Associate Spotlight with Jan Wrede
Dennemeyer's Associate Spotlight is a monthly feature highlighting our team of dedicated professionals who work in 23 offices around the globe. Get to know Jan Wrede, Managing Director, Dennemeyer & Associates UAE and Attorney-at-Law (Germany, Italy).
Admitted to the bar in Germany and Italy, Jan Wrede practiced IP law between 1996-2013 with two major Italian IP patent & law firms and, in 2014, he opened the Dennemeyer Dubai office, focusing on IP in the whole MENA region. Something you might find interesting about him is that he was a vegetarian for 25 years, way before it was popular! He is also quite talented musically, having in his past learned to play the flute, clarinet and saxophone.
What IP matters do you assist clients with the most?
I do a little bit of everything since my office fellows discuss all of their legal and strategic matters with me. IP litigation is still uncommon in MENA; we mainly assist clients in contractual matters and advise on anti-counterfeiting (warning letters, customs, police interceptions)
Here are a few examples of how we assist clients:
For trademarks, we had a local client looking for international protection, but since the UAE are not part of Madrid, that would have resulted in many national filings. We checked the client's website and found an affiliate company in a Member State, which we were able to use to propose significant savings.
For an opposition case, we were able to cite registrations from neighboring countries, which is not possible in Europe or the US and was, thus, not considered by our client’s home counsel.
For patents, many applicants don't know about the GCC patent being a valid alternative to the PCT route, although in many instances noteworthy monetary and procedural advantages are achievable.
Then, we had an IP Agreement where a counterparty proposed an arbitration clause, so we set up a detailed comparison between the Dubai and London arbitration centers to ease the client’s decision.
As a unique Dennemeyer benefit, we even draft PoAs in the name of our foreign colleagues (who then appoint us in return), so as to reduce notarization and legalization costs, which otherwise are quite expensive in our region. It is our practice to always follow a holistic approach: we find the best solutions by looking at each case from every angle, instead of suggesting only the first most apparent reply.
What has been your favorite IP work you've been involved with or case you've handled?
The part that I like most about IP work is that it varies. Sometimes I am counselling startups on the basic IP package they need, then a government entity on best IP practice, a multi-national on enforcement in MENA, and then an SME on Madrid and PCT filings (and savings).
If Dennemeyer were a TV show, which actor would you want to play you?
What is the best thing about the company you won't find in the job description?
The international part: you meet people and colleagues from all over the world. In the Dubai office alone we have six nationalities from three continents!
Where is your favorite vacation destination and why?
Pakistan. I think it has wonderful landscapes, food and people. Many might not know that Pakistan's Northern region is like Switzerland, only that the mountain peaks are twice as high! (The Pic is from my last vacation.)
Do you have any "hidden talents"?
I am still competitive in Italian cooking including a yummy Tiramisu.
What is your favorite thing to do in your spare time?
Read and spend time with my family.
What is your most treasured possession?
What is something most people might be surprised to know about you?
I've been a vegetarian for 25 years. When I started in the 80's, it was quite uncommon, especially in Europe.