Every Spring, IP Professionals from around the world have the opportunity to join together and collaborate on new ideas, trends and solutions. This year, both the International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition’s Spring Conference and International Trademark Association’s Annual Meeting were held in Boston, Massachusetts. OpSec attended both meetings and spent eight days attending roundtable discussions, panel topics, marketplace workshops all aimed towards best practices and constantly evolving procedures in the anti-counterfeiting space.
The theme for the IACC’s Conference this year was “Welcome to the Revolution: Fighting Fakes in the 21st Century”. The panels and keynote speakers focused on emerging trends, the evolution of brand protection and the collaboration that is required in order to implement new and effective strategies. The roundtable workshops are always very informative and workshop hosts this year included Alibaba/Lazada, Amazon, DHgate, eBay, Facebook, MasterCard, Mercado Libre, Visa, Walmart and Western Union. Having the opportunity to discuss issues in a small group, open dialogue setting is a great way to increase engagement and work with others in the industry who face both similar successes and roadblocks. We were also fortunate to attend an Alibaba Session that focused on their continued efforts to partner with rights holders and associations – the AliProtect program continues to deliver results and they are a testament to the benefits of collaboration.
Switching gears to INTA 2019. There was a record 11,000+ attendees, exhibitors and sponsors at this year’s Annual Meeting making it the largest meeting in INTA history! It is always great to exhibit at INTA and be among such a powerful network of IP Professionals. Amid client meetings and events, we were able to attend great sessions tailored to anti-counterfeiting. One session in particular that was incredibly informative was “Anti-Counterfeiting in China” featuring panelists from the USPTO, Apple, QBPC and New Balance. The panel focused on updates to Chinese trademark law, critical aspects of an effective anti-counterfeiting program in China and the always entertaining “parasite brands” that go beyond products and have emerged into standalone, brick and mortar storefronts. It is always encouraging to see global Brand’s share their successes against large networks both online and on the ground.
The impact of counterfeiting is not slowing down. Having the opportunity to attend sessions and review trademark law and anti-counterfeiting legislation with like-minded individuals is incredibly important. INTA is a great resource and organization for rights holders who are constantly looking for people and tools needed to evolve and stay current. The promotion and adaptation of best practices and knowledge obtained at both the IACC and INTA will definitely help the OpSec team in continuing to build successful IP program strategies for global brands across multiple sectors.