Clare McNamara

Clare McNamara

University of Wollongong
Trade Mark Examiner
Clare studied Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Arts at University of Wollongong

At university I studied arts and law, including a course on intellectual property (IP). This course showed me the importance of IP as an essential business tool. I have good research and analytical skills, so when I saw a position open for trade mark examiners at IP Australia I decided to apply. It was a big decision to move to Canberra, but also a rewarding one!

As a trade mark examiner I assess applications from self-filers or attorneys for different goods and services. Trade marks can be shapes, sounds, even scents, but are commonly iconic brands like Vegemite or Coca Cola. A trade mark gives a company or individual the power and right to use their brands and protect them from being used inappropriately by others.

There are a lot of great parts to my job. The people I work with are incredibly welcoming and friendly. IP Australia has a great Social and Welfare club, which is great for people like me who have moved from interstate. Although I have a desk job, I have a sit-to-stand station, and the social club runs all sorts of sporting and other activities to keep me active.

IP Australia’s trade mark and patent examiner training program is comprehensive. We are given fundamental training on the basic IP system, from which we build on our skills in researching and report writing. This learning and development program has taught me how to research far more effectively, and I have really developed my decision making skills.

Leaving university can be really scary, especially if you don’t know exactly what you want for a career. My advice to future graduates is to apply for positions that are a bit different, and don’t stress out if it takes a while to secure full time work in an area related to your degree. Any new skills you learn will make you a more rounded and capable person.