Today we sit down with Esther Gottschalk, our European Head of Trade Marks and Birmingham Office Managing Partner to learn what's great about INTA.
What is great about INTA?
INTA is arguably ‘the’ event for the IP profession: most attorneys with a strong reputation will confirm that ‘you’re not anyone if you’re not at INTA’. It’s the one opportunity in the calendar which all the major IP firms take to see their clients, catch-up with their friends, build their network and (if they’ve time) get CPD and see a little of a beautiful city. One INTA I was kindly invited to an event via a limo ride with a friend at another firm and I brought one patent attorney friend with me: he sat in the limo in disbelief and said ‘patent conferences don’t look like this!’ It’s not always that glamorous (I promise) but it’s true INTA is no longer just a trade mark conference. All branches of IP are well-represented.
What makes INTA different to other events?
Simply its size and reputation. Because all the major firms attend, it’s the one opportunity where they can see multiple clients, without having to go on numerous trips. If firms attend consistently, their people get to see the same people year on year and build strong relationships, many of which become friendships, which only helps with your network and client base. There are lots of opportunities to meet new contacts too, with a huge variety of events, sessions as well as private meetings held within and outside of the actual conference. Because INTA always takes over the host town, you bump into people walking down the street, at bars and at parties, so the touchpoints you have and the opportunities to network are great. For M&C, it’s also a good chance to see the M&C family from our different offices, which really helps with team building and opportunities for introductions and I love it when we all meet in the bar for a drink on the first night.
What is your favourite INTA memory?
I have so many it’s hard to know where to start. My first INTA was Berlin 2008 and I only attended because a larger team went given it was in Europe and not in the US. I wanted to go again but knew the US would be much more expensive to attend. So I mentioned this in a client lunch with a very lovely client and she said to the then partners at the time, ‘oh, Esther must always go’! and because luckily they listened to their client, they took her word for it and continued to send me each year. I learnt a lot along the way, I’ve made some of my closest friends there (shout out to Dusan @ Sidley Austin, who I met at my first ever US INTA), I’ve learnt not to bother with heels, I’ve never managed to call the weather correctly and so end up having to buy different clothes – literally, every time. It’s also helped me build a great network within the profession and support M&C’s global reputation as a leading IP firm.
If pressed, my favourite INTA tradition is that every year on the Saturday morning before the conference really starts, I go for a long walk around the city with my good friend and colleague Hernan Rios before the meetings and event starts – then I probably don’t see him until the flight back! This year, I’m not attending the conference itself, although I am in Singapore, but for everyone attending INTA this year, I would recommend that they find that little bit of headspace and calm to appreciate the event, connect with their colleagues and enjoy all Singapore has to offer. That’s the plan for M&C and I’m delighted to be a part of that.
Details of our team of experts on the ground in Singapore along with the full event programme and a comprehensive guide to the region produced by members of the Marks & Clerk Singapore team can be found here.
Contact our team on firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a time to chat.
We look forward to seeing you there!