Countdown to INTA 2024: The business of innovation

By Luke Portnow,
INTA 2024 - The business of innovation

This year's INTA Annual Meeting in Atlanta (18–22 May) promises to be packed with fascinating discussions. The sessions scheduled at the conference remind us how technology is increasingly so important for trademark practice, as Luke Portnow explains. 

May 2024 will see over 100,000 IP attorneys descend on the US city of Atlanta for the Annual Meeting of the International Trademark Association (INTA). The theme of this year’s programme is ‘The Business of Innovation’ and how creativity, change and technology are transforming how IP professionals conduct business.  

The word ‘technology’ is incredibly broad. We haven’t yet seen the metaverse destroy IP rights like some predicted, and we may have a long wait for a first court ruling somewhere in the world on possible AI ownership of copyright, yet the potential for IP and technology transformation is today truly infinite.  

As part of the Questel group, here at Novagraaf we know how important it is to embrace emerging technologies to complement the high-quality traditional legal and consulting services we have been delivering for more than 135 years.

The future world of IP is predicted to have a far greater reliance on AI, introducing a pathway to ownership of autonomous computer-generated copyrightable works, as well as technology that automates or replaces many time-consuming manual human processes we have today. Subject to the risk appetite of clients, this could even include the drafting of legal submissions and arguments, even going as far as full patent drafting. 

Innovation, legal competence and business strategy 

The INTA programme this year has two curated tracks: an IP and Innovation Track and a Business Track. 

The first track is about the competence and added value that clients can obtain from trademark consultants, such as we provide at Novagraaf. This track covers important modern elements that are complementary to trademarks, including digital advertising, designs, copyrights, domain name enforcement, green washing, branding and indigenous rights.  

The Business Track for IP will then separately convene IP and non-IP business leaders who share insights into the key success drivers within corporations or law firms. The Questel group as a whole excels at this and its end-to-end integrated IP offering, which includes our legal consulting at Novagraaf, smart Equinox IP management software Equinox, Markify clearance search & watch platform, renewal services and invoice management offerings.  

The talks scheduled for INTA's meeting highlight that, even at a prestigious important global event for our field, a great deal of other elements surround trademarks that we must be aware of and bring back home with us to our own practice. The talks and meetings that take place can provide incredibly useful practical tips on novel IP matters and related general practice. For example, following Brexit, the UK trademark law landscape has potential to diverge on some important aspects. Strategies on less formal pre-action correspondence that reduce client costs (and how these can function across different jurisdictions) are also appearing ripe for discussion.   

We look forward to sharing some insights from INTA's Annual Meeting in due course. In the meantime, if you're attending in person, our team of Novagraaf experts will be on hand to discuss your IP, brand and trademark needs. We have a team of five experts attending this year, providing a great opportunity for us to meet with clients and our agent network, and continue to properly reconnect in person following the pandemic. 

Contact us to set up a meeting for the Atlanta conference or reach out directly to our attendees Aurélie Guetin, Ericka Winogradsky, Helma van de Langenberg, Luke Portnow and Olivier Boland. 

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