Jess Collen co-founded Collen IP with his wife Jane in 1996. Today, the company represents some of the world’s largest brands, providing legal representation to global companies in the areas of trademark, copyright, design and utility patent, advertising and marketing and privacy and information management.
He appeared recently on the Law Firm Excellence podcast to speak about his career path and experience in IP law. His background in business, Collen says, helped him early on in his career. He and his wife began their careers by running retail businesses together, and continued to run them during law school.
At the time, law school curriculums taught students very little about the business of law. “A business background… was extremely valuable to me… [law schools] taught you literally nothing about the business of running a law firm” says Jess. Ironically, Jess and his wife Jane originally wanted to go to graduate school to study business, seeing it as a logical next step in their career. After they were set on the idea of graduate school, they went with law instead because the commute was shorter.
Ultimately though, the combination of a legal education and a business background was a winning one. “I’ve done more trademark law than anything else,” said Collen, “and being in the retail industry gave me a really good feel for trademarks and the importance of brands and how products sell… even how manufacturers will create their packaging and their product names to mimic a successful market leader… there’s a very fine line between looking like a national brand and infringing rights, but I really had a very good first hand sense of what that was. So from a professional point of view I think that was a huge advantage to me in understanding trademark law issues.”
Throughout the hour-long podcast, Collen addresses a range of issues related to the running of a high-level IP law firm, everything from revenue sharing to the effects of the internet on IP law. But don’t take our word for it, listen to the full interview with Law Firm Excellence at http://lawfirmexcellence.com/episode-15-jess-collen-taking-an-unconventional-path-to-building-a-top-ip-firm/
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Jess M. Collen
Collen IP Partner
Jess Collen’s expertise in the field of trademark law has long been recognized. He has been active in IP practice for over 30 years and highly involved in the profession, having acted in many capacities, including as a member of the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of the International Trademark Association. He is also a featured Forbes.com contributor, What’s Your Trademark?, which focuses on all aspects of intellectual property. Mr. Collen has represented clients in U.S. District Courts and federal Courts of Appeal across the United States in industries as diverse as watchmaking, consumer electronics, high fashion, fashion eyewear, food, entertainment, software, and other industrial and consumer fields. He was counsel in a copyright infringement case argued before the Supreme Court of the United States.