The International Trademark Association (INTA) has officially announced its 2022–2025 Strategic Plan, which will guide all Association initiatives over the next four years. The Plan builds on INTA’s progress in recent years in expanding its substantive and geographic scope.
The 2022–2025 Strategic Plan maintains a strong focus on the priority policy issues of the global intellectual property (IP) community, such as anticounterfeiting and enforcement, brand restrictions, and harmonization, but also expands INTA’s mandate further to include societal issues that interact with IP and have an impact on brands, brand professionals, and the public. The Strategic Plan also includes an updated mission statement to reflect this.
INTA President Tiki Dare (Oracle Corporation, US), INTA President-Elect Zeeger Vink (MF Brands, Switzerland), and INTA CEO Etienne Sanz de Acedo unveiled the new Plan during the Association’s 2021 Annual Meeting Virtual+. More than 3,000 brand professionals from more than 100 countries are attending the week-long Meeting, which runs through November 19.
“We really want our members to have support, information, and the skills they need to tackle all the issues and challenges they’re facing right now and over the coming years,” said Ms. Dare. “More than ever before, brands are being asked by their customers to do more and to play a larger role in society. We’re preparing our members to support and advance their brands and continue to grow and develop themselves.”
In the updated mission statement—“The International Trademark Association (INTA) is a global association of brand owners and professionals dedicated to supporting trademarks and complementary intellectual property (IP) to foster consumer trust, economic growth, and innovation, and committed to building a better society through brands.”—“trademarks and complementary intellectual property” replaces “trademarks and related intellectual property” to better reflect the broader interplay of trademarks and brands with other IP rights.
The addition of “and committed to building a better society through brands” to the new mission statement underscores how the Association and its members worldwide are assuming greater social responsibility.
Noted Mr. Sanz de Acedo: “INTA is broadening its gamut to include matters that are not ‘traditional’ for our Association and community. This encompasses specific societal issues such as corporate social responsibility and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) that interact with IP and affect both brands and brand professionals.
“We need to understand and advance IP and its economic and social contribution to the development of society. Moreover, we have a role to play in society and within the IP ecosystem, and we have a responsibility to fulfil that role.”
According to the 2022–2025 Strategic Plan:
Strategic Direction I, Promote and Reinforce the Value of Brands, reinforces INTA’s ongoing efforts related to the core functions of the Association and its key audiences, including members, policymakers, consumers, entrepreneurs, and businesses of all sizes.
Strategic Direction II, Build a Better Society through Brands, elevates INTA’s focus on demonstrating how brands serve the interests of brand owners, consumers, and society at large. Among the subobjectives, this pillar concentrates the Association’s DEI efforts on the IP community through best practices and ways to provide greater opportunities for diverse and inclusive participation in the IP profession.
Strategic Direction III, Support the Development of IP Professionals, emphasizes INTA’s intention to introduce a comprehensive platform for professional and personal development throughout the IP practitioner’s professional life cycle. To do so, the Association will help individuals to influence and adapt to trends in the profession, build substantive and dynamic skills, meet their business needs, and locate job opportunities through an enhanced Job Bank.
INTA’s Planning Committee began working on this Strategic Plan in 2019. It was approved by the Association’s Board of Directors in March 2021, following a rigorous multi-year drafting process that involved numerous consultations with various IP and non-IP stakeholders, each with their own perspective on the role of INTA and brands in society. IP stakeholders included the INTA Board of Directors, members, and staff, and IP offices worldwide. Non-IP stakeholders included brand experts, financial advisors, and legislators.
“I am really looking forward to working with our committees to execute the plan. They are at the core of how our Association functions,” noted Mr. Vink, who will take office in January and preside over the Association during the Plan’s first year of implementation.
“The first steps are crucial,” Mr. Vink said. “We need to advance quickly and keep committee members motivated. This is how we gain momentum and ensure the Plan’s success in 2022 and beyond.”
The International Trademark Association (INTA) is a global association of brand owners and professionals dedicated to supporting trademarks and related intellectual property (IP) to foster consumer trust, economic growth, and innovation. Members include nearly 6,500 organizations, representing more than 34,350 individuals (trademark owners, professionals, and academics) from 185 countries, who benefit from the Association’s global trademark resources, policy development, education and training, and international network. Founded in 1878, INTA is headquartered in New York City, with offices in Beijing, Brussels, Santiago, Singapore, and Washington, D.C., and a representative in New Delhi. For more information, visit inta.org.