Harrison Lee

Harrison Lee

Associate - Trade Mark Attorney

What was your first ever job? 

A dishwasher in a restaurant! 

How did you get involved in intellectual property and what first attracted you to the field? 

My first involvement in IP was in a module for my undergraduate degree in law. 

I found the subject very relatable as the issues and parties involved are encountered by everyone in the world on a day to day basis, even if they do not know it! 

When did you join Potter Clarkson and why? 

I joined Potter Clarkson in 2015 as a Patent Formalities Clerk. 

I joined for three main reasons – I knew it to be a highly reputable firm, which specialises in IP, I wanted to gain quality legal experience and I hoped that my career could grow here, which it most certainly has! 

What is your area of speciality and why did you choose it? 

My area of speciality is principally trade mark law. 

I believe trade mark law is both intellectually challenging whilst also being very commercially focused. It is always nice being able to talk with friends about what I do as they recognise the name of trade marks and so can relate to the work.  

What does a typical day in your role entail and what do you most enjoy about it/find most challenging? 

Lots and lots of emails! 

Typically, my days are spent advising clients from a commercial perspective on how best to protect, exploit and enforce their trade marks. Of course, we also do a lot of substantive work preparing submissions and responding to Registry objections. 

I hugely enjoy the variety of my work. Sometimes it might be a short email putting a client’s mind at ease and on other days it could be 20 pages of submissions or reviewing 200 pages of evidence, to enforce a client’s registration or defend a client’s application. 

What has been the highlight of your career at Potter Clarkson so far? 

Qualifying as a Chartered Trade Mark Attorney after 2 years and becoming an Associate at the firm after 3 years were particular career highlights. However, my first Case Management Conference (CMC), in UK opposition proceedings, was a real high point. The other side were, on paper, in a very strong position and it may have led to our opposition being dismissed. I found precedent which turned the tables, and made our arguments in the CMC, resulting in our opposition being maintained. Thereafter, we negotiated a favourable outcome for our client.   

What advice would you give anyone looking to enter the field? 

It is a very meritocratic industry, bursting with opportunity. The background of my peers and colleagues is very diverse, meaning there is no prescribed piece of advice for entering this industry or being successful. 

However, the work is tough but rewarding. If you are prepared to work hard and be challenged, then it is a very satisfying career.