Gratitude is an attitude we learn to appreciate as we grow older and realize how beautiful life is. I am incredibly grateful that I had the opportunity to travel to Houston, TX the week before Thanksgiving to attend the International Trademark Association (INTA) Leadership Meeting. As I mentioned in my October post, I have been serving on the Anti-Counterfeiting Committee since 2020.
During this month’s four-day event, I attended the Anti-Counterfeiting Committee leadership meeting. There, I gave a small presentation to the US subcommittee on Anti-Counterfeiting regarding two articles my subcommittee wrote on the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC) and the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPRC) for the INTA Bulletin.
Change is on the horizon for 2024! I have been assigned to the Copyright committee, and I was fortunate to attend the leadership meeting this year to acquaint myself with some of the leaders who have built this committee over the last few years – which included learning about their recent endeavors.
In 2023, the Copyright Committee conducted a survey of 78 countries to gain a wide understanding of how copyright works in different regions. This featured questions about:
- Office structure
- Functions and procedures
- The availability and effect of copyright registration
- Other requirements for copyright protection
They published a survey report – “Copyrights and Neighboring Rights in Outputs Made By or Made by Means of AI Systems” – and published it in June 2023. In addition, they published “Civil Enforcement of Copyrights, An Anthology for IP Practitioners.”
I could tell during my first meeting with the Copyright Committee: I will get to learn a lot and work with top notch copyright professionals in the next year, another reason for gratitude.
Meeting Colleagues Old & New
Throughout the four days, I also got to visit with lawyers who assist me with trademark and copyright clients in the UK and Canada. On top of strengthening these present bonds, I made new contacts with lawyers in France, Germany, Columbia, Brazil, India, Nigeria, and Uruguay, helping to create a network of mutually beneficial relationships. In other words: IP friends in other countries help us serve clients who decide to start doing business outside our country of origin.
I was also happy to attend educational sessions on:
- Finance for Non-Finance Legal Professionals
- Name Image and Likeness Rights (NIL)
- Brand Restrictions Around the World
I felt thankful to attend the INTA PAC reception, where I had the opportunity to hear updates from two lobbyists for INTA and U.S. Representative Russell Fry on the status of relevant legislation, such as the Shop Safe Act and the Inform Consumers Act.
Then, last but not least, the meals for every event were fantastic – from Oaxaca-style Mexican to seafood, Texas Barbeque to Vietnamese. Each food experience was an adventure of flavors, smells, and textures that challenged my palate and pushed me to explore food I normally do not eat. Houston is a very diverse city, and I am thankful for the expansion of my cuisine horizons.
A Week Well-Spent
All in all, the week was full of great people, incredible education sessions, and excellent eating. I am incredibly grateful that I had the time, ability, and good fortune to attend another thriving INTA event. I look forward to attending the INTA Annual Meeting in Atlanta in May 2024.