INTA's landmark year for Latin America
Alongside protection of trademarks, communications, and member satisfaction, international expansion is a core objective of INTA’s 2014-2017 Strategic Plan
The Association has more than 6,700 member organizations, representing 190 countries. Of these, 732 organizations are in Latin America, a region in which INTA has invested increased efforts in recent years, adding 54 new, Latin America-based member organizations in 2015 alone.
“One of the reasons we focus so much on the region is to support harmonization initiatives and agreements such as PROSUR, the Singapore Treaty and the Madrid Protocol,” says Gabrielle Doyle, INTA’s External Relations Associate for Latin America. “As part of the Strategic Plan, INTA works to promote harmonization of trademark law on a global scale. In a diverse region like Latin America, which sees so many different interpretations of trademark rights, implementing a common solution is key,” she says.
INTA hosts “policy dialogues, which are government-focused roundtables where members discuss the various issues that arise as a result of legislative changes with government officials. It provides a closed door environment for government officials to speak openly with different INTA members on trademark protection-related issues.”
The Association works to educate both government officials and consumers in the region on the value of intellectual property. To demonstrate this value, INTA and the Inter-American Association for Industrial Property (ASIPI) are developing a study that measures the impact of “trade mark-intensive industries” on the economies of Mexico, Chile, Panama, Peru and Colombia. “The objective of this impact study is to use statistical evidence to demonstrate the economic value of trademarks for the various governments in the region. This will help encourage these governments to invest back into their IP Offices and programs and in turn, increase the awareness of the importance of trademarks in the region.”
INTA also organizes workshops to educate examiners on trademark examination developments, such as non-traditional marks, which are beginning to become more commonly used in the region. Among its efforts to educate consumers, INTA has brought its Unreal Campaign—a hands-on workshop teaching the importance of trademarks and dangers of counterfeit goods to kids ages 14-18—to schools in Latin America, and will release a related set of YouTube videos on June 8th, for World Anticounterfeiting Day.
Last year was a landmark one for INTA’s presence in Latin America, as the Association sent its first official delegation to Cuba, Chile and Peru, and visited Argentina for the first time since 2004. In November, INTA hosted its annual Leadership Meeting in Panama. This was the first time in the history of the Association that this meeting has been held outside of the United States. “We chose Panama specifically because of its economic development, its strategic location—they call it the hub of the Americas—and obviously, the expansion of the Canal places Panama at the center of international attention in terms of international trade and intellectual property,” Doyle says.
Furthermore, INTA plans to open its first Latin America office in 2017. Doyle says “the intention is to further INTA’s strategic objective of increasing its presence in Latin America. With this office, we are undoubtedly going to be able to increase membership, membership participation in policy programs, public policy influence and membership satisfaction.” She expects that INTA will have one staff member dedicated to Latin America in the New York Office, as well as one primary representative in the Latin America office, the location of which will most likely be announced in September of this year.
External Relations Coordinator for Latin America, New York
Tel: +1 212 642 1767