SOURCE: International Trademark Association (INTA)

July 29, 2005 11:56 ET

INTA Members Named Among Most Influential in Intellectual Property

NEW YORK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- July 29, 2005 -- The International Trademark Association (INTA) is pleased to recognize its four volunteer leaders who have been named among the 50 most influential people in intellectual property by Managing Intellectual Property Magazine (MIP).

The third annual list, which was compiled by international IP practitioners, appears in the July/August issue of MIP. According to James Nurton, Editor of MIP, "To be named to the list, practitioners had to exercise current influence beyond their occupation and country, volunteering their time with other organizations and truly participating in the advancement of intellectual property rights on a global level."

The four INTA leaders are employed by major global brand owners. Through their volunteer efforts with the Association, these individuals have dedicated themselves to advancing trademark owners' rights around the world. They are Anne Gundelfinger of Intel Corporation, Richard Heath of Unilever P.L.C., Gerhard Bauer of DaimlerChrysler AG and Michael Leathes of BATMark Ltd.

For the third year in a row, the president of INTA has made the list for leading the largest and most influential trademark association in the world. This year's INTA President, Anne Gundelfinger, associate general counsel for Intel Corporation, was chosen both for her work with INTA and for her efforts on behalf of Intel, the fifth most valuable brand in the world. Ms Gundelfinger leads major international efforts supporting global trademark rights, which include directing specific attention toward an intensive anti-counterfeiting and enforcement campaign, pursuing revisions to the U.S. Federal Trademark Dilution Act in support of famous and well-known marks and confronting anti-IP views. Ms. Gundelfinger's goal is to increase public awareness on the importance of brands to economic prosperity and growth.

INTA Secretary Richard Heath is head of trademarks and general trademark counsel at Unilever P.L.C., a multinational company that owns 30 major international brands and thousands of products, including Lipton, Dove and Slim-Fast. Mr. Heath has also dedicated himself to anti-counterfeiting, stressing the vital role brand owners play in protecting their brands from illegal imitation. In addition, he works with the Pharmaceutical Trade Marks Group (PTMG) and the Global Business Leaders Alliance Against Counterfeiting (GBLAAC), and continues to spread awareness about the hazards of counterfeiting.

INTA Board member Gerhard Bauer is chief trademark counsel for DaimlerChrysler AG. Mr. Bauer has been in charge of the luxury Mercedes-Benz brand since 1992, and when the companies merged in 1998 he assumed responsibility for the famous Chrysler brand as well. He chairs the trademarks and designs working group of the Union des Industries de la Communauté Européenne (UNICE), and is a frequent speaker for the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), using his expertise working for a global brand company to lobby for increased harmonization and a simpler IP system.

Michael Leathes is head of intellectual property and a general manager at BATMark Ltd, which owns more than 110,000 trademarks worldwide, one of the largest portfolios in existence. He has influenced alternative dispute resolution (ADR) procedures while with INTA and is a member of the Association's Panel of Neutrals. Mr. Leathes served as commentator for the video "Resolution Through Mediation: Solving a Complex International Business Problem," co-produced by INTA and the CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution, which is available on INTA's website. At BATMark he introduced a highly successful ADR policy that decreased the firm's trademark conflicts from 3,000 in 2001 to 1,600 today, providing a less expensive and more efficient and effective method of resolving IP disputes. He has advocated for ADR around the world and is working to change the mindset of both corporate and legal IP professionals toward the use of ADR as an effective business tool.

"These four people contribute enormously to INTA's efforts to protect intellectual property," says Alan Drewsen, executive director of INTA. "Many of the initiatives the Association has undertaken have been through their efforts."

For more information on INTA's Anticounterfeiting, Harmonization and Mediation efforts, please visit the INTA website at www.inta.org.

About INTA

The International Trademark Association (INTA), founded in 1878, is an association of more than 4,700 member companies and firms from more than 180 countries, dedicated to the support and advancement of trademarks and related intellectual property as elements of fair and effective national and international commerce. For more information on the Association and its goals, visit www.inta.org.

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