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GALA FEATURED MEMBER:


Croatia


Mladen Vukmir, of VUKMIR & ASSOCIATES, has been the GALA member from Croatia for 7 years. He has been recently appointed to the Board of Directors of INTA for the term from January 1, 2012 to December 31, 2014. This comes on top of his serving as the Chair of the INTA ADR Committee in the 2010-2011 term, where he served as the Vice-Chair and Subcommittee Chair in the previous terms (http://www.inta.org/INTABulletin/Pages/2011%20Nominating%20Committee%20Report.aspx).

Mladen was elected President of the AIPPI Croatian Group at the beginning of 2011 for a four year term. In October 2011 he joined the AIPPI Council of Presidents at the AIPPI's Hyderabad ExCo meeting.

These recognitions came after more than two decades of practice in the fields of intellectual property and conflict management and negotiations. A couple of years ago Mladen was certified as an International Mediation Institute (IMI) international mediator, one of the highest recognitions in the mediation field.

On an earlier occasion Mladen was presented to the INTA members in the Members Spotlight section of the INTA Bulletin by Rosemary Brkopac by the following words:

The combination of two diverse elements placed Mladen Vukmir firmly on his path to a successful IP practice. First, being raised in a family of lawyers gave him the clear idea that IP law was the only field he wished to practice in, and second, working part-time as a rock journalist during his student days helped him understand street level dynamics while providing flexibility and the perspective it takes to successfully manage the challenges that are sometimes associated with anti-counterfeiting work.

Mladen launched his firm Vukmir and Associates in Croatia in 1991 against a turbulent political backdrop. He reflects that practicing under the transitional economic conditions in Croatia has been like working in a laboratory "where you can see the process that took a century two hundred years ago fast-forwarding before your eyes in five years." He feels that the most rewarding part of his practice today is the strategic aspect of brand building and complex portfolio and IP asset management and he says "I just love to help avoid legal wrangles by selecting the right strategies and implementing them in an elegant, flawless manner that helps businesses way before disputes arise".

Looking to the future, Mladen believes that issues on the Internet have only just begun and vigorous efforts need to be applied to head off abuse. He says "Once 3-D printers become a reality and then the nano technology printers enable us to replicate objects digitally, the question of an original and a copy will get totally blurred. In other words, once the original becomes undistinguishable from its copy, and the copy is digitally downloadable, we will really face a true Internet issue".

Away from his private practice Mladen contributes to the development of the law both domestically and internationally. He is a member of the Patent Board of Appeals of the Croatian State Intellectual Property Office and a mediator with the Croatian Chamber of Commerce. His international roles include sitting as a Domain Names Panelist on the UDRP circuit with the WIPO Mediation and Arbitration Center as well as serving as a mediator with WIPO, CPR and INTA. His involvement with INTA goes back to 1994 when he attended his first meeting in Seattle...

Outside of the law Mladen especially loves traveling and outdoors, and to date has visited sixty countries. A favorite destination is Italy, and he met his wife while living there several years ago. He also loves the Nordic countries, their nature, societies and people. Mladen collects and grows wines. When asked what readers of the INTA bulletin would be surprised to learn about him he gives this amazing response: "I am a fifth Royal Consul General of Denmark in Zagreb since 1920 when the Kingdom of Denmark established the Consulate General in Zagreb, after Croatia separated from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and the third in my family."

Mladen has recently published an article on his views of the future of the IP law and the future role of law in the modern societies. The article has been published at the Croatian Copyright Society Annual Review in November 2011 and will be available online. Before its publication the article was also covered at the renown IP Blog the IPKat, by prof. Jeremy Philips, who called Mladen "a one-man Philosophy of IP Department" on the occasion. Its version is downloadable from the blog page (http://ipkitten.blogspot.com/2011/10/abundance-of-sources-thoughts-on.html). The article is also available from Amazon.com electronic publishing store.

More information Mladen's memberships and career can be found at his Linkedin profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/mladenvukmir