INTA raids OHIM for new CEO


Etienne Sanz de Acedo has swapped Europe for the US to become chief executive of the International Trademark Association (INTA).

The head of communications at the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) is the first European executive at INTA and will be presented at its annual meeting next month in Dallas.

etienne-sanz-de-acedo.jpgSanz de Acedo, who will replace Alan Drewsen when he retires this summer, will work with governments and other IP organisations to shape policies that protect innovation and support INTA’s members.

“During my tenure, I will continue INTA’s legacy of focusing on our members, and I look forward to strengthening the value that brands bring to consumer choice, innovation and competition, and ensuring those brands are protected,” said Sanz de Acedo.

The Spanish national, a former trademark lawyer and academic, brings a “global perspective and depth of knowledge in trademark law through practice and teaching” that “will foster new relationships to advance INTA’s global mission”, said Toe Su Aung, president of INTA.

Gerhard Bauer, a former INTA president who led the search for the new executive, said: “Etienne’s extensive knowledge of the trademark and IP issues affecting all of our members, as well as his meaningful relationships within the industry, makes him the right choice to continue INTA’s growth and strengthen its global influence.”

Asked whether Sanz de Acedo’s appointment was surprising, because of his role in communications at OHIM, Chris McLeod, director of trademarks at law firm Squire Sanders, said that given his length of service at OHIM, he was not a surprising choice.

But he said INTA’s appointment of a European to a senior role in a traditionally US-orientated organisation was “probably more surprising but also refreshing” and that it “clearly shows the importance of Europe to INTA”.

McLeod said Sanz de Acedo is likely to use his “wealth of experience” at OHIM to strengthen INTA’s position in Europe by advising INTA on issues that are important for its European members, both in private practice and in industry.

Sanz de Acedo will move from OHIM’s base in Alicante, Spain to INTA’s headquarters in New York

This article was first published on 10 April 2013 in World IP Review

Etienne Sanz de Acedo, ohim, inta, alan drewsen, toe su aung

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