INTA Announces Recipients of Prestigious Volunteer Awards – International Trademark Association

Dear Ayala, dear INTA President,

Thank you very much for your email message and the news on this high recognition. I have to admit that, at first, while trying to figure out what is you message about I did not even comprehend that  you are notifying me as a recipient of the INTA President’s Award. I had to read it twice before understanding that I have actually been awarded the Award. I was left speechless once I understood. Thanks to the time difference I had a few hours to compose myself and compose this answer by which I hope to show my gratitude to the INTA Officers and to yourself for recognising my work with INTA and in the IP arena.
I wish you to know that I am honored and flattered beyond imagination. You will understand that such a high recognition, coming from an Association that means a lot to me on various levels, not only professionally but also deeply personally. It is a gesture that marks high point in anyone’s career and I am deeply thankful for the honour, both for nomination and for the Award itself. INTA means so much to me because the Association and it’s members have given me a clear model of professional excellence which I have chosen to follow throughout my entire career and it was the one I have enjoyed at the same time.
INTA’s forward thinking dispositions were natural environment in which I could learn, contribute and ultimately lead, without constraints that some of the more staid professional environments would have had imposed. Our profession is now at the biggest crossroads since it’s inception in the wake of the enactment of the Paris and Berne conventions that laid the ground for the modern IP systems. New challenges require new approach to our trade, and only without the traditional constraints will be successful in bringing results that will ensure that our profession remains as important to our economies as it used to.
This glorious road of almost hundred fifty years in which the IP profession helped the businesses to bring the level of social development never seen before in human history is now approaching a junction of different kind. It is not anymore a question if we should be turning right or left at the crossroads, it is a question if we are switching from the road transport to fast trains, flying cars or hyper loop. IP profession used to be a cog in the wheel global communities interconnecting into an ever tighter and closer society. We are all rightfully proud of our small contributions to this process. Now the time has arrived in which we all need to put our experiences together in building new understanding and knowledge to enable our societies finding meaningful novel framework for enhancing creativity and boosting our economies. It is possible that our traditional tools of doing that, based on law will not be as important in the future as they were in the past, when their role was paramount. This realignment needs to be achieved swiftly because we are already behind the needs that our societies have developed. Since we have started moving so much of our activities into the digital domain the old answers stopped applying to the new questions. I am sure that, of all IP Associations  INTA will remain as one of the most important, important as it ever was, or actually even more important than it was throughout its illustrious centenary history. INTA7s role in bringing our profession to a new stage is a responsibility of each and every one of its members.
On a personal level, the moment and the manner in which I will receive the award is bittersweet. The moment in which my contributions have been recognized by INTA’s President is during an unprecedented crisis of our political systems, of the global health situation and comes in the moment of erosion of the liberal values that seemed to have been irrevocably achieved just a few short years ago. With a little irony, I should say that it is probably is appropriate that I, as a fan and proponent of technology receive this Award by electronic means during the Annual meeting which is first of its kind, held in the digital domain.
At the same time, I mightily regret not being able to be together with so many friends I have made at INTA, to shake hands, share hugs, break bread and toast to health together. During more then 25 years I have attended INTA conferences, and my first was the Seattle meeting back in 1994, the first one under the INTA rather than the USTA banner, I have been to all Annual meetings. That is, except one, when a serious health issue prevented me to traveling to Seattle back in 2018. This unfortunate hiatus has at the same time shown me the beauty of INTA community where I have received so much help and support during my absence. The support I have received from my fellow INTA members from all regions of the world, from INTA staff and my Committee members. I think that I can therefore say that I know how much I miss the physical INTA community and friends I have there. At the same time I do realise that INTA community at large was not virtual, its vibes were very real. However, I choose to believe that virtuality is good medium for furthering our global ideals, of the mutual help between the individuals and between our societies,. Therefore, because I believe that promoting global values is well suited for virtual environment, I search for the warmth of friendship even at this moment where our reduced travelling seems threatening our goals. Also, looking on a bright side, this format will enable me to bring much easier my family to share with me the moment when my contribution to INTA will be recognized by its President. 
As my fellow Board member, and the last years’ recipient of the President’s Award, Lara Kayode said, “It is absolutely humbling to think that out of so many volunteers, we made the mark”. As you surely know, my achievements are not only mine. It is my family, my wife Marina and my kids Maia and Lukas who have patiently bore with my absence during my trips to INTA and my busy times at home, dealing with the IP issues. I need to thank them first. My partners and the entire team of VUKMIR & ASSOCIATES LLC, who equally patiently allowed me to devote so much time to INTA work whom I wish to be thank just as much. Of course, my fellow INTA members at large, INTA volunteers, Leaders, staff, the Board and Officers are just as important in having created the atmosphere where the individuals with unorthodox views on the profession could work along those with the more traditional outlook at the profession together. I feel deep respect to the Association that has achieved this and at the same time had successfully fulfilled some my own dearest personal ambitions: to be a leader in diversity and sustainability, to affirm  the humanity, friendship, love and courage, to do good and move the society to where it needs to be while facing the challenges unlike the ones we were facing before.
Last, but not least I wish to emphasise what I just said and make another personal remark. INTA has been the strongest too I have seenl in building a glocal community, a goal which is at core of my beliefs in which all of us on the planet, interact in order to improve the conditions under which we live both on a global and local levels. We live in times when the achievements of the counterculture of the Sixties, in which the individual liberties and freedoms, individuality and tolerance, ideals of peace and love, came under unprecedented threats in many societies. I can hardly believe that an association of IP professionals remained one of the strongest levers in the further erosion of meaningful global integration and am thankful to have been part if it. It is therefore, an immense pleasure, honour and satisfaction to receive the 2020 INTA’s President Award.
I apologise for this spontaneous outburst of thoughts in this response. I realise that some of it might be useful in the Acceptance speech and am looking forward to the further instructions on filming and other protocolary matters from eh INTA Teams. Thanks again! 


This is the letter I have sent to the INTA 2020 President Ayala Deutsch, upon Learning that I have been awarded the 2020 INTA President’s Award.

Recognizing the volunteer spirit that pervades its membership community, INTA has bestowed its President’s Award,  INTA Service Awards, and Tomorrow’s Leader Award for 2020 on individuals whose accomplishments stand out in the intellectual property (IP) field.
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