Meet our new DRS Experts: Catherine Slater

10th January 2020

catherine slater DRSCatherine has been a solicitor since 2002 and a Trade Mark Attorney since 2011. She started her career at a large Midlands-based firm where she specialised in litigation. After four years she joined Serjeants LLP, a firm of Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys, to pursue her interest in Intellectual Property. Since then she has advised all manner of clients, from individuals to multi-national businesses, in relation to the worldwide protection and enforcement of trade marks, designs and copyright.

When did you first hear about Nominet’s DRS?

I’ve been aware of the service for as long as I’ve been doing intellectual property work; about fourteen years.

Why did you want to become an Expert with us?

It seemed like an interesting extension to my current work and a slightly different way in which to use the skills I have built up over the years.

What led you to specialise in intellectual property (IP) and trade marks?

I initially considered specialising in family law, but as I moved through my training, it was litigation that interested me most. My subsequent move into IP was a little bit of a leap into the unknown. I was sent to the back of beyond to take witness statements in a patent dispute. It was my first professional brush with IP and it piqued my interest. Not long after that, the opportunity arose to take my litigation experience to a firm of Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys and to dual qualify as a Trade Mark Attorney.

What do you enjoy about the job?

On a day-to-day basis, the complexity of the law and its interaction with the real world is intellectually stimulating. There is also a sense of satisfaction in obtaining the best possible outcome for a client – whether that is enforcing rights or mounting a defence against an over-zealous rights owner. I enjoy talking to people about their new business ideas, but one of the best things is unexpectedly seeing one of ‘my’ trade marks in use in the real world.

What were your earliest ambitions?

The honest (but slightly embarrassing) answer is that I desperately wanted to feature on the TV show Junior Kick Start! I couldn’t believe that children were allowed to ride motorbikes and I used to practice by ‘rallying’ my bicycle (with my Barbie doll in the basket) through potholes.

What professional ambitions do you have for the future?

My immediate ambition, as a newly-appointed Independent Expert, is to deliver good quality decisions.

Do you think the internet and technology have made our world better?

I don’t think there is a clear-cut answer. The internet has definitely brought benefits, including the democratisation of information and ease of communication, but we are becoming increasingly aware of the down sides of internet access. It’s an issue I’m particularly interested in and I’m looking forward to reading The Way Home: Tales from a Life Without Technology by Mark Boyle. Perhaps I’ll have a better answer once I’ve read it.

What technological innovations are you most looking forward to having access to?

Driverless cars.

What do you do to switch off from your work?

I’ve been making (largely unsuccessful) efforts to learn to play the piano and keep fit through running and yoga on a regular basis. Truly, though, my favourite pastime is reading a good book with a cup of tea.

Catherine joined Nominet’s DRS in autumn 2019. Find out more about the new experts.

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