• Name: Rebecca Anderson-Smith
  • Job Title: Trade Mark Attorney
  • Location: Bristol
  • University: Exeter
  • Degree: English
  • Career Sectors: Trade Marks

“The job is intellectually stimulating and engaging, and there is nothing quite like seeing a trade mark you have helped to register in an advert or on a product in a supermarket!”

As I was nearing the end of my English degree, I decided that a career as a trade mark attorney would put my skills and interests to good use. I have always had a passion for language and something of a way with words. I was initially concerned that I would find it difficult to enter the profession because I didn’t have a law degree, but some research reassured me that my literary background would be a strength, not a weakness.

The training scheme at Mewburn Ellis involves working for different trade mark partners across the firm in our Bristol, Manchester, London and Cambridge offices. The opportunity to spend time with and learn from a number of different attorneys is an invaluable training experience. It has given me a strong foundation of knowledge, which I have developed through private study, as well as enabled me to develop my own working style and approach to dealing with clients.

From my very first day at work, I have always dealt with real cases and communicated directly with clients and trade mark offices. The work I do is extremely varied. One day I might be preparing arguments to submit to the UK Intellectual Property Office, and the next I could be reviewing a trade mark search to advise a client whether their use of a trade mark will infringe the rights of others. Every day brings new challenges and experiences.

One of the best things about the job is being able to work with such a variety of different people in different business areas. I have worked with companies in the pharmaceutical, fashion, cosmetics, software, food and beverage, safety and security, and energy sectors, to name just a few. I really enjoy meeting with clients, especially on the occasions I have been able to visit their offices and see how they work.

I now help to manage global trade mark portfolios for different clients. This was daunting at first, as it involves a lot of organisation, keeping on top of deadlines, and corresponding with attorneys all over the world, but it is a skill you learn through experience. I have had plenty of support and encouragement from my colleagues to help me along the way.

I highly recommend a career as a trade mark attorney to anyone who is interested in language and skilled at writing, as well as understanding and explaining difficult concepts. You will need to put in some hard work and study independently at times, but if you do, the results are incredibly rewarding. The job is intellectually stimulating and engaging, and there is nothing quite like seeing a trade mark you have helped to register in an advert or on a product in a supermarket!

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