Camila - IPRDAILY: Thank you for reception this interview. So let's start the interview. The first question, how is the preparation for INTA 2023 which is about to be held in Singapore?
Etienne Sanz de Acedo: Preparation is going really well and we’re. in the final stage. We have, as you know, two main tracks: the IP and Innovation Track, and the Business Track, which will be held on Innovation Hall. We have more than 45 sessions, which include ten sessions for government officials, and on the Business Track, we have more than 14different sessions. All in all, we have more than 150 speakers from approximately 50 countries. We're very excited.
We're also seeing strong registration numbers; we already have over 7,000 registrants and hope to be closer to 8,000 by the time we gather in Singapore. Participation has been broad and diverse, with very strong registration numbers from Asia, but also from Europe, North America, and Latin America. It is a truly global gathering.
Camila - IPRDAILY: Which is the biggest percentage of participation from?
Etienne Sanz de Acedo: As of today, we have over 7,100 registrations. From Asia alone we have almost 2,400 people, of which nearly 800 are from China. I do hope to see as many as 1,000 Chinese registrants to the annual meeting.
Camila - IPRDAILY: So our next question recently I learned about that INTA held many pre-annual meeting receptions globally, for example,in Guangzhou and Shenzhen this week. Would you mind briefly talking about those receptions for us?
Etienne Sanz de Acedo: The pre-annual meeting receptions are always a terrific opportunity for the members to meet each other, as well as for potential members to learn about the annual meeting and network. We have had three of these pre-annual meeting receptions so far in China, in the Beijing, Guangzhou, and Shanghai.
Each of them hosted between 80 and 100 attendees. This shows in real terms the dynamism of our Chinese members, who are clearly very excited about the annual meeting and showing how ready they are to attend the annual meeting in Singapore.
Camila - IPRDAILY: I have another question about the pre-annual meetings. How do you find the organizers? Are they coming to you or do you find them?
Etienne Sanz de Acedo: It is both of these things! We always try to begin with those who have organized pre-annual meeting receptions in previous years; if they are not interested, we reach out to other firms. We want to work with as many companies who might be willing to organize a pre-annual meeting reception. The pre-annual meeting reception requires organizational work, physical space, and the willingness to host members who are, sometimes, competitors. First and foremost, it is about promoting the annual meeting and I am, we are, very thankful to those organizations who organize pre-annual meeting receptions.
Camila - IPRDAILY: Our next question in the 2023 INTA will be held in Singapore may welcome in that back to Asia after many years. And could you simply introduce what activities and the plans can be expected in Singapore this year?
Etienne Sanz de Acedo: We are returning to Asia after having been in Hong Kong for our annual meeting in 2014, and we're very excited about that.
And, as I mentioned earlier, we have two main tracks: the IP and Innovation Track and the Business Track.
In addition, we have a full complement of workshops, five of them in total, about in-house practitioners, the Women’s LeadershIP Initiative, a professional development workshop, as well as the Counterfeiting and Career Development Day workshops.
We also have a full set of Business Development opportunities, including 250 table topics, 14 social excusions, and more than 10 different receptions. I believe there are more than 230 of what we call “Plan Your Own Event” events, where firms can organize receptions, cocktail parties where members can meet one another.
All in all, it’s a very exciting moment of the year for the entire IP community.
Camila - IPRDAILY: But I also learned that there will be annual meeting offline and online. 2 modes of the annual meeting this year, but it's not the same time. But why? Why is that?
Etienne Sanz de Acedo: Everything we’ve talked about so far has been for our Live+, in person, Annual Meeting in Singapore from May 16 to May 20.
From June 27 to June 29, we have the virtual meeting. For those who have registered for both, they will be able to attend both. While the virtual meeting will cover the same topics, there will be different sessions and different speakers. While you are in Singapore, you can spend your time networking, knowing that the many education and workshop opportunities await you during the virtual Meeting. You don’t have to worry about juggling your schedule. The virtual offers a focused time when registrants of both meetings can allocate their time better.
Camila - IPRDAILY: What is the trend of indoors in intellectual property. What industrial topic you predict will be the hotspot this meeting?
Etienne Sanz de Acedo: I think everybody is talking about technology, about the Internet, and about AI. Everybody's talking about ChatGPT. We here at INTA are talking about those topics and how those are affecting intellectual property. In addition, I think it's very important as well to talk data as well as IP and trade secrets.
This expansion of what IP professionals are involved with and should be aware of is extremely important. At the Annual Meeting, we will have a session that is related to patents where we'll be talking about standard essential patents. We think it's important for businesses to understand because one of the things that we're seeing is that more and more companies are not necessarily making the distinction between trademarks and patents, and, in fact, both functions are reporting to the same Chief IP officer. That's a trend that we're seeing. And it is a particularly important trend as we head to Asia, knowing that 70% of trademark and patent filings worldwide come from Asia.
Among the most important issues for the future of intellectual property is counterfeiting; we will have a specific workshop about the issue.
And, of course, there will be sessions about the metaverse, blockchain, NFTs, as these are the hot topics of today.
Camila - IPRDAILY: Okay, I get it. Thank you. And why select Singapore rather than other cities to be held in 2023, any consideration for this?
