Five minutes with … Virginia Melgar, EUIPO Boards of Appeal
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Five minutes with … Virginia Melgar, EUIPO Boards of Appeal

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Each week Managing IP speaks to a different IP lawyer about their life and career

Welcome to the latest instalment of Managing IP’s ‘Five minutes with’ series, where we learn more about IP lawyers on a personal as well as a professional level. This time we have Virginia Melgar, chair of the EUIPO’s Fifth Board of Appeal.

Someone asks you at a party what you do for a living. What do you say?

I say that I am a lawyer in an international public administration, no more details as it is too complex to explain.

Talk us through a typical working day.

I will start working on the decisions of my Board, then will move to prepare presentations for a training activity, have lunch with one of my colleagues, then deliberate one of our cases, and read the case law from the EU General Court.

What are you working on at the moment?

I am preparing training on the likelihood of confusion for Kazakhstan judges showing the methodology we apply at the EUIPO and lots of examples.

Does one big piece of work usually take priority or are you juggling multiple things?

Priority is defined by our deadlines and our key performance indicators. For big pieces of work normally I work at home in order to ensure 100% concentration.

What is the most exciting aspect of your role and what is the most stressful?

The most exciting aspect of my role is to reach a consensus on a complex legal issue, in particular at the Grand Board, and sorry I do not have any stressful tasks…

Tell us the key characteristics that make a successful IP lawyer/practitioner.

An excellent memory, the knowledge to go beyond the concrete issue, the capacity to build an argument.

What is the most common misconception about IP?

That it is too technical and only open to specialists.

What or who inspires you?

My two grandmothers who were farmers in the Uruguayan countryside and managed to run a farm and raise 7 children each with no running water or electricity.

If you weren’t in IP, what would you be doing?

Botanist or the owner of a garden centre.

Any advice you would give your younger self?

Do not compromise on your ideas and dreams, you are not inferior to men.

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