This year we had the largest Leadership meeting ever. The first time I attended this meeting was in Orlando 2012, we were about 800 participants, now in Hollywood we were more than 1200. Still smaller than the annual meeting but getting busiest.
INTA is happy to see that their events are being so successful, with more attendees there's a higher income but from the attendee point of view the largest doesn’t mean the better. More people means less time to create real relations.Thanks Alvaro, keep in touch.
Attending to this particular meeting is about reinforcing your relations with clients, colleagues and friends. The content sessions are ok if you don’t have something better to do but it is very hard to learn something new from them. And the committee work is very limited so you have a lot of time to hang out around the pool or the ocean.
My committee meetings were as unproductive as previous years but the food was better. On the other hand, I was glad to hear from some of my colleagues that their committees were very active. I am not sure if they said it to be nice, look more professional or it is just me that I end up in the committees with lack of motivation.
One of the announcements was the opening of a Latin America Representative Office in Santiago, Chile, in 2017. My impression is that the CEO of INTA, Etienne Sanz de Acedo is making a political campaign for an international position, probably he wants to be the next WIPO General Director, and he is using the INTA as a platform to achieve his objective.
He is being very active in creating relations with many national trademarks offices, specially in Spanish speaking countries. He is probably looking for the support of these countries to have voters on the next WIPO elections. Remember that in his previous life he was an international bureaucrat, an ambitious one.
This also explains why next year the Leadership meeting will take place in Washington DC, one of my favorites cities, but also a particular choice. Historically leadership meetings have taken place in fall on places with nice weather (Florida, Arizona and Panama). Attendees are happy when they have nice weather and since it is a social event the location should be chic.
But most of the people I spoke to complained about the choice of Washington, “it will be cold and rainy” they said. it is clear that the CEO objective is not to take a sunbath, he will demonstrate in DC the political power that the Association and he has. I am sure we will have an interesting leadership meeting connecting mostly with political actors from the USPTO, the government and probably the Congress.
Even though the negativity, I like the political focus of the CEO because I am attracted to politics but I am not sure if everyone is aware of the direction that the Association is taking.
Author: Alvaro Ramirez Bonilla
Founder & CEO of B&R Latin America IP LLC