INTA

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Inta.jpg
Type: Non-Profit Organization
Industry: Trademark and Intellectual Property
Founded: 1878
Headquarters: International Trademark Association
655 Third Avenue, 10th Floor
New York, NY 10017, USA
Website: INTA.org
LinkedIn: INTA
Twitter: TwitterIcon.png@_INTA
Key People
Gerhard R. Bauer, President and Chairperson of the Board
Gregg Marrazzo, President Elect
Bret Parker, Vice President
Mei-lan Stark, Treasurer
Lucy Nichols, Secretary
Dale Cendali, Counsel

INTA, or the International Trademark Association, is a not-for-profit membership association established with the sole motive of providing the necessary support and advancement of trademarks and intellectual property with a view of conducting fair and effective commerce. It is headquartered in New York City and has offices in Brussels and Shanghai and representatives in Geneva, Mumbai and Washington D.C.

History

The INTA was established in the year 1878 by 17 manufacturers and merchants. These manufacturers and merchants were of the opinion that there was a dire need for an organization to help protect and promote the rights of trademark owners, formulate useful legislations, and provide help and encouragement to all endeavors contributing to the advancement of trademark rights. Today, the INTA consists of around 5,700 trademark owners, consisting of academics and professionals from more than 190 countries.[1]

Member Organizations

The INTA has more than 5700 member organizations based in more than 190 countries. These member organizations mostly comprise of the following:

  • Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)
  • Service firms
  • Major national and multinational corporations
  • Academic institutions, students and professors
  • Trademark consultants
  • Intellectual property and general practice law firms[2]

Membership and Committees

The committee members of INTA work on education, information, policy development, advocacy and other services. The term of these committees lasts for two years. The major committees of INTA include:

The Education and Services Group (ESG): This committee of INTA looks after services, including programs, member benefits, awards, and competitions, and is comprised of the following sub-committees, which carry out different functions:

  • Academic committee
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee (ADR)
  • Government Officials Education & Training Committee
  • In-House Practitioners Committee
  • Law Firm Committee
  • Leadership Development Committee
  • Programs Committee
  • Saul Lefkowitz Moot Court Competition Committee
  • Trademark Administrators Committee
  • Young Practitioners Committee [3]

Policy Development and Advocacy (PDA): This committee of the INTA provides all the necessary input and guidance on INTA policies and advocacy and consists of the following sub-committees:

  • Anticounterfeiting Committee (ACC)
  • Emerging Issues Committee (EIC)
  • Enforcement Committee (EC)
  • Famous and Well-Known Marks Committee (FWKMC)
  • Harmonization of Trademark Law and Practice Committee
  • International Amicus Committee
  • Internet Committee
  • Legislation and Regulation Committee (LRC)
  • Nontraditional Marks Committee
  • Parallel Imports Committee (PIC)
  • Related Rights Committee
  • Trademark Office Practices Committee (TOPC) [4]

The Publishing (PUBS) Group: This committee conducts INTA's global trademark research and is also assigned with task of producing print titles, periodicals and products. It consists of the following:

  • INTA Bulletin Committee
  • Online Reference Committee
  • Publications Committee
  • The Trademark Reporter® Committee [5]

INTA and ICANN

The INTA was critical of ICANN, telling its members to oppose ICANN’s proposed expression of interest (EOI) process, which it drafted in December 2009 to solicit entities to submit basic information about themselves and their requests for new gTLDs. INTA cited that the decision of ICANN to accept pre-registrations was premature and also stressed that the pre-registration process was harmful to trademark holders, as it would force them to register their trademarks defensively in order to protect them.

Not all INTA members were supporting the association’s decision to oppose ICANN, however. For instance, Minds + Machines, an INTA member, supports the EOI procedures. Minds + Machines CEO Antony Van Couvering pointed out to ICANN staff that INTA told its members to flood the EOI forum's comment area with anti-EOI messages, which the association thought would be effective in raising their voice against the process. Van Couvering explained the following as to why INTA opposed the EOI: ICANN had committed to resolve several issues related to the unlimited new gTLD program including trademark protection, root zone scaling, malicious conduct and economic demand and impact before introducing the new gTLDs, and the INTA believed that these overreaching issues remained unresolved and that ICANN had not done necessary work to ensure the potential benefits outweighed the risks, harms and the costs to the DNS and to the public.[6]

In letters from Heather Steinmeyer, President of the INTA, dated September 8, 2010 and from Alen C. Drewson, Executive Director of the INTA, dated October 12, 2010, the INTA showed its willingness to assist ICANN in the identification of trademark protection issues and the analysis of the economic impact of the New gTLD Program.[7][8] To this, Peter Dengate Thrush, Chairman of the ICANN Board of Directors, replied on October 27, 2010, accepting the offer to allow INTA's participation in the economic analysis process.[9]

At INTA's 2012 Annual Meeting in Washington, DC (May 5-9), one of the major topics discussed at the conference was domain names and how companies can protected their brands in an expanding top level name space. Many domain name-related companies numbered among the 9,000 in attendance, with the following companies exhibiting: 101domain.com, DomainTools, GoDaddy, ICM Registry, Key-Systems, Marksmen Inc., Melbourne IT DBS, and Safenames LTD.[10]

References