Trademark Law in a Corporate Setting

Chris Ott and Mary Munson-Ott were hosted by the Washburn Intellectual Property Law Society and the Business and Transactional Law Center on Thursday, February 16, 2017, to discuss trademark law in a corporate setting. Both presenters work at Payless Shoesource. Their Lunch and Learn presentation focused on the idea that career successes are the result of hard work, luck, and taking advantage of every opportunity. Neither Chris nor Mary started working in trademark law immediately after law school, but they emphasized that where someone starts does not determine where they finish– it is important to do a good job at each step along the way. In fact, while knowledge and experience with trademark law is helpful, personal characteristics such as a positive outlook and learning to play by the rules can be more critical to success. In a good job, the employer wants the employees to succeed and will provide the support and resources necessary for success.

Chris and Mary enjoy trademark law because of the exciting opportunities to work with passionate, creative people. They concluded their remarks with the advice that if someone's goal is to work in trademark law, taking another job can still be progress toward that goal. Chris and Mary noted that although grades can expand career choices, real life is less about reading cases and more about talking to people and answering their questions. If an individual does not have top grades they can overcome this through other opportunities, including networking and internships that will prepare them for their future career.

Photograph: Chris Ott and Mary Munson-Ott presenting at Washburn University School of Law.