An INTA Hong Kong Debrief

by Foley Hoag LLP - Trademark, Copyright & Unfair Competition
Contact

hk3After a week at the International Trademark Association Annual (INTA) Annual Meeting in Hong Kong, and another spent exploring the city and its surrounds, it’s nice to be heading back to the comparatively quaint major city we call home.  But as I fly through Siberian airspace, over the North Pole, and through Canada en route to Beantown, I have a few parting thoughts.

The Gateway to Everything

MallAs the Gateway to Asia, Hong Kong is an international center of industry and commerce – a fact reflected in the spotless windows of its record number of skyscrapers, which every night at 8 PM light up the city in a dazzling array of multicolor LEDs and lasers rivaled only by those of Tokyo.  Money flows in Hong Kong like wine in France, and the luxury brands of the world have retail shops strategically placed in every high-traffic area you can imagine.  Need to buy a $5,000 handbag in a subway stop, a Rolex on a mountain peak, or a pair of red-soled Louboutins adjacent to a Buddhist temple?  Hong Kong’s got you covered several times over, and multi-story malls can be found in the strangest of places.

As an appropriate counterpoint to the INTA proceedings, as with every major city, Hong Kong’s retail paradise has its seedy underbelly, such that it might also rightfully be called the Gateway to Counterfeiting.   While presumably most of the goods are mainland-sourced, Hong Kong has entire marketplaces dedicated to counterfeit goods, easy to find and open day and night.  On even the major streets of Kowloon, under the bright lights of official Louis Vuitton and Armani retail stores, locals will aggressively hawk their illicit jewelry, watches, shoes, and leather goods, ready and eager to lead you by the arm into dark alleys and back rooms where they can transact away from the prying eyes of the plainclothes officers patrolling the streets.  Unless you’re a tradeAn almost certainly unlicensed Joss paper Gilette razor -- because even your ancestors need The Best A Man Can Getmark lawyer who (naturally!) knows better, it’s tough to leave without a “souvenir” of your visit.

Apart from the straight-up counterfeits, other trademark issues abound in Hong Kong.  I roamed giant computer centers full of “gray” goods from other markets, found small hole-in-the-wall shops featuring names eerily close to well-known Western brands, and even Joss paper — to be burned as offerings to the dead — featuring ersatz representations of popular branded goods. Truly a trademark issue-spotting paradise.

The Annual Meeting

INTA puts on a good show, with equal opportunities for education and entertainment.  On Sunday, I attended an excellent lunch table topic session on trademark enforcement in China (always a hot issue!).  That evening, INTA officially kicked off the festivities with its Welcome Ceremony, featuring local art, music, and delicacies.  On Monday, my subcommittee, the USPTO Subcommittee of the Trademark Offices Practices Committee, met to discuss current and upcoming PTO development with PTO staff, including Commissioner for Trademark Deborah Cohn.  The rest of the meeting was peppered with the usual appointments with clients and contacts — it was great to reconnect with my colleagues abroad, and to make new acquaintances.

Of course, it wouldn’t have been an INTA Annual Meeting without some manner of over-the-top Grand Finale, and this year INTA didn’t disappoint, renting out half of Hong Kong Disneyland for a surreal evening of rides, Disney princesses, and several hundred dancing, inebriated trademark professionals.  It was a good time, but if I never hear “It’s a Small World After All” again, it will be far too soon.

Sights and Sounds

I was lucky enough to have several days in Hong Kong away from my INTA responsibilities, and managed to visit a few of the area’s attractions, including the Chi Lin Nunnery, Nan Lian Garden, the Hong Kong Museum of Art, Victoria Peak, and the Tian Tan Buddha on Lantau Island.  My favorite parts of Hong Kong, though, were probably the more mundane: the amazingly clean, inexpensive, and efficient MTR (subway); the varied and delicious foods, and the coexistence of the ancient and the ultra-modern that permeates Hong Kong society.  And let’s not forget getting caught out in a black rainstorm signal — I’m pretty sure my clothes still aren’t dry!

Thanks again to INTA for putting on a good show.  I’m already looking forward to the Annual Meeting in San Diego next year.  I’ll miss Hong Kong, but not this 16-hour flight!  Only 12 hours to go….

 

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Foley Hoag LLP - Trademark, Copyright & Unfair Competition | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Foley Hoag LLP - Trademark, Copyright & Unfair Competition
Contact
more
less

Foley Hoag LLP - Trademark, Copyright & Unfair Competition on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):
hide

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.

Security

JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at info@jdsupra.com. In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at: info@jdsupra.com.

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.