Can an interest in international relations lead to a passion for trademark research? For Nevena Šakota, the answer is an enthusiastic “Yes!”
As a student, Nevena earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in diplomacy and international politics, but an internship with the National Assembly in her native Serbia left her wondering if this was the right path for her. Then, in 2015, she happened upon an ad seeking applicants for a junior trademark paralegal position at Ipan, acquired by Clarivate in 2020.
“It looked interesting, so I applied,” Nevena recalls, noting that the people who interviewed her seemed very enthusiastic about their work. When the offer came through, she took it. “Initially, I thought the job might be temporary as I thought about what I wanted to do. But I just fell in love with trademarks. I discovered that the work is actually very exciting.”
Nevena was soon working with large, multinational companies, traveling, meeting clients and colleagues from other countries and learning about different businesses and industries. She also learned a lot about intellectual property, IP management and trademark protection.
“I realized it’s very important work. There is a lot that goes into trademarks, including strategic considerations,” she says, adding that her diplomacy background came into play as she worked with clients in different jurisdictions. “It’s interesting because there are some differences working with clients in, say, Switzerland versus France, Italy or Japan. It’s a great way to gain a better understanding of how the world functions.”
Taking on new challenges
After several years working on the operational side of trademark services, Nevena transitioned to the business side. As Senior Manager of Trademark Administrative Services at ClarivateTM, Nevena supports product development and sales for paralegal services and docketing support, including handling portfolio management.
“Docketing is extremely important work because any mistake could potentially lead to the loss of IP rights, so it’s a huge responsibility,” Nevena says, underlining that the paralegal and trademark admin teams perform critically important work. To help her clients’ IP counsels manage their IP portfolios, Nevena now works with more than 100 trademark admin colleagues worldwide.
Nevena highlights that tuning into clients’ needs is a crucial aspect of her leadership. “Our clients often have large trademark portfolios that are very challenging to manage. We realize that clients don’t just need a service—they need a solution,” she explains. “They want to work with a single, trusted partner for managing all their trademark tasks across the trademark lifecycle, from searches, filings and renewals to portfolio management. That’s what we provide.”
Building relationships of trust
Nevena has a proven ability to forge relationships of trust with clients. She recalls a corporate client in Switzerland who was initially skeptical about Nevena’s ability to handle some complex matters as a paralegal. “After a few months, as I gained her trust, she said I no longer had to copy her on all correspondence. Then she started giving me matters that previously were handled by the IP attorney,” she says. Through her journey with Clarivate, Nevena and her team are proud to build trust-based relationships, helping clients seamlessly manage their brands.
More recently, Nevena once again leaned on her diplomatic skills as she led the effort to ingest a large portfolio of trademarks acquired by a company that did not have established IP portfolio management processes or systems. “We had to do everything from scratch,” she recalls, noting that she collaborated with teams across Clarivate to set the client up with an IP management system (IPMS) and trademark paralegal services. “The client had limited familiarity with IP and associated management requirements, so I had to change the narrative and guide them through establishing their portfolio. It was very gratifying.”
As she looks forward to her career at Clarivate, Nevena is even more excited about the possibilities than when she first fell in love with trademark services seven years ago. “There is still so much to learn and to accomplish and that inspires me.”
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