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Dawn Logan Keeffe – Trademark Attorney at CPA Global – has worked in the IP industry for more than fifteen years. She is an expert in IP protection, with a focus on utilising trademark portfolio maintenance and management. We caught up with Dawn to discuss her career.

Tell us a little bit more about your IP journey

I have worked in IP for more than a decade now, predominantly focusing on trademark and copyright law. Before joining CPA Global, I worked in both private practice and in-house in a number of jurisdictions, including the UK, the Middle East and Australia, so I like to think I have picked up a good global appreciation and understanding of most areas of the trademark profession. 

Having spent more than 10 years in private practice, and involved in very specialist prosecution/enforcement work for my customers, I was keen to return to in-house work again and be more involved in the commercial aspect of trademarks and brands, and new product development.

What is your role at CPA Global?

I was looking for a broader role and I found just that with CPA Global.  I have a varied role where no day is ever the same. I manage the clearance, registration, maintenance and enforcement of our trademark rights. I also assist overseeing the trademark renewal, recordal and watching business of CPA Global, from both a legal and operation perspective. I have the rare opportunity of not only being able to formulate trademark protection strategy, but to help influence commercial decisions to support that strategy, and have input in new product development that is at the forefront of the IP industry.  

How have you managed to balance your work-life balance in the IP industry?

I have two young boys (six and three years old) and have moved countries four times in the last 13 years so my life has always been pretty hectic. When you thoroughly enjoy your work, it is amazing how much you can get done in a working day without it affecting family time.  It also helps that I am a meticulous planner and have a great support team around me, both at work and at home

How have you managed to develop your career within IP?

This is very much a relationship-based industry. It is important to get out there and meet people. Participation within industry organisations and industry events helps to build your profile and also keep you engaged and up to date on trademark law and practice. I am involved at a working/steering group level within CITMA and I sit on the Public Information Committee at INTA.  The relationships you are able to foster and build when participating with such organisations are simply not what you can get sitting behind a desk or via email. It is also rewarding to feel that you are contributing to the development of those organisations, and the IP industry as a whole.

I also believe having a mentor or someone you can learn and develop from is important. I have been fortunate to work under inspirational practitioners and I am pleased to say most of them have been women.  So one tip I would give is that we must value those mentor/leader figures that we have in our working life and learn what you can from them. Most of them have had a hard climb to the top and have such valuable experience to give.  

Do you have any advice for individuals considering entering the IP industry?

The IP industry is demanding and constantly changing, so it is important that you have a personal interest in the area. If you are new to the IP profession, I recommend doing research and, if possible, undertaking some work experience within a firm or company to get a feel of the nature of the role. 

It is a fantastic profession to work in and there are many options – whether you wish to specialise in a particular niche area (i.e. trademark prosecution, patent prosecution, copyright, etc.) or tackle head on the broad range of commercially related IP issues that arise when working in-house. I would encourage anyone interested to have a go.