Tim Lince

The International Trademark Association’s (INTA) 2016 Annual Meeting has well and truly begun, and as event co-chairs Peter Dernbach and Rick McMurtry confirmed at today’s opening ceremonies, it is the organisation’s biggest ever. Further analysis of attendance data reveals a sharp rise in corporate attendees compared to last year’s Annual Meeting in San Diego, with many of the world’s biggest brands bringing more counsel this year.

As of Saturday (May 21), 10,087 had registered as delegates to attend Orlando. This is nearly 200 higher than San Diego’s figure of 9,899, and, as we all know, that figure may be closer to 11,000 when taking into account those who will be in town for networking but not registering for the event itself.

Digging deeper into the attendance data reveals that the vast majority of registered delegates are from law firms. However, there are nearly 200 more corporate delegates in attendance this year, representing a 20% rise from San Diego. This is a positive sign that in-house counsel see a benefit in attending the Annual Meeting, especially as workloads continue to grow.

A look at the countries being represented this year reveals shows stability. Outside of the United States, attendees from the United Kingdom, China, Germany, Canada and Mexico lead the way, with nearly 10% more Mexican delegates in attendance compared to San Diego. Despite the vast growth in its trademark sector, there is nearly the same amount of Chinese delegates this year. Looking at the corporate attendees from China shows that there are representatives from Alibaba (presumably staying a few extra days after its keynote address at the IACC Spring Conference, which was held in a hotel nearby), JD.com, Air China, John Deere, Lego and Jaguar.

We also took a look at the attendance of representatives from the top 50 most valuable brands in the world, as measured on the BrandFinance Global 500. Encouragingly for INTA, over three-quarters of the top 50 have brought at least one delegate at the Annual Meeting - with eight of the top 10 in attendance. There is also a general growth in many of the top brands’ delegation party this year. For example, Samsung has four in attendance (only one was in San Diego), GE has six (only two in 2015), Facebook has eight (only five in San Diego) and Nestlé has nine (only four in San Diego). In fact, as announced during today's opening ceremony, a corporate counsel from Facebook was the 10,000th registrant.

In all, however, there is still room for growth - especially when it comes to leading brands in China and the banking sector. But with higher numbers than ever before and healthy growth in corporate attendees, INTA will no doubt be happy. The question now is whether next year’s Annual Conference, being held across the Atlantic in Barcelona, will continue this record-breaking trend. 

The full attendance data of represenatives from the top 50 most valuable brands is below:

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