What inspired you to pursue a career in IP law, and what advice would you offer anyone considering a similar path?
In law school, the trademark and copyright courses captured my interest more than any other subject matter. However, I began my legal career in commercial litigation because I received an offer to work with a large NYC firm, which was my legal bootcamp. It was clear to me that such a practice was not going to be my life’s work. Several years later, when working overseas, I applied for a receptionist position at a local law firm while I settled in a new country. As serendipity would have it, the firm was an IP boutique, and the rest is history. I advise new lawyers to keep an open mind; you never know when the right opportunity will present itself.
What has been your most memorable case to date and why?
For me, it is not a specific case that stands out. Rather, on matters and marks that encounter seemingly impossible obstacles, it is a celebration when we succeed in obtaining the desired outcome through thoughtful, pragmatic and creative strategies. It is about getting our client the results they need for the business.
I have the pleasure of working with many established brands throughout the world and I enjoy doing so to solve complex trademark matters. I appreciate that I am able to work with so many distinguished brands. More importantly, it has presented me with an opportunity to work with incredible team members at Brooks Kushman to best serve our clients and become a globally recognised firm.
Having recently been appointed to Brooks Kushman’s Executive Committee, could you share your insights on what inspiring leadership looks like to you?
As a new Executive Committee member, I am inspired by my fellow members and how they look at all sides of an issue, do not make rash judgments and consider the potential for unintended consequences before making decisions. I am learning the importance of collecting sufficient data points before weighing an issue and ultimately reaching and implementing decisions that are in the firm’s best interest as a whole. It may seem counterintuitive, but I would say a key to inspiring leadership is restraint.
Working with both US and Israeli clients, what similarities and/or differences do you see in terms of their IP strategies?
As a generalisation, Israeli clients tend to have a higher risk tolerance. They are not afraid to put forward proposals and take steps that are more daring. This is consistent with their can-do attitude and ‘start-up nation’ mindset. As a result, their IP strategies can seem uncompromising, but this is not the case; rather, clients and counsel are simply being stalwart advocates for their businesses or clients. Due to this resolute spirit, we often succeed in resolving conflicts on exceptionally favourable terms, even if such results are unexpected. I also find it gratifying to play a role and watch businesses evolve in the United States and other markets. As with all clients, I enjoy learning about their businesses and unique sets of challenges to further protect their brand assets.
Executive Committee Member &
Co-Chair of Trademarks
Robyn Lederman has over 25 years’ experience as trademark counsel. She manages global trademark portfolios for multinational brands and works with companies to develop strategies to build value and strength in their trademark portfolios. Ms Lederman spent nearly a decade practising law overseas and is highly effective in protecting and enforcing clients’ trademark rights worldwide. Now, active in her community, she spends time guiding entrepreneurs and start-ups on the practical impact of trademark law.