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Young Practitioner Spotlight: Anna Harley

Published: March 10, 2021

Ceren Aytekin

Ceren Aytekin Galatasaray University Law Faculty İstanbul, Turkey INTA Bulletins—Europe Subcommittee

Anna Harley

Anna Harley, Pinsent Masons LLP, London, UK

Now an associate and trademark attorney at Pinsent Masons LLP in London, UK, Anna Harley’s journey to a career in intellectual property (IP) is an inspiration for all future practitioners.

Upon admission as a lawyer, she started her career in tax and disputes and then had the opportunity to work for a federal court judge in Australia, on both trial and appeal matters across a range of different practice areas, including IP. The proceedings she observed included matters involving patents, trademarks, copyright, and designs. This is where she “caught the IP bug.”

Ms. Harley was attracted to trademark law in particular by the commercial and tangible nature of trademarks. Irrespective of the fact that they are categorized as intangible assets, trademarks and brands can be seen all around us in the products and services we use and the media we consume.

Ms. Harley considers the most thrilling part of her job having the opportunity to discover technologies, ideas, and inventions which are often completely new or at the cutting edge of development. She enjoys that no two matters are ever the same.

Her practice involves advising and representing a diverse range of clients across different matters relating to their IP rights, including brand prosecution, contentious matters, and enforcement. She also advises on consumer law and advertising issues, parallel importation, and regulatory issues. Some of Ms. Harley’s work that really excites her at the moment relates to pharmaceutical products or therapeutics. She also has a particular interest in the environment, sustainability, and green technologies.

When asked what the role of IP practitioners will look like in 10 years, Ms. Harley foresees an ever-growing importance around the use of technology and data. This is especially evident where the boundaries between traditional and organic content creation become more blurred, including through the development of services that enable anyone to create and self-publish online.

Ms. Harley stresses the value of developing good people skills since law, including IP, is “essentially about people and how they relate to the world,”—as well as the value of an inquiring mind and enthusiasm to learn about new technologies and new businesses. Moreover, she adds that, while life may not always go as planned, “no experience is wasted” and being open to new opportunities is essential.

Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of this article, readers are urged to check independently on matters of specific concern or interest.

© 2021 International Trademark Association