Five minutes with ... Patricia Revuelta, Abril Abogados
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Five minutes with ... Patricia Revuelta, Abril Abogados

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

Welcome to the latest instalment of Managing IP’s ‘Five minutes with’ series, where we learn more about IP practitioners on a personal as well as a professional level. This time we have Patricia Revuelta, attorney at Abril Abogados in Spain

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

I normally say that I am an intellectual property attorney at law, but I always add “I deal with trademarks, patents and copyright,” as people do not usually know what IP includes.

If the conversation goes further, then I say that I specialise in the prosecution and defence of EU Trademarks (EUTMs). I am involved in the whole process from conducting the necessary searches, filing the application, reporting possible oppositions, dealing with negotiations with the adverse party, preparing the written statements, filing appeals before the EUIPO’s Boards of Appeal and attending oral hearings at the EU General Court.

Talk us through a typical working day.

I never have a typical day at the office, that is why I am never bored. This does not mean that some days are not complicated!

I reply to clients’ emails providing legal assessments, report oppositions, appeals and comment on the chances of success in proceedings. I look for the best registration strategies to preserve the client’s rights and commercial interests.

At least twice a week, I have calls or personal meetings with potential new overseas clients.

What are you working on at the moment?

I am acting for one of the most famous US footwear companies in the world by trying to fight against an EUTM application filed by a Chinese company that intends to take unfair advantage of the distinctive character and repute of our client’s mark.

The nature of reputation implies a certain degree of knowledge of the mark among the public and it is not always easy to compile the necessary evidence that complies with the requirements set out in the EUTM Regulation. It is challenging, exciting and stressful at the same time.

Can you see why I am never bored?

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

I am always dealing with different things, but imminent deadlines and urgent enquiries of key accounts always take priority.

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

The most exciting aspect is finding new clients. We invest a lot of economic and personal resources to find new clients and opportunities. We attend international conferences, and we are involved in different associations that demand a lot of time not only from our working days but from our spare time as well. Receiving the fruits of this work and efforts, in the form of new clients, is very satisfying.

Personally, the most stressful aspect is dealing with imminent deadlines after having received the client’s instructions at the very last minute. I am very self-demanding with my work, and I hate doing things in a rush without having had time enough to search for more pertinent or updated case law.

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

You have to be flexible, and patient with clients and with your team. Never forget that the client’s interests are the main priority and that “a bad agreement is always better than a good trial”.

What is the most common misconception about IP?

Sometimes IP can be very ungrateful. A sole human mistake can entail the loss of a client’s trust and your reputation. Dealing every day with deadlines can bring very stressful situations that can harm your mental health at work.

I hereby take the opportunity to urge all IP firms to implement clear and effective policies to improve the workload of employees, so they can avoid burnout and reach a balance between their professional and personal life.

What or who inspires you?

I cannot mention only one thing or person. I have become a partner at my firm thanks to the support of all of my colleagues, family and friends.

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

I would have probably been involved in the defence of abused women. But if I had a lot of money in another life, I would very likely invest in a travel agency, restaurants and nightlife entertainment.

Any advice you would give your younger self?

Don’t be so self-demanding and strict with yourself. Mistakes are part of our lives and each error entails a lesson. Stop looking for perfection.

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