Etienne Sanz de Acedo: We were supposed to go to Singapore in 2020, so going in 2023 is simply finishing what we began. And, we have a policy where every third year our annual meeting takes place outside of North America, and then we try to have a rotation between Europe and Asia. This is why 2014 was Hong Kong. 2017 was Barcelona. 2020 should have been Singapore, but because the pandemic it was postponed to 2023, and then the next meeting that will be overseas will be in 2026, the location of which has yet to be announced.
Camila - IPRDAILY: Okay. Is there any consideration for the next city in 2026?
Etienne Sanz de Acedo: Well, yes, we've already done our homework, but I cannot reveal yet what city it will be. But it's an incredible venue, a very exciting one. And it plays nicely with our intention to be as global as possible and try to reach a new part of the world.
Camila - IPRDAILY: Next question, and we assume that there's continuous and deep cooperation and communication between you, INTA and the Singapore Government. Could you please share us any details or history about that?
Etienne Sanz de Acedo: I welcome the opportunity to thank the Singapore Government and administration, and particularly the Singapore IP office, IPOS. They have been extremely supportive from the beginning in terms of securing the venue, changing dates when we had to move from 2020 to 2023, but also, identifying speakers, topics, and helping us make the meeting interesting to Asian businesses, because that's the reason why we go to Asia. We want Asian large corporations, SMEs and entrepreneurs, and all of the IP professionals to take full advantage of the fact that the annual meeting is in your region, in your backyard, and attend the meeting. We are, I am, extremely thankful to the support we received from Singapore and its authorities.
Camila - IPRDAILY: And now the last time is Hong Kong, and this time in Singapore Any consideration for coming to China mainland in the future?
Etienne Sanz de Acedo: It is always a possibility. With more and more cities interested in hosting the annual meeting, we look at different parameters. How many members we have in a given city or country, how pro-IP the city and the country is, as well as how accessible the city is. There are many different metrics that we consider, and we are always open to looking at different venues and new venues for the annual meeting.
Camila - IPRDAILY: Okay. And do you think any new breakthroughs between in China? The corporation will occur in the future?
Etienne Sanz de Acedo: We already have great cooperation with China. We had the recently a meeting with the leadership of CNIPA, which has been very supportive of the meeting taking place in Singapore, and I'm extremely thankful to them. In fact, I think there will be a big delegation from CNIPA, led by a deputy Commissioner. We know as well that there will be a representative of the Supreme People Court to talk about IP matters. We also have the participation of the Beijing IP Office. There are so many Chinese officials attending the meeting which we feel is very important, because the meeting is not just for the IP professionals. It's also for the IP officials. And we expect to have more than 250 officials from all around the world.
Camila - IPRDAILY: Okay, it's about the new meeting in Singapore. All the questions and the I think the following part is about introducing more about INTA. I want you to introduce more about to our readers and could you simply introduce what INTA actually do for the obligations globally, especially in China.
Etienne Sanz de Acedo: INTA is the largest brand owners’ organization. We have approximately 6,500 organizations, 35,000 individuals, from 185 countries who do volunteer work to promote better laws, to protect brand owners and to equally protect consumers. INTA offers education, training, and networking opportunities to IP professionals and to businesses. We're always projecting ourselves into the future by looking at what is in the future of intellectual property. And for this reason, I would say that any IP professional should absolutely be a member, and definitely register to attend the annual meeting, because, as I like to say, coming to an annual meeting without registering is like buying a counterfeit. You cannot do that. It's important if you are coming to the meeting, to benefit from the meeting, you need to also register for the meeting, because this is what allows INTA to continue investing in projects that are relevant to all brand owners and to protect consumers.
Camila - IPRDAILY: And what INTA actually do has made for the supporting IP protection and development in the past 4 years?
Etienne Sanz de Acedo: We have passed a full set of board resolutions; we advocate to governments from all around the world where we talk a lot about international harmonization. We talk a lot about anti-counterfeit activities and piracy. We fight against bad faith registrations. We really look at all issues that are relevant to businesses and to entrepreneurs from a trademark to a design perspective, to copyright. Really, we cover every IP right with the exception of patents and we're starting to look more at the connections between patents and trademarks.
Camila - IPRDAILY: And our last question. What do you think about the trend or development of the industry in the future? Could you please introduce a strategy, plan, or development direction of the entire future?
Etienne Sanz de Acedo: In some ways, these are two different questions. How is the IP industry evolving? We all need to understand that the registration of IP rights might become more of a commodity and the added value is beyond the filing and prosecution, it’s in the kind of strategy that comes emerges from the IP, the ways you can protect the assets of a company. We are helping stakeholders to understand that it’s about their intangible assets. Now, what is the role of INTA? It's specifically to explain these issues to our members, to the IP professionals, and also to businesses. Current trends, future trends, challenges, opportunities, we bring those to the attention of our members, and we do that via training sessions via publications via the resolutions we adopt, and we try to position ourselves as a forward-thinking organization when it comes to intellectual property.
Camila - IPRDAILY: Okay. And do you want to any more add any more information regarding our any meeting? After all these questions.
Etienne Sanz de Acedo: These were great questions, and I thank you for the interview. It’s a unique opportunity for IP Professionals to attend our annual meeting. Particularly now that we a back to Asia after 8 years, it's really the first Major IP meeting for many Chinese professionals after the pandemic. As such, I would encourage everyone to participate. Our annual meeting is the significant, global opportunity to network, to do business, to have fun, and to learn about our industry.
Camila - IPRDAILY: Thanks a lot, and thanks for your time today.
Source: IPR Daily
Editor: IPR Daily-Ann