Trademark Filing With Just One Click of the Button: Interview With Lukas Pelcman From Trama

Law firms and their clients want services that are efficient, cost-saving, and intuitive. In order to deliver such results, companies like Trama are going beyond traditional Intellectual Property management. In this interview, Lukáš Pelcman, a trademark lawyer at Trama, shares how Trama balances the convenience offered by new technologies with the seriousness of legal procedures.

Lukas, what got you into intellectual property law? 

My interest in the field of intellectual property goes way back to the time when I was in school. What I like about IP is the complexity, diversity, and intersection of several legal fields with IP law. Also, the overlap with marketing and business in general because a brand is an integral part of any business. Its protection translates into the legal perspectives of business entities, so that’s always been interesting to me and what I find fascinating about it. 

While studying, I also worked at several law firms and focused on IP there. Then continuing after I ended my study, I tried to focus on some other fields. I partook in the areas like commercial law and business law in general. But after some time, I decided that I would like to go back to IP. So that’s how I came in contact with Trama. As a trademark registration service, Trama provided me with an option and the opportunity to focus more on IP.

What are your responsibilities in Trama, and how did they change over time?

I started working in Trama in the summer of 2021. It’s not easy to pinpoint the exact area on which I focus within Trama because it’s quite wide in nature, and I like it that way. As I’ve mentioned, I like diversity and complexity, so I’ve always tried to make the scope of my work and my involvement in Trama reflective of that. The legal agenda that we have in Trama involves participating in the initial risk assessment of the trademark requests that we get, the application drafting process, and, of course, the follow-up agenda of trademark management. But, apart from the day-to-day legal routine, I try to focus on the product proposition of Trama from a legal perspective.

As a legal-tech startup, Trama is trying to balance the use of technologies with the human touch. As a lawyer, how does the use of technologies impact your daily routine? Does it help you in any way?

The tech part helps a lot. It helps us to tackle tasks rapidly and to handle them more efficiently. It helps to automate the processes that can and need to be automated. When it comes to trademarks in general and the process of drafting trademarks and filing, for that matter, work within these areas can be quite repetitive in its nature. For example, a key point in the drafting agenda is preparing the list of goods and services. The technologies help with the selection of goods and services and their translations into the lists acceptable across all the relevant jurisdictions that we need. Without the tech part, we would have to prepare the documents for each jurisdiction individually and draft them manually. The ideal outcome would be to draft the list of goods and services for any trademark application and then have it converted into a particular list of goods and services acceptable to each particular IP office in different countries with just one click of a button. Such tasks generally can and should be automated. It helps lawyers like us to focus on more complex cases, so that’s something that we are trying to achieve in the long term, and we are coming quite near it.

How is the collaboration between the legal and the development team set up? 

There are two areas when it comes to interaction with the tech team. The first is what I would call day-to-day tech support. This support involves the tech team being available to assist the legal team in case something happens with the internal infrastructure that we use to handle the day-to-day agenda. And the second area relates to the coordination of our long-term goals. And for that, we generally use several channels to communicate, such as regular meetings with the tech team and other departments within Trama. When dealing with some particular issue, or well, perhaps not an issue, but something that should be implemented, like the conversion of the list of goods and services which I’ve mentioned earlier, then we will have an ad hoc meeting for that too, to discuss what’s necessary in order to move forward. 

Trama is continuously searching for new talent and welcoming many new members into the team. How long would you say it takes for a new junior addition to your team to be self-sufficient with the legal agenda?

As our workload grows, the onboarding process has also changed over time. In the past, because the workload was lower than it is now, it was possible to give each new member of the team a more personalized learning experience during the onboarding process. In the past couple of months, it was hard to do so, but we still try to prepare all required materials on the trademark drafting agenda and introduce newcomers to the process in a way that feels manageable to them. There is always room for improvement, even when it comes to the onboarding process. 

How are you trying to address this issue?

One of the things I’ve been working on is the way to unify our know-how, the knowledge base that we have in the team. Each team member comes from a different background with a different set of experiences which also translates into the professional skills that each of us has. It’s really useful to have captured all this cumulative experience that all of us have and to have it in one place so that we can benefit from this collective knowledge. It’s one of my long-term interests to put this together so that we are able to work with that and benefit from it within our day-to-day operations. 

If you could give one piece of advice to law students interested in IP, what would it be?

The most important thing is to define your area of interest. Because that will help you to get the edge on what you’re doing, and this doesn’t really relate only to IP law. It relates basically to anything, but it builds up on the idea that if you find something interesting, then you’ll be eager to learn new things. And once you have the dedication and once you’ve decided that that’s something you want to pursue, then there’s nothing that will stop you, no matter what area of law you are looking into. 

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