IPR-people: Emilia Hodge – Properta Attorneys Ltd
In this article series IPR people tell about their careers. How they ended up working with IP, what they think about IPRs today and what do they do when they are not working.
Senior IP Lawyer, Attorney-at-Law (Member of the Finnish Bar)
Properta Attorneys Ltd
How did you end up working with IP and in your current role?
Initially, I got interested in EU law when I participated in a Euroscola-project during my French studies at Lyseo Upper Secondary School. Sitting on a MEP’s seat in Strasburg, I made a decision to apply into law school, and luckily it paid off first time around. During my studies I got support from professors Tuomas Mylly and Katja Lindroos (nee Weckström) whose knowledge guided me through very topical legal questions related to information society, digital business, and also IP law. True to my original interests, I later on found multinational aspect of IP law, including EU-level case law, highly fascinating – and so it has been ever since.
I have now worked for over eight years as a practitioner focusing mainly on IP related cases. I began my career from Krogerus’s IP team, and after some years of gaining post-graduate working experience, I undertook a fantastic opportunity to go on a secondment to work as an in-house Counsel for Luhta Group which is one of the largest sportswear manufacturers in the Nordics. During my secondment, I got an interesting phone call from Properta’s Hanna-Maija Elo asking me to join into Properta Attorney’s IP team. Knowing that I would work with the best and most experienced IP lawyers in the country, I decided to happily accept the offer. I really enjoy my current role. Our cases are every IP lawyers’ dream! In addition to my daily job, I am the Chairman of the Finnish Fashion Law Association and the MARK Marketing Association’s Legal Committee.
Something particularly memorable in your IP career?
There are already so many memorable moments in my IP career, and I am certain that there are still many to come.
Professionally, it was a great educational experience to assist my first post-graduate superior, Tuukka Airaksinen, in many Market Court proceedings related to IP field during the first years of my career.
I am also very satisfied with the Market Court proceedings MAO:160/19 regarding marketing law and consumer regulation (public reference) which I led in-house during my secondment at Luhta Group. We decided to trial the case, as we truly believed that the position that the Finnish Consumer Ombudsman took was wrong. The Market Court ultimately rejected all claims against Luhta, and it was truly a heart-warming moment to receive a personal thank you note from my employer for all the hard work put into the matter.
In addition, based on the recent developments regarding the Market Court proceedings MAO:388/19 regarding trade mark law and exhaustion of rights (public reference), it is evidently another career highlight to see the Finnish Supreme Court to accept our petition for leave of appeal, and some weeks ago, ask for a preliminary ruling from the CJEU in the case. A remarkable moment during the course of one’s IP career.
In the aftermath of the corona pandemic, I am also looking back to all national and international IP conferences, seminars and parties gathering IP professionals together with many great memories.
What would you change in the field of IP?
I would like to say not much as such, but there is always some room for improvement. Like many other IP professionals have already brought forward, the current fee-level related to certain IP proceedings in the Finnish Market Court is relatively high for many companies to push their cases forward. In general, it would be beneficial to see more legal praxis emerging from the national level.
It is great to see the field actively increasing the knowledge about IP by sharing the knowledge. In general, we could try to get this message heard even better also among the groups that are not consisting of legal professionals. This is also something Finnish Fashion Law Association aims to do.
Compliments to a colleague
As mentioned above, professors Tuomas Mylly and Katja Lindroos were important forces guiding me through my legal research and studies. In addition, I have had a chance to work with many excellent lawyers and bright legal assistants that have worked hard and unselfishly helped others to succeed along the way. Our IP team at Properta and Hanna-Maija Elo definitely deserve all compliments. In addition I have to mention CFO Juha-Pekka Ojala at Luhta for being highly efficient professional and one of the nicest people to work with. I would also like to send warm compliments to all foreign IP colleagues around the world – it is a privilege to work with you!
How do you spend your spare time?
I spend time with my family and friends, exercise, read books, listen to podcasts and go out for walks with our English Toy Terrier, Napoleon. I also love to travel and explore different countries. When the time comes, London is 100% calling where my husband’s family eagerly awaits to see their grandson for the very first time.
What people don’t know about you?
According to my husband I am creative and even somewhat artistic person. Perhaps this comes from my family with a strong musical background. However, instead of playing any instruments myself, I like to listen music and go to concerts and festivals. I also put my creativity in use by sewing – evening dresses are my speciality.
Pictures: Emilia Hodge’s and Properta’s archive