its reputation for Southern hospitality, Atlanta offers unparalleled accessibility and a welcoming atmosphere for INTA’s international attendees.

To experience what the participants would experience, de Acedo said that he walked around the neighborhood to see the sights, scents and sounds of this vibrant city. “I did that twice – in the daytime and the nighttime – and for a couple of days because I wanted to experience what potentially the members would experience. And I felt safe. It’s a city that’s welcoming and thriving with its business scene. It also has what is called the Ambassador’s Program to help visitors in the area.”

He pointed out that in two years, Atlanta will soon be one of the major North American cities hosting the FIFA World Cup.

“Atlanta is a city that has a lot to offer for visitors to spend some extra time for their families,” he said. “You have the Coca-Cola tour, the Porsche experience, the football hall of fame. You have the museum of civil rights and the Georgia aquarium. There are a lot of things to do in Atlanta.”

Looking forward, de Acedo said it’s extremely important to continue to fight counterfeiting and parity to protect brand owners and consumers. It’s also extremely important to look at new technologies such as the blockchain metaverse and AI, and how this is going to affect businesses. The environment is also one factor to dive into, as climate changes may affect businesses and, therefore, intellectual property.

De Acedo said, “INTA is a great educational opportunity, which focuses not only on legal matters but on practical ones, such as running a business, for example. INTA is a great way to do business, and there is a lot of networking. The more you interact with people, the more you get to know people, the more you're going to build trust with people. And that trust-building will generate businesses for you.”

He added that with INTA just around the corner, they are more than ready for the conference as they plan very much ahead of time. “To be able to organize an event for 10,000 people and to make sure that it runs smoothly, and that everybody is enjoying is a huge amount of work. I’m extremely proud and thankful to our INTA staff for making these possible year after year.”

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