WHAT IS YOUR PROFESSIONAL AND ACADEMIC BACKGROUND ?
I studied Law at the University of Antwerp – where I am from – and supplemented my Law degree with an LLM in Intellectual Property and IT Law in Brussels.
Fresh from university, I started my professional career at the EUIPO (European Union Intellectual Property Office) in Alicante as a Trainee, where I worked on reviewing and improving EU regulations on copyright and trademark law. It was a great experience working at the heart of the EU trademark practice with colleagues from many different nationalities, all while enjoying the Spanish sunshine. Back in Belgium I joined the Antwerp Bar and started as an IP lawyer, focusing on trademarks and copyright litigation. After gaining some experience in litigation I transferred to Calysta to start my career as a Trademark and design attorney.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE A CAREER IN IP ?
Becoming an IP lawyer was not my initial goal. I have always had a wide variety of interests and I thought a law degree would give me a lot of options. In my final Master’s year I took a class in IP out of curiosity and instantly loved it. I thus chose to gain some more in-depth knowledge on the topic by following an LLM in IP and IT law. As an IP attorney, I like the diversity of products and businesses you get to immerse yourself into and the way IP is interconnected with business and marketing. I also love its inherently international character.
WHY IS TRADEMARK PROTECTION AN ESSENTIAL INVESTMENT FOR START-UPS ?
Protecting its brand by registering it as a trademark should be a priority for each start-up, as it will secure the company’s position from the very beginning and circumvent future legal problems.
First of all, by trademarking it’s name and/or logo a company positions itself in the market and makes its products or services distinctive from those of its competitors. By doing so, it does not only prevent its rivals from copying its brand once it turns successful, it also averts future legal issues that would bar the company from using and communicating through its own brand. If another company were to register the same name, logo or slogan, it could prevent the first company from using its own brand.
What is more, protecting your brand signals to others that you take your business seriously. It informs competitors, employees and potential investors that you have faith in the (future) success of your brand. Moreover, trademark protection will increase significantly in value as a startup business matures and can enable companies to much more easily expand into different industries. As an example a well-recognized clothing brand can more easily expand into eye ware or self-care products. To obtain this recognition it is important to protect the brand from the get-go. As your business grows, trademarks can furthermore be used as a property asset. A trademark can be bought or sold like any property asset, or, when a company branches into franchising, it could and licensed to multiple franchisors and thereby generate value.
On top of everything, trademarks are a relatively low-cost investment that offer permanent, life-long protection with a need only for periodic renewal.
Why is CALYSTA the best choice as an ip partner ?
CALYSTA is a great choice as an IP partner for many reasons, but most importantly CALYSTA truly wants to position itself as part of your company, providing you with all the advice needed to make the right and economically sensible decisions for protecting your IP, taking all the aspects of your company and industry into account, not just those directly related to IP.
Furthermore the CALYSTA team is very divers and well-rounded team, with trademarks and design attorney specialized in different sectors, attorneys with experience in contract drafting, a wide variety of patent attorneys specialized in different fields and team members specialized in valorization and tax-optimization. This truly makes CALYSTA your one-stop-shop for all IP matters.