Intellectual property is a fascinating and fast growing practice area. If you’ve done the IP elective on the LPC, chances are your lecturer has delighted in telling you that if ten thousand small meteorites fell on all of Coca-Cola’s factories tomorrow, the company would survive, for its lifeblood isn’t physical assets, but the brand.
Before starting at Taylor Vinters, I spent a year writing IP news stories for a London law firm. I was worried it would be difficult to find five interesting stories a week, but in fact the problem was in narrowing it down (you could write a story about Taylor Swift practically every week). Some of my favourites included:
- Cheese Strings defending their trade mark against Cheesy Strings (it ain’t easy, being cheesy).
- Norwegian underwear brand ‘Comfyballs’ denied US trademark (on the grounds of moral offensiveness)
- The Somerset farmers who trade marked the hashtag #freecheesefriday
- The hot competition for melt-resistant chocolate patents
- 80s duo’s trade mark infringement claim against the Haulin’ Oats granola company.
I had fun writing the stories and hoped I would have the chance to do some work with the brands team at Taylor Vinters. I was very pleased to discover that I would be spending my second seat working with brands team leader Louisa Dixon. Louisa is ranked as one of World Trade Mark Review’s top 1000 lawyers and I’ve learned a huge amount from working with her.
I’ve enjoyed being able to put my IP knowledge into practice in this seat. Highlights included:
- On my first day, researching bikini designs to see if a client was at risk of infringing any registered designs.
- Helping a cake shop apply for a trade mark
- Helping draft a copyright/performance rights assignment for a university.
- Helping draft opposition proceedings for a major client after our trade mark watch service identified a competitor who was seeking to register a similar brand name.
- Presenting a legal update to the rest of the team on the London Taxi case.
The firm acts for a lot of high growth technology companies, for whom IP is incredibly important. In short, if you like IP, TV is the place to be.
Written by Nick Smallwood – First Year Trainee