IP Ones to Watch 2023: MIP recognises Kelly Kazue Totsugi at Heineken
Kelly Kazue Totsugi is a corporate lawyer at Heineken in Brazil
Kelly Kazue Totsugi, a corporate lawyer at Heineken in São Paulo, is less than a decade into her in-house intellectual property career but has already racked up experience at some of the world’s biggest brands.
Before joining the Dutch-owned brewer, Totsugi worked at Brazilian firm BRF, one of the biggest food processors in the world. Her foundational experience had already come at chemical producer BASF, where she held her first IP role.
Totsugi’s nominator worked with her before she joined Heineken and spotted her potential early on.
“Kelly is detail-oriented, very loyal, and continuously looking for professional improvement,” they say.
At Heineken, Totsugi’s main focus is on anti-counterfeiting, which she describes as a “non-stop battle”. Brands operating in Brazil face “huge challenges” from social media platforms, she adds.
“The internet knows no geographical boundaries, making it difficult to track down and hold individuals involved in online counterfeiting and piracy accountable, especially when they operate across jurisdictions,” Totsugi tells Managing IP.
In addition to her work as an anti-counterfeiting strategist, Totsugi has extensively researched digital law. She says she wants to establish herself as an authority in the field.
“The type of work that resonates most with me involves the fusion of legal acumen and strategic thinking.
"From my point of view, it's imperative that a lawyer acts as a true business partner. A proactive approach not only mitigates risks but paves the way for excellence."