From Pop Rock to Trademark Law, Student Paul Borovay Describes His Law School Journey
I was setting up for a rock show in Italy when Scramble, an Italian punk band approached me and asked if I planned on using my band name, Smile Radio, in Europe. I told them I did plan on using it, and didn’t think much more of it.
But shortly afterward, I started receiving emails from Italians, in Italian, complimenting me on how great my English was. I figured they must have confused me with someone else. In fact, they had. Scramble had changed its name to Radio Smile shortly after we met.
That is how I first learned about the likelihood of confusion and the Lanham Act, and the experience led me to pursue a career in trademark law and intellectual property protection. I came to law school wanting to learn how to protect businesses, people, and their reputations and IP assets, and I have learned just that.
In my Transactional IP class, Professor Shubha Ghosh taught me how to write an intellectual property portfolio analysis in which I analyzed Groupon’s most valuable IP assets. In Advanced Torts with Professor Steven Barkan, I learned about brand management and the right of publicity.
And, fortunately, I was awarded the prestigious Foreign Language and Areas Studies Fellowship from the U.S. Department of Education to learn business Portuguese to better serve (future) clients who will license intellectual property assets to South American governments and businesses.
As a summer associate at the trademark firm Pattishall, McAuliffe, Newbury, Hilliard and Geraldson, I worked on a myriad intellectual property issues, from false advertising cases to global licensing agreements and World Intellectual Property Organization arbitration disputes arising under the Uniform Domain-Name Dispute Resolution Policy.
Through all of these experiences, I learned that I would not have had much of a case against Radio Smile for trademark infringement. However, each class and experience solidified my interest to pursue a career in intellectual property law,
I will be working for Pattishall McAuliffe after graduation. Besides representing companies, I hope to work with athletes and celebrities to help them protect their brands. This is an interesting area that blends trademark and privacy law with advertising and social media.
One band I will not be representing, however, is Radio Smile, as I hear they broke up. Smile Radio, on the other hand, is still playing and recording when I have free time, and I seem to have a lot more of it now that I’m a 3L.