Patent Attorney

@ work with Simonne Moodie: Patent Attorney

Age: 32

Position: Partner in the Trade Marks Department of Von Seidels Intellectual Property Attorneys.

Highest grade passed: Matric

  • BCom(Hons)/LLB
  • Bachelor of Commerce with Honors
  • Bachelor of Laws

I love what I do because…
It is varied and no one day is exactly the same. I deal with many new businesses and my clients are always interesting and excitable people who are grateful for the services rendered.

A typical day at work:  My job involves understanding a client’s business and the intellectual property involved in that business (which includes trade marks), and advising clients on how best to protect their brand.

I start the day dealing with my emails, which may include emails from local and foreign clients in regard to existing matters, or new clients requesting information or wanting advise on a new matter.

I may consult with a new client or an existing client in any given day, either at our office or at their offices.  On a daily basis I deal with correspondence and issues with the South African Trade Marks Office. I may also spend my day drafting an agreement or a legal opinion.

I also attend to filing, prosecuting and registering trade marks, as well as litigating on trade mark matters.

My job is based on the legal aspects surrounding trade marks or brands both in South Africa and internationally. There are many areas of law associated with trade marks, such as company names, domain names, internet law, advertising standards, protected events and copyright law. 

The upside of my job:

  • Meeting and helping lots of new people
  • Travel
  • Constant changesin technology and brands makes it exciting
  • Financially rewarding
  • Fun – and never boring!

… and the downside:

  • There are many deadlines to meet
  • It can get stressful – especially when a client’s business is at stake or there are serious financial implications for the client.
  • Long hours

Future Plans:

Any attorney needs to move through certain stages in their career as it is a continual learning process. Although I am a partner there is still a lot to learn as the law is always changing, therefore in 5 years time my focus may change, even in a specialized area of law such a trade marks.

For example with the recent new phenomena of Second Life there are many legal implications from a trade mark perspective that may develop from that.
I love what I do – it is challenging and changing enough that I do not wish to move into another area of law or move professions.