Published November 16, 2023

Houston, Texas—November 15, 2023—The International Trademark Association (INTA) announced the winners of its second Open Innovation Challenge (OIC). The OIC is a platform for start-ups, scale-ups, entrepreneurs, investors, and business consultants to promote IP commercialization and developing solutions that serve our communities.  

The OIC consists of three categories (early-stage start-up, early-stage scale-up, and mid-stage start-up), through which INTA celebrates innovation at its beginning. Winners receive an INTA membership, one hour of virtual brand measurement consultation, 90 minutes of legal counsel on an effective local IP legal strategy or going global with their IP assets, one hour of ESG consultation, and one hour of virtual commercial real estate professional consultation. 

The winner in the early stage start-up is DiTiNow (Katy, Texas, USA), which offers an NFT-based low-cost, data-driven anticounterfeiting solution to help brand owners fight IP infringement. It uses technology that is the first to use a decentralized title recording system to identify and prevent fakes, while still ensuring privacy protection. 

“Participating in INTA’s Open Innovation Challenge has been instrumental in broadening our understanding of intellectual property’s pivotal role within our startup. It has significantly bolstered our ability to enhance our technology and refine our comprehension, empowering us to strategically harness intellectual property to drive innovation and secure our position in the market,” said DiTiNow’s CEO Jason Lei upon his win. 

Aaron Glick is the CEO of the winner of the mid-stage start-up category, Ember Sleep (Orlando, Florida, USA). Ember Sleep addresses sleep apnea, a condition that takes a significant toll on the physical and well-being of so many. The winning device offers a non-invasive solution that stimulates airway muscles during sleep to improve breathing, providing an alternative to surgery.  

“Our involvement in INTA’s Open Innovation Challenge enhanced our comprehension of intellectual property. As a medical device startup, this intellectual property is an integral part of our company,” said Mr Glick. “This experience offered a platform for us to learn from industry experts and fellow innovators, enhancing our position for long-term success in a dynamic landscape by providing a more comprehensive understanding of the intricacies of intellectual property rights.” 

The winner of the early stage scale-up category is the Kiev, Ukraine-based Navee. Navee addresses the growing issue of online counterfeiting and fraud using generative AI and image intelligence. Their technology verifies the authenticity of online listings within seconds, helping protect brands and the consumers who depend on them. Navee’s customer base includes well-known names like, Louis Vuitton, L’Oréal, and Sony. 

“This journey is deepening our understanding of INTA’s critical role in safeguarding innovation and brand integrity, something that we will continue exploring with next week’s committees,” said CEO and co-founder Matteo Amerio. “Through our collaborations with global brands, we’ve pioneered artificial intelligence-based tools that change the rules of enforcement and reduce the impact of counterfeits and parallel markets on our clients. This challenge is a good reminder that technology is an important part of the solution, but that problems and tools need to be embraced by people and organizations to have a widespread impact and adoption. INTA is clearly the best enabler and partner to bring research breakthroughs to a market in strong need of it and lead the way of AI adoption in the space.” 

“The innovative spirit is alive and on clear display at our second Open Innovation Challenge,” said INTA CEO Etienne Sanz de Acedo. “We applaud the creativity and energy of these innovators; small and medium-sized companies are the backbone of most national economies. INTA is proud to offer the opportunity for these nascent organizations to benefit from the support of IP protection. My congratulations to all of our winners.”  

The competition took place during INTA’s 2023 Leadership Meeting, which is taking place this week in Houston, Texas.



About the International Trademark Association 

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. Members include nearly 6,000 organizations, representing more than 33,500 individuals (trademark owners, professionals, and academics) from 181 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 the Washington, D.C., Metro Area, and representatives in Amman, Nairobi, and New Delhi. For more information, visit

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