According to INTA CEO Etienne Sanz de Acedo, it is hugely important to go back to in-person events.
“We know that our community really values the in-person interaction, particularly when it comes to networking, exchanging of portfolios. So this is why we’re thrilled to be able to go back in person, and we really hope to see a massive participation into the annual meeting in Singapore,” he said.
“But at the same time, we want to be cognizant of those who are still not able to travel, either because they fear traveling, or simply because of budget constraints. And unfortunately, the geopolitical environment in which we live at the moment is having an impact. So we see that some people might not be able to travel,” de Acedo explained.
To be held at the Sands Expo & Convention Centre, the country’s largest facility for meetings, conventions and exhibitions, the event had been planned to take place in Singapore back in April 2020. However, the pandemic forced that year’s INTA Annual Meeting to go fully virtual.
For 2023, de Acedo said: “We’ve tried to do things a little different, precisely because it’s in Asia, and because we understand that the interest of Asian businesses might be slightly different.”
The Annual Meeting revolves around two tracks: the IP and Innovation Track and the Business Track.
IP and Innovation offers sessions on the following topics: Influencer Marketing: Balancing Regulation, Brand Protection and Endorser Goals; Copyright in the Future: Views from Leading IP Offices; An In-house Trademark Counsel’s Guide to Non-trademark IP Issues to Support Your Firm’s Innovation and Technology Transformation; Global Routes of Counterfeits; How Blockchain and Smart Contracts Are Disrupting Our IP Business; The Trademark Modernization Act: What Non-U.S. Practitioners Need to Know; Brand Restrictions and Geographical Indications; Emerging IP Issues Relating to AI and its Impact on Brand; case law updates from India, China and the European Union; capsule keynotes on The Rise and Growth of Asian Brands and Ukraine’s Perspective on Managing IP Assets; a TM5 User Meeting and Madrid User Meeting, and more.
Lined up under the Business Track are discussions on the following: Trade Secrets – Global Networks, Opportunities, and Challenges for Start Ups and SMEs; Why, When, and Where Does Innovation Fit in Your Business Plan; IP Lessons and Best Practices from Award Winning Start-ups, Entrepreneurs, and SMEs; How to Leverage your Intangible Assets to Secure Financing; and IP Commercialization Beyond Your Own Product and Services, among other topics.
“We will even have a startup SME challenge, which we call the Innovation Challenge. We also have the leadership development program – the leadership boot camp,” shared de Acedo.
The event will also feature the usual speed networking sessions, exhibitions and breakfast and luncheon table topics.
A workshop about women and IP will be available to tackle issues in connection with women in the global IP community such as DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion).
“This is about integrating work and life for women. When it comes to IP, we know there is a huge disparity between men and women in, for example, leadership positions within firms or within companies or in-house disparity in salaries. That is totally unacceptable. We also know that that disparity has even been enhanced as a consequence of the pandemic. And this is totally unacceptable to us and we want to start changing that. The best way to start changing that is by doing studies, reports by having conversations, by involving all women around the table, but also having men participating and understanding that there is a need for change. That’s the kind of change that INTA wants to drive,” revealed de Acedo, “and this is why we’re organizing such a session during the annual meeting.”
Because INTA’s Annual Meeting is going to Southeast Asia this year, Asian culture is making a smashing appearance in the lineup. Included in the programme are networking excursions in the form of Asian-themed activities which are educational, interesting and fun at the same time. Among these are sessions dubbed All About Local Coffee, Chinese Tea Appreciation, Nostalgic Chinatown, and Connecting with the Community with Halal Lunch, among others.
“It’s extremely important to have some kind of social networking, where we give to the members the possibility to interact in a kind of different way and particularly with some kind of Asian flavor, so that they can really enjoy the experience,” said de Acedo.
So what are the top three reasons for attending the Annual Meeting?
“Well, I think Number One is really benefiting from the experience. It’s a kind of unique experience in terms of the sessions, the networking, the vibe around the annual meeting. Second, I would say it’s really enjoying the sessions, the committee work and the business development opportunities. And Number Three, which is very important to us, is to support the association. You know the concept of solidarity here is extremely important. We’re part of the IP community,” he answered.
At the time of publication, more than 7,000 have registered for the annual event. Of this number, more than 1,700 were from Asia, many of whom are Asian firms and corporations that are either attending for the first time or were not able to attend in the last three or four years.
For de Acedo, 1,700 registered participants from Asia (so far) is a huge number.
“We’re satisfied with the overall registration, particularly with the registration from Asia but I do think between now and the annual meeting, there is certainly room for improvement. I, of course would love to see those numbers to double. I don’t know whether that will be the case, but I do think there is an opportunity for a significant increasing participation from Asia,” said de Acedo. “It’s a great opportunity for Western attendees to meet the Asians, for the Asians to meet with the Europeans, with the Americans, and there is nothing equal to an in-person interaction.”
“If I were an Asian company or an Asian law firm, I would not hesitate at all in registering and taking advantage of the Annual Meeting,” he added.
Meanwhile, the virtual format will feature exclusive content, select content captured in the Singapore sessions and innovative business development networking sessions taking place in real time.
Register for the in-person format of the INTA 2023 Annual Meeting LIVE+ here. Participants are required to always wear their badges during the event.
For the virtual format, register here.
- Espie Angelica A. de Leon