Five tips for trademark administrators and paralegals
No matter where they are in their careers, trademark administrators and paralegals can always use a few more organization tools.
At the Tricks of the Trade for Trademark Administrators session yesterday, veteran trademark professionals offered attendees advice on topics including time management, using forms, working with vendors and using online resources including the INTA website. Attendees also shared their own tips and experiences.
Plan and prioritize: Use a calendar to set tasks for the day, month and year and create reminders for filing deadlines. Schedule time during quieter periods to take care of tasks such as housekeeping. Set goals for the day and prioritize. “My aim is always to file my due dates on the first available date,” said Max Harrison Millican of Dell. “That’s the least stressful way and it gives you time to take care of any issues that arise.”
Create templates: Creating email templates for situations which arise regularly can save time and ensure your wording is perfect, said Barbara Barron Kelly of Corsearch. These can be saved, accessed at the click of a button and customized as appropriate. When creating forms, start with a checklist, such as the ones available on the INTA website, and customize it. The form should be easy for the client to use and ideally collect information in the order you will need it, said Millican. She suggests creating several versions for clients who have different levels of experience with filing.
Utilize resources: The INTA website offers several useful resources for paralegals. For example, the Country Portal provides information about fees in different jurisdictions, treaties that various countries have signed and relevant case law. The Corporate Style Guide is a key tool for ensuring consistency and the Trade Dress Image Library is useful for making “Trademark 101” presentations to new colleagues.
Be your own cheerleader: Keep a running list of your achievements, preferably in an electronic format, along with any supporting evidence such as emails congratulating you on a job well done. Knowing your strengths will be invaluable for performance reviews, job interviews and updating your bio, particularly if you are not given much time to prepare. “It’s not a negative character trait to toot your own horn as long as you’re in key and have an appropriate volume level,” said Grace Jennings of Wong Cabello.
Check the job listings: Even if you are happy with your employer, browse the job listings regularly so that you know what opportunities are available for career advancement and are aware of typical salaries for your level of experience. Taking notice of commonly used keywords is useful when updating your resume. A job bank is available on the INTA website.