“We are trying to fully embrace new technologies,” says the Head of Legal at trademark one-stop-shop Trama
You gained experience working for multiple law and consulting firms. How would you compare Trama to this experience?
Every occupation gives you opportunities to grow and shape your career differently. Trama is a different kind of company – we’re combining a traditional field of law with technology and innovations, as I mentioned before, which brings its own new set of challenges.
At Trama, I have the opportunity to shape the legal team and the direction of the company, which would be unimaginable in a regular law/consulting firm where you are assigned a task, and you have to complete it. There was almost no vision or challenge besides completing the assignment; therefore, the experience at Trama is so unique to me.
What is Trama doing differently from a trademark lawyer or a law firm?
We are putting technology into the IP law and trying to look at brand protection and clients’ cases not only from a strictly legal perspective but also from a business point of view. This may not seem like much at first glance, but it is a fundamental difference that influences everything.
What also factors into it is probably the fact that as a legal-tech startup company, we face the same problem as our clients. We are at the beginning of our entrepreneurial journey, and we want to protect the heart and soul of our business – our IP. Most of our clients are young entrepreneurs, startups, scaleups and SMEs, so we are on the same boat.
Trama is currently registering over 500 trademarks a month. How are you able to handle so many orders?
Yes, we are currently registering over 500 trademarks a month, but that is only the beginning. We are convinced we can do much more since we have a dedicated team and a strong vision to become the no.1 trademark filer in the world.
The reason for our numbers lies in our team. It consists of lawyers and tech innovators, all professionals in their respective fields, and we are connecting their expertise. Traditionally, the area of law tends to be “old-school” and avoid technology, but we’re trying to embrace it. This allows us to do a lot of everyday work quicker and better. We believe that using technology leads to better efficiency, and it would be a shame not to take advantage of it.
Can you go into more detail about how the use of technology impacts your daily routine?
Sure. It helps us in multiple areas – for example, trademark clearance at the beginning, drafting a bullet-proof trademark application, communication with the client, and managing trademark portfolios. So as you can see, the scope is quite significant. Can’t really imagine working without it. (smile) We’re trying to automate as many internal legal processes as possible to make our lives easier, as well as our clients.
Where do you see the potential for the use of technologies within the field of law? What are Trama’s plans in this regard?
The potential is almost unlimited – it all depends on your capabilities. But in general, bringing more “tech” into law makes it more efficient and affordable for the client, which in turn makes the law more available to the public.
At Trama, we are currently working on adding new features to our existing Customer portal so the clients can see the status of their trademark portfolio and get notified about correspondence from the IPO. We’re also planning to launch our B2B portal for law firms and big corporate clients who want to file hundreds of trademark applications monthly. We believe that we are ready to file trademarks on a much bigger scale.
For each new order, Trama performs an initial risk assessment. Do you see a difference in how members of the legal team approach it?
Yes, our initial risk assessment is done by experienced lawyers who try to be as consistent as possible, but we are all human after all, so it’s hard to have the same opinion about a case.
However, we want to ensure a certain level of standardization, so we have implemented multiple precautions to narrow the room for maneuvering. We also try to reflect on the practice of the IPO in the given jurisdiction and our experience from more than 15,000 risk assessments over the last two years.
By combining our internal processes with regular training, monitoring of market developments, and client data analysis, we believe we can be as consistent as possible.
How would you describe the atmosphere in your team?
From my experience and perspective – it’s very relaxed. We’re young, like-minded lawyers with a strong background and passion for law, especially IP. Therefore over the years, we became not only good colleagues but also friends who can talk to each other about everything, not just work. We also take part in multiple retreats and team sessions during the year where we can have a good time together, either at the office or at a lovely chalet in the mountains. Trama’s team spirit is truly amazing.
Trama is continuously searching for new talent. What kind of person do you think would fit into your team?
It depends on the role/position. If I am searching for new talent to strengthen our legal team, the ideal candidate should have a strong background in law, ideally with an interest or prior experience in IP, a good spirit, and a sense of humor. At interviews, we are not only looking at the most illuminated mind but a person who can fit into our unique culture. I would say that the first good impression is more than a stellar CV.
If you could give one piece of advice to law students interested in IP, what would it be?
I would recommend thinking broadly about IP when selecting law school classes. IP is not only about patents, copyright, and trademarks. Related courses like advertising, media law, entertainment law, antitrust, and cybersecurity are a great addition to your basic IP package. Take the time to really delve in because the law is so much more interesting when you dig deep into a subject and combine the knowledge from multiple fields.
About Tomas Orsula
As the Head of Legal at trademark one-stop-shop Trama, Tomas is responsible for the day-to-day legal operations and delivery to Trama’s clients. His team of 20+ legal professionals focuses on IP protection and carries out trademark search, drafting, filing, monitoring, and litigation. Besides leading the team, Tomas also handles certain IP cases and office actions in Trama, focusing on the US and UK markets. He graduated from the University of Cambridge in English and European Union Law and from USC, California in IP Law with a focus on Technology and Entrepreneurship.
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