Zeeger Vink, the association’s 2022 president and intellectual property director at MF Brands Group, the Swiss group that owns the fashion and lifestyle brands Lacoste, Gant, Aigle, Tecnifibre and The Kooples, spoke of the importance of brands to the global economy.
“[There is a] huge potential of economic growth that can be unlocked by promoting trademarks for business communities, but also by developing the national trademark systems – what we do all the time at INTA,” he said.
Innovation has long been a cornerstone of intellectual property, Vink told the audience, but cautioned them against thinking that only technical innovation is valuable. “It is not just patents, but also brand innovation,” he said. “Author Peter Fisk says that brand innovation is perhaps the most important capacity in business today. If your brand is your core essence, then innovation is about how you evolve or leverage this essence with changing markets.”
Innovation is about retaining profits, retaining a competitive advantage, boosting revenue and earning market share, he said. “In short, the ability to innovate is an essential driver of brand value,” he said.
Daren Tang, director general of the World Intellectual Property Organization, also addressed the opening ceremonies, explaining how the role of WIPO is being reimagined.
“We have a vision where the world is a place where we can work together where innovation and creativity from anywhere is supported by IP. We want IP to be a powerful tool that allows innovators and creators to be able to bring ideas to the market, to grow their businesses,” Tang said.