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Entertainment guaranteed - Rick McMurtry and Peter Dernbach

INTA Annual Meeting co-chairs Peter Dernbach and Rick McMurtry tell the INTA Daily News what registrants can expect at this year’s Annual Meeting.

Entertainment and magic are both guaranteed at this year’s INTA Annual Meeting, which is being held in one of the world’s top vacation destinations. “From tonight’s opening concert by Kool & the Gang, through the Keynote Address and ending with the Grand Finale at Universal Studios, this is going to be a lot of fun,” says Peter Dernbach of Winkler Partners, one of this year’s Annual Meeting co-chairs.

His co-chair, Rick McMurtry of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., expands on the “exceptional” keynote speaker—Diane Nelson, President of DC Entertainment; President of Warner Bros. Consumer Products; and President and Chief Content Officer of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. “She’s responsible for some iconic properties such as Batman and Superman, among others. She was also responsible for bringing Harry Potter from the page to the screen. I heard her speak at the McCarthy Institute a few years ago and she’s a phenomenal speaker. ”

Nelson will be speaking during the Opening Ceremonies, which start tomorrow at 4:00 pm.

Dernbach, McMurtry and their Program Team have spent about a year-and-a-half putting together the programming for this year’s Annual Meeting, which features many familiar sessions on key issues for trademark practitioners worldwide. There are also panels on some emerging topics, such as scandalous and culturally sensitive trademarks (session CW21 on Wednesday); the sharing economy (session IT20 on Tuesday); and branding, marketing and regulatory issues for the commercial marijuana industry (session IM50 on Monday). Dernbach describes the latter as “a cutting-edge issue” given the recent legalization of ­marijuana in several U.S. states.

McMurtry says that personally he is also looking forward to panels on sports, anticounterfeiting (“you have to keep on top of the changes in the law and the marketplace”) and digital enforcement, while Dernbach points out that practitioners from Asia-Pacific may be interested in session CT50 on plain packaging, which is an important topic in many countries in the region.

Dernbach also recommends session CM02 on IP attachés: “IP attachés are often overlooked, but they can provide really useful resources for trademark owners and professionals. I’m looking forward to hearing what they have to say.” He adds that he jumped at the opportunity to be Co-Chair of the Meeting when it was offered, and is looking forward to “connecting with people I know well and rekindling friendships.” If you too are planning to meet colleagues and clients at the Convention Center, note that there are four meeting points this year (see the INTA Annual Meeting App or Final Program for details).

Everyone will be working hard this week, but there will also be plenty of opportunity to have fun. Tonight there is a concert by Kool and the Gang, who McMurtry says have “a diverse appeal across the generations.” And the Meeting will end with a bit of magic at Universal Studios—for which guest tickets are available. Says McMurtry: “Orlando is a very family-friendly city—it’s a great venue and convenient to get to. My nine and five-year old sons are coming in for the Grand Finale at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.”

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