Friday, 12 March 2010

Africa and the INTA: do you care?

The 132nd Annual Meeting of the International Trademark Association takes place in Boston, Mass., from 23 to 26 May. From the programme (which you can view in full here) it can be seen that the regional session ("Africa Crammer – Ex Africa semper aliquid novi") takes place on Wednesday 26 May, 10.15am to 11.30am.

Last year I attended the corresponding session, together with some other members of the Afro-IP blog team. It was really sad to see how few people attended this session, given the huge amount of preparation that the African contingent of speakers in Seattle had expended and the high quality of the presentations. The organisers must have known that hardly anyone was going to turn up, since they accommodated the Africa session in a cosy little room which couldn't have held that many folk anyway.

I plan to attend the corresponding session this year and hope that as many readers of this blog who are coming to Boston will be at this session too. Africa counts: it is a large and growing consumer market; it has an increasingly sophisticated (if slow-growing) industrial base; it is a space into which counterfeit products are sold and through which they are transmitted. Its importance to the IP community should be recognised -- but if we don't emphasise this importance ourselves and commit ourselves to supporting the African part of the INTA programme, why should others bother?

1 comment:

Chebet Ng'eny said...

What a scolding... Anyway, I agree with Jeremy, and would like to urge lawyers and government employees working in IP related areas to attend, and even seek government sponsorship to attend the session.I will certainly do so.The latter that is, being a recent IP postgrad jobhunting at the moment!