Today marks the final day of INTA, with five days of insightful debate drawing to a close. This year’s event certainly didn’t disappoint and has once again demonstrated why it’s a highlight of the IP calendar – a unique chance to engage with the big IP issues of our time and to meet fascinating people from across the world. Hats off to the organisers and the city of Boston for hosting such a vibrant conference.

At INTA we’ve had the opportunity to meet with some of the most dynamic leaders from the legal and corporate worlds – people who play a central role in shaping the innovations of tomorrow. With this in mind, it’s difficult to pick out a single highlight from what has been a fantastic conference, but Michael Haddad’s inspirational keynote speech and passionate defence of the environment will certainly stay with us.

Today’s challenges, tomorrow’s solutions

This was a conference where, interestingly, some of the key challenges of our time were brought to the fore and where committed professionals and experts shared their ideas on how to find solutions to such issues and create fresh opportunities.

Global uncertainty remained a talking point this year, with developments on Brexit and looming trade wars between major powers being closely followed and leaving a lot of food for thought as to impact on the international IP eco-system. The scourge of counterfeiting was also a major subject for this year’s conference, with several events focused on tackling the rise in counterfeiting through the use of effective enforcement strategies and mechanisms to prevent e-commerce fraud.

In a world that is becoming increasingly connected and digitised, such considerations are particularly important. INTA’s latest study, ‘Gen Z Insights: Brands and Counterfeit Products’, illustrated how young generations hold a more flexible and pragmatic attitude towards counterfeit goods. It’s clear that, as an industry, we’re going to have to come up with new solutions to this issue, and innovative and holistic IP strategies will no doubt play a key role in this regard.

Above all, issues relating to technology and IP dominated the agenda. Debates were held on topics ranging from 4D printing to artificial intelligence, from the internet of things to virtual reality and from big data to blockchain. With the future of our societies and economies dependent on technological development, the industry is coming together to ensure IP protection in the age of disruption.

As world leaders in IP management and technology, we were at the forefront of the debates on many of these issues at INTA 2019. The discussions held by Jayne Durden, Senior Vice President Strategy, Law Firms, and Jon-James Kirtland, Product manager, respectively on ‘The Big Promise of Big Data’ and ‘How Blockchain will Facilitate Trademark Management in the Future of IP’ provided excellent insights on these issues, whilst the discussion held by Michael Flannery, Senior Vice President, IP Solutions, on ‘How to bring your patent and trademark portfolios together’ provided a platform to explore holistic IP strategies.

Talk of ‘automation, automation, automation’ also continued unabated at the CPA Global stand (501) throughout the conference. We held countless conversations with law firms looking to do more with less as they seek to boost profitability and help their clients become more strategic in how they file. Our experts are continuing to talk to firms from all regions about the benefits of an automated IP managed solution at a time when attorneys are doing more administrative work than ever before and are under pressure to avoid the potentially costly risks arising from manual errors.

After another fruitful INTA we bid farewell to Boston – our home for the past five days. With this year’s conference providing such valuable insight and opening the door to new conversations, let’s make sure that as an industry we act on our words and bring IP into the future.

By Melanie Fitzpatrick, Chief People & Marketing Officer at CPA Global

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