Head of Pearce IP's trade mark team talks protecting mascots and working with words

Kimberley Evans believes it's important to never stop learning, no matter how senior you are

Head of Pearce IP's trade mark team talks protecting mascots and working with words
Kimberley Evans

Kimberley Evans always loved words, and after receiving “persuasive” career advice from a primary school teacher, she wound on the legal career track – a track that would pay off in dividends and lead to stints like being a principal at Allens Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys.

Earlier this year, Evans made the jump to Pearce IP, where she currently heads up the trade mark team. In this May interview, she shares the most interesting matters she has handled to date and what she loves about trade mark law.

What made you choose a career in law?

I have always loved words and reading books, so a career in law suits me really well. It is also possible that one of my primary school teachers told me that my "love of debate" - yes, I'm paraphrasing here - meant I should be a lawyer when I grew up. The career advice was persuasive!

What's your favourite part of the job?

There are lots of things that I love about the job, but my favourite part is being able to satisfactorily resolve a particularly complex dispute or achieving registration of a difficult brand for my clients and then seeing the relevant products out in the Australian marketplace.

As IP trade marks team head at Pearce IP, what is the most interesting matter you’ve ever worked on?

One of the things that I love about trade mark law is that a lot of the matters I get to work on are fascinating because I work with household brands and I get to see the effects of our legal advice based on how those products are sold and promoted in the Australian market.

Some of the most interesting matters I've worked on include protecting a well-known and well-loved Australian health mascot from unfortunate parody merchandise and social media campaigns, successfully defending a trade mark opposition filed by a global energy drink company against one of my client's snack food brands, and achieving registration of a particularly difficult trade mark for one of my clients where we had to overcome more than 75 objections to the trade mark application.  

What has been your proudest accomplishment in the last year or so? What’s the biggest lesson you learned in the past year and what advice can you give fellow lawyers about it?

My proudest accomplishment in the last year has been joining Pearce IP. Pearce IP punches above its weight on everything - technical excellence, diversity and inclusion (80% female staff and more than 70% women in leadership!), and quality of work. I'm proud to be a part of the team.

Joining Pearce IP has also reminded me how important it is to keep learning and growing and developing, no matter what level of seniority we attain in our profession. Albert Einstein said it best: "When you stop learning, you start dying."

What are you looking forward to the most in the coming year?

Getting to know the Pearce IP team and building stronger relationships with my clients. With junior lawyers in my team, I have a responsibility to lead with purpose, develop them into capable and confident members of the team and launch them to clients and the sector.

If you weren’t in law, what do you think you’d be doing as a career?

Something else to do with words. I wish I had the talent and creativity to be an author, but I suspect I would probably be a book editor or maybe a teacher.

 

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