World IP Day 2023 – Women and IP: Accelerating innovation and creativity

This year, World Intellectual Property Day is all about celebrating the “can do” attitude of women inventors, creators and entrepreneurs around the world and their ground-breaking work. As European IP boutique, we are delighted to contribute and celebrate this day! Our cross-border diversity and inclusion committee has prepared three interesting interview questions and reached out to dedicated women with a key role in IP within our international client network.

Here’s what they had to say:

Question: According to you, why and how IP is an asset / a strength for a company as yours?

Answer: “At Devialet, IP is not just an asset, it goes far beyond. IP has always been part of Devialet. At its creation, the founders immediately understood and banked on a winning mix of technologies, disruptive design of products and an extremely powerful brand, in France and abroad. With such grounds, my role as Head of IP is both easy and challenging in the meantime! It implies to be guardian of the temple while promoting its expansion.” Jeanne Mercier, Head of IP/IT at Devialet

Answer: “From the trademarks in our iconic logo, to the copyrights in our original content, to the patents and trade secrets that cover our innovative technologies – nearly every single form of IP enables Netflix to be one of the world’s leading entertainment services with over 232 million paid memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series, films and games across a wide variety of genres and languages.” Laurie Charrington, Director of Patent Litigation at Netflix

Answer: « Copyright is a brilliant tool to promote and, when needed, to defend authors’ rights. In my case, I always give permission to share reproductions of my artworks in the form of photographs or videos on social networks. Copyright`s flexibility helps many painters and visual artists in the authorised divulgation and visibility of our art. At the same time, copyright protects a creator’s artworks  from conduct that hurts authors, such as plagiarism or false attribution of the authorship of one creator’s artwork. » Anna Lukashevsky, Artist at New Barbizon

Answer: « IP is fundamental to what we do here at Hologic.  We are a leading innovators in women’s health, developing technologies that make it possible to detect, diagnose, and treat illnesses and other conditions that impact women worldwide.  Our strong IP assets enable us to maintain a technical and innovative edge in the marketplace which is vital to our financial success. This success allows us to reinvest in R&D and also champion initiatives, like the Global Women’s Health Index, that can influence the improvement of the health and well-being of women around the world. » Mita Chatterjee, IP Counsel at Hologic

Question: What are the most stimulating parts of your role as Head of IP/IT at your company?

Answer: “Without a doubt diversity and agility. As a former lawyer, diversity of both the issues to dealt with and the teams I interact with, is essential to my personal fulfilment. My role enables me to switch in the same day from a matter of innovation / patents (transferred to the Legal Direction at my arrival in 2018, up until then dealt by R&D), to a contract review for the making of one of our next movies in one of the most emblematic locations in Paris, the launch of an opposition proceeding against a third party trademark application in Korea, to the support of a new partnership in aeronautics, and to the protection of our industrial know-how, etc.” Jeanne Mercier, Head of IP/IT at Devialet

Answer: “The best part of my role as Director of Patent Litigation at Netflix is working with our engineering and product teams to understand how Netflix delivers amazing content to its members, and to aggressively defend Netflix so that our technology can continue to enable creators to reach audiences all around the world and provide our members with the absolute best Netflix experience they can have.” Laurie Charrington, Director of Patent Litigation at Netflix

Answer:« Non applicable, I am a creator, not a lawyer. For this we have you. » Anna Lukashevsky, Artist at New Barbizon

Answer:« There are many things that I love about working at Hologic, but the most rewarding aspect of this job the ability to work collaboratively with our brilliant engineers and scientists through every steps of the product development process – from concept to product launch.  It is motivating to know that the innovations that our teams develop, and we protect with our IP portfolio, positively influence women’s healthcare. » Mita Chatterjee, IP Counsel at Hologic

Question: Christine Lagarde, one of the most powerful women in the world, has recently said at an International Women’s Day event organized by the World Trade Organization (WTO) that women tend to have qualities that are especially beneficial in times of geopolitical tensions as thinking holistically, managing complexity and embracing cooperation, attributes that are ideal when it comes to trade negotiations. Do you think it is also true in IP?

Answer: “Absolutely! A global approach is essential in IP. My daily challenge is to reconcile often divergent interests, with financial, industrial, reputational and marketing issues. I am convinced that a lot of women have holistic skills that allow them to tackle, and bring to a successful conclusion, issues with multiple inputs.” Jeanne Mercier, Head of IP/IT at Devialet

Answer: “Absolutely!  I think all those same attributes are beneficial in IP, as well as many other qualities that women tend to have such as women tend to have high emotional intelligence, we tend to be creative problem solvers; and we tend to be good communicators, to name just a few.” Laurie Charrington, Director of Patent Litigation at Netflix

Answer: « Women can do great things. It is also pivotal to foster female artists, who continue to be underrepresented in important spaces such as museums and art history itself. » Anna Lukashevsky, Artist at New Barbizon

Answer:« Yes, certainly.  Strong IP is created through collaboration and diversity of thought.  Women are uniquely suited to unlock innovation by fostering environments that enable “outside the box” ideas to be shared and heard.  Active listening and communication are key to effectively supporting a culture of innovation and counselling on IP-related issues, and those are traits often associated with women. » Mita Chatterjee, IP Counsel at Hologic

We thank our clients from Devialet, Netflix, Hologic and New Barbizon for their time and contribution to this project and important topic!