The International Trademark Assoc-iation held its 128th annual meeting in Toronto earlier this month, bringing together almost 8,000 trademark and IP professionals for five days of table topics, networking, seminars, and, of course, swanky receptions.
This year's theme was cross-border trademark issues, reflecting the global challenge of trademark protection. However, the issue that seemed to be on the minds of many in attendance was which receptions to hit up on the INTA party circuit.
With last Monday's party schedule running several pages long, it wasn't easy for attendees to select which receptions to go to. In the name of informed journalism, Law Times attended six of the hottest parties in order to report our findings to those who were unable to attend.
The night started off in the atrium of the CBC building on Front Street for a reception hosted by Torys LLP. The unique space was a hit with party-goers, several of whom stopped to take photos of the 10-storey space.
The party had an old Hollywood vibe, with a red carpet out front and paparazzi taking photos of attendees as they entered the building. Once inside, guests were offered New York-tinis: martini glasses filled with mashed potatoes, strip loin, and red wine gravy.
Keeping in line with the theme of the conference, Torys even had their cupcakes branded with their logo and chocolate-dipped fortune cookies with a message inside that simply read: Torys LLP.
Soon it was time to stop in at Roy Thomson Hall for Dimock Stratton LLP's party. Swag bags were handed out at the door and contained, in a nod to their victory against LEGO at the Supreme Court of Canada late last year, a package of Mega Bloks and a chocolate Mega Blok treat.
Then it was off to Monsoon restaurant for a reception hosted by Howrey LLP, a U.S.-based firm with 14 offices worldwide, including Los Angeles, Amsterdam, and Taipei.
A massive ice sculpture of the firm's name was the focal point as soon as you entered the upscale minimalist setting of Monsoon, with its Zen-like interior d?cor. However, the party was far from laid back with lawyers from Howrey's different offices having a chance to catch up with, or even meet for the first time, some of their international colleagues.
The premier location of the evening, hands down, went to the Bereskin & Parr crew for hosting their reception at historical Casa Loma.
Many out-of-town party goers were enthralled to learn about the former home of Sir Henry Mill Pellatt, and the various folklore and ghost stories that go along with it.
The weather co-operated, which allowed many guests to step out onto the terrace for some fresh air, take in the magnificent view, or sneak a quick cigarette.
The next stop on the circuit was the 360 Restaurant at the CN Tower for Smart & Biggar's reception. Many attendees were chomping at the bit to attend this one mainly because of all the international buzz surrounding the firm's name. "They're smart and bigger? It's ingenious," at least one party-goer exclaimed.
Attendees took in the beautiful view of Toronto at night while helping themselves to a buffet of basically every food on the planet.
As the witching hour approached, the attendees who weren't ready to call it a night headed off to the Guvernment complex for the Computer Patent Annuities dance party.
Hundreds of well-lubricated trademark and IP professionals cut a rug to Top 40 music, some donning feather boas and party hats. The well-stocked, open bars at all the previous receptions made for some interesting dance moves.
At this point in the evening, Law Times had to depart the festivities but it was rumoured the party went on well into the wee hours.