Young Practitioners Learn Valuable Lessons in IP from Inspiring Hosts

Published: May 15, 2018

Bianca Villela Vahia de Abreu Dannemann Siemsen Advogados Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Juliana Libman Trench Rossi Watanabe Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Luiza Araripe Araripe & Associados Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

With the INTA Annual Meeting only a few days away, the Young Practitioners Committee is gearing up for a number of exciting events, including the Annual Meeting Registrant First-Time Orientation and Reception, which will take place on May 19 from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm. With over 1,000 registrants attending the orientation, it is sure to be a great event.

During the Annual meeting, the Committee also will be reviewing the work it has done thus far, including the Young Practitioners and Trademark Administrators Reception, held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on November 21, 2017. The event, titled “IP in Brazil: Looking to Its Past and into Its Future,” aimed at promoting the discussion of current challenges faced by young practitioners in the field of intellectual property (IP), while also providing an overview of the historical development of IP in Brazil.

The reception was co-hosted by Demarest Advogados, Dannemann Siemsen Advogados, Kasznar Leonardos Advogados, and Vaz e Dias Advogados & Associados.

Carolina Calheiros (Rolim, Mietzel, Wohlnick & Calheiros LLP, Germany) representing the INTA Young Practitioners Committee, introduced the event with an overview of INTA and its important role for young lawyers in promoting networking and sharing experiences in the growing area of IP, as well as with an outline of the best ways to become more involved with INTA.

Peter Dirk Siemsen (Dannemann Siemsen Advogados, Brazil) then gave an inspiring lecture on the development of IP in Brazil. He noted that Brazil can be considered a pioneer in including inventors’ rights in its constitution, pointing out that IP guarantees have been present in all of the Brazilian constitutions since 1809, except for the one enacted in 1937, during the Getúlio Vargas dictatorship.

According to Mr. Siemsen, many of the improvements in IP in Brazil should be credited to the lobbying efforts of IP organizations such as the Brazilian Intellectual Property Association and the Brazilian Intellectual Property Agents Association. Unfortunately, however, IP protection in Brazil, from a legislative perspective, has always been ahead of its implementation, especially via the administrative proceedings conducted by the Brazilian Patent and Trademark Office, known for its delays and backlog.

Mr. Siemsen’s presentation concluded with an overview of the protection that the Brazilian system currently offers to trademarks (in their various forms) and designs. As Mr. Siemsen pointed out, design protection was initially much more closely aligned with patent protection and only developed into its current form due to the demand by the market for speedy registration (foregoing the full examination afforded to a patent).

A roundtable followed, with a panel comprised of Tatiana Campello (Demarest Advogados, Brazil), Cândida Ribeiro Caffé (Dannemann Siemsen Advogados, Brazil), Gabriel Leonardos (Kasznar Leonardos Intellectual Property, Brazil), and José Carlos Vaz e Dias (Vaz e Dias Advogados & Associados, Brazil), each a partner representing one of the co-hosting firms. They shared with the audience their insights into their experiences with the study and practice of IP.

Prompted for advice on how best to prepare for a career in IP, the panel unanimously considered an LLM or comparable study abroad to be a very important experience in order to improve language knowledge (English or German), and to aid in the development of students’ and newly graduated lawyers’ presentation and networking skills.

According to Mr. Vaz e Dias, every experience outside of Brazil, especially an internship in a foreign law firm or company, is an extremely enriching opportunity, given that IP is an international discipline.

Moreover, knowledge of other areas of law was highlighted as a valuable differentiating criterion for a young practitioner. In this context, Mr. Leonardos mentioned his own experience with tax law and how it was important for his professional success.

A question raised by one of the participants in relation to what would be the most important area for investment by Brazilian law firms was also answered by Mr. Vaz e Dias, who pointed to artificial intelligence. The panel was unanimous in agreeing with him, referring to the importance of analytic reports in order to keep clients informed as well as to aid in office management.

The panel also addressed the question of whether Brazilian courts are prepared for the intensifying discussion of IP issues. It was posited that there are, already, a lot of specialized courts, and that Rio de Janeiro has been one of the most evolved states regarding decision quality. Nevertheless, arbitration was considered a growing trend for deciding IP disputes.

The panelists concluded by giving tips on attending the 2018 INTA Annual Meeting as well as any international conference in which one might participate. One of the first tips was to always know your numbers, for example, gross domestic product (GDP), including Brazilian ranking, and population. You should also be able to discuss the indigenous population, the economy, politics, and general culture. This demonstrates a sense of confidence and allows you to show a future client or business partner that you know your country well. The panelists agreed that knowing and respecting other cultures is an important trait for successful participation in any international event. Acting in a transparent way, being aware of your abilities and your limits, and behaving professionally were also mentioned.

IonÁ Loureiro (Custódio de Almeida & Cia – Intellectual Property, Brazil) summed up the event in the following way: “It was a pleasant and enriching experience, since it is very important for young IP practitioners to have contact with lawyers who are highly qualified and learn from them how INTA can help us face the challenges in our IP careers.”

Miguel Gurgel Silva Pinto (Aguiar & Companhia Ltda., Brazil), who had attended previous Young Practitioners Committee events held in Rio de Janeiro, made clear why he would not want to miss it: “It was, as always, a wonderful experience to be part of this great event. I wish always to be able to join, learn, and share with other colleagues. These kinds of events show the quality and concern that INTA has with their guests and makes me want to be in this field for the rest of my life, because besides being passionate about IP, I am also a great fan of how INTA keeps up with the needs of its members.”

The Young Practitioners and Trademark Administrators Mock Trial and Reception was held in the Hague at the Benelux Office of Intellectual Property on April 20, 2018; be sure to keep an eye out for the report, coming soon.

Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of items in the INTA Bulletin, readers are urged to check independently on matters of specific concern or interest. Law & Practice updates are published without comment from INTA except where it has taken an official position.

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