Your practice covers all aspects of intellectual property. How do you stay abreast of the latest developments across multiple areas?
Cozen O’Connor subscribes to multiple daily publications, which summarise the latest developments in litigation, prosecution and transactional IP law – I read these every day and I also have Google alerts on all my key clients that let me know what is happening with them. In addition, our Public Strategies’ firm advises me on policy decisions that affect our clients and IP legal areas of interest.
As co-chair of Cozen O’Connor’s IP department and a member of both the firm’s management committee and board of directors, what qualities contribute to effective leadership in a legal environment?
I believe that the key to effective leadership is to:
- lead by example and let your group see that you are able to prioritise your goals and accomplish your objectives;
- empower others to be innovative and creative;
- practise effective communication;
- be accountable and take responsibility for your own mistakes; and
- build relationships and promote teamwork within the group.
What are your top three tips for working closely with clients to ensure the best chances of success in a trademark litigation dispute?
First, make sure to document the trademark infringement and any communication with the other party. The moment that you send a cease and desist letter, there is a high likelihood that the problematic use of the trademark will disappear. Second, you need to make sure that you fully understand your client’s business in connection with a trademark litigation dispute, as you need to ensure that you have correctly advised the right people to preserve emails and documents for a litigation hold and that you are speaking with the correct people to obtain information and documents needed for discovery. Third, the client needs to understand what a realistic damage award might be – it is extremely difficult to obtain treble damages and attorneys’ fees in a typical trademark infringement lawsuit.
You have been a member of various IP associations and have participated on a number of INTA committees. What role should these organisations play in shaping IP practice, as well as wider initiatives?
IP associations comprise brand owners and professionals dedicated to supporting trademarks and related intellectual property, and foster consumer trust, economic growth and innovation. They also influence policies and laws. Moreover, IP associations strengthen the professional and personal development of their members and raise their visibility within the IP community.
How have client demands changed during the course of your career and how do you expect them to change again in the future?
Demands have changed in that clients expect even greater responsiveness given recent technological advancements; there are also more billing pressures with regard to certain tasks. You need to have a solid understanding of both the client’s business and the business practice of law. Given the acceleration of technological advances, coupled with client billing pressure, I expect that in the future, we will see certain tasks being automated, along with perhaps smaller teams with a higher proportion of focused expertise – both in terms of having higher skilled, more specialised and more business-minded attorneys, and in having paralegals with legal degrees and substantive IP and possibly even IT backgrounds. The ability to market intellectual property and the value that it provides to clients and to match this sales pitch with a solid business case is already extremely important and will continue to be so.
Co-chair, IP Department
Camille Miller co-chairs Cozen O’Connor’s IP department. She concentrates her practice on all aspects of intellectual property, specifically trademarks, trade dress, copyright, unfair competition, cybersecurity and data breaches, right of privacy, right of publicity, domain names, counterfeiting, licensing, trade secrets and franchising law, as well as all areas of IP litigation. Ms Miller received her JD from Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology and a bachelor’s from Franklin and Marshall College.