Posted on Wednesday 2 May 2018 by Cruickshank Intellectual Property

If a career in intellectual property law is of interest to you, chances are you have done a bit of research into your chosen profession. One such path within the area of intellectual property law is that of Trade Mark Law. That is the path that I took and here is what I have learned so far, for those of you interested in the area.

Why get involved in intellectual property law?

Personally, I became interested in intellectual property (IP) law while studying for my Masters (LLM: Master of Laws – International Commercial Law) at the University of Limerick. I thought that intellectual property was an interesting and important area of law that was constantly evolving. Trade marks and branding are what businesses rely on to stand out from the competition and I liked the idea of being in on the ground floor when a new product or brand is launched. There is a great sense of achievement of watching a trade mark you worked on become registered and even more so when you see such goods and/or services out in the real world.

There is a great sense of satisfaction from seeing an idea come to life after hours are spent researching and preparing arguments in order to file submissions. I also really enjoy the fact that there is such variety in the area of intellectual property. I have the fantastic opportunity to work with a range of different people across a broad range of business areas and watch as their products or services grow from strength to strength while all the time guiding them with an intellectual property strategy.

What do you need to become a trade mark attorney?

Before my Masters, I completed a BA in Legal Studies and a Bachelor of Laws at the National University of Ireland Galway. While a degree in the legal field is not a prerequisite for becoming a Trade Mark Attorney, it is highly desirable. To then qualify, you must sit and pass a written examination in the Law and Practice of Trade Marks, which is held in April every year. Applicants for this exam will generally be expected to have acquired at least a pass in the Leaving Certificate or comparable qualification. In order to practice, you must register as a Trade Mark Attorney in Ireland with the Irish Patents Office

Some other relevant skills that can prove beneficial for those interested in working in intellectual property law include:

• Excellent communications skills;

• Good people skills to deal with clients and explain complex legal points to them;

• Confidence;

• The ability to work to tight deadlines and handle several projects simultaneously;

• Commercial sense and awareness of what is happening in the marketplace.

What is a typical day like?

I have to say that there is no typical day and that is one of the most interesting things about being a Trade Mark Attorney. Today, I could be reviewing a search report for a client or instructing a foreign associate to file a trade mark in their country. Tomorrow, I could be responding to an examination report by filing arguments and so forth. It is varied and that is what makes the work special. Since working with Cruickshank, I have been given a great opportunity of further expanding my career. I enjoy working together with the team on various intellectual property-related issues, meeting clients and keeping them as the core focus in everything we do.

Sarah Mc Crann is currently training to become a Trade Mark Attorney at Cruickshank, if you are interested in a career in IP why not contact us and we would be happy to provide you with any information you require.