We’re excited to have attended the International Trademark Association’s (INTA) Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida last week.

Members from the Wrays team joined 10,000 other delegates to hear and share latest insights from across the global intellectual property landscape.

This year’s keynote address was delivered by Diane Nelson who is President of DC Entertainment (DCE). She set the scene of this year’s event by sharing insights into her role as head of the Harry Potter franchise.

“You can’t be in a company like Warner Brothers and not understand the importance of IP,” said Nelson, who is also President of Warner Bros Consumer Products and President & Chief Content Officer of Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment.

One of the key challenges for the INTA community going forward noted by INTA’s CEO Etienne Sanz de Acedo was the need for harmonisation of registration procedures – having a consistent, reliable registration experience, no matter where you are.

Other highlights from the meeting have been:

  • Digital trends and the potential trademark issues they can create.
  • The new European Unitary Patent System which is expected to go into effect in 2017 has roused a lot of interest with the current momentum looking to lead to better enforcement and more innovation across the continent.
  • The Brexit vote in the UK has caused a stir with a referendum being held on June 23 to decide if Britain will stay in or leave the European Union.
  • The future of plain packaging – Australia’s experience with plain packaging legislation i.e., tobacco and interest from countries that are facing similar provisions.
  • Discussion around South Africa’s impending move to introduce substantive patent examination, with an initial team of examiners already being trained.  It’s looking like the pharmaceutical industry will be the initial target with a view to examine all technologies.
  • The recent changes to patent and trade mark legislation and practice in India and Korea – revising several aspects to improve the convenience for the applicant.
  • Given the number of global companies that rely on a manufacturing base in China, the intricacies of Chinese trade mark protection for overseas corporates has also been a popular topic.

We’re interested to see how these international trends across IP will unfold as they hit Australian shores and local brands. We look forward to next year’s conference being held in Barcelona May 2017.