Thrive Spotlight – Michael J Flynn, European Patent & Trademark Attorney
If you’ve had a bright idea that needs protecting, Michael Flynn is your man. A specialist in intellectual property, Michael helps creative types navigate the complicated process of safeguarding their ideas, and helps inventors and brands owners on the tricky journey to market. However, this niche area of law isn’t Michael’s only passion – he’s also got a vintage VW campervan hire company and has an impressive collection of guitars.
Thrive: Hi Michael, can you explain a little more about your day job?
Michael: Of course. Intellectual property is an umbrella term for all kinds of creative products of the mind and protecting technical innovation is my main specialism. I deal with all aspects, from when an idea is born, pre-filing searches and the preparation of patent applications I also look after trademarks and industrial design rights. Many different things can be trademarked – the shape of a bottle, a logo and, now, even jingles and smells. There’s much more to it but these are the headline acts of my business!
Thrive: That sounds incredibly complicated. Do you have to be very corporate in your approach?
Michael: Well this business is, by reputation, extremely conservative and very pedantic. You have to be very particular about certain aspects. So while I’ve got a laid-back style, I’m very robust in my approach and focus on what the client expects to get out of the process and find out how they hope it will benefit their business. I’m working at the interface of technology, law and business – and that’s very interesting.
Thrive: How long have you been working in this field?
Michael: A long, long time! My uncle owns a practice in Dublin and my mum was his office manager, so I was doing general office work and running errands from the age of 10! When I passed my engineering qualifications and was taken on as a trainee, I ended up being a gatekeeper for the partners because our office was two doors down from the government patent office and people often popped in as it was so convenient. I got to deal with a heck of a lot of inventors, entrepreneurs and aspiring business owners. You got to meet some very interesting individuals along the way.
Thrive: So what made you chose to network with Thrive?
Michael: I was looking for a networking group that positively sought connections rather than it being an obligation on the individual members to do so. There is a structure already in place within Thrive and you have people working within Thrive to establish connections on your behalf. Also it has an open structure and a very relaxed atmosphere but behind that there is this platform to help you achieve your connections with either like-minded or complimentary businesses.
Thrive: What would you be doing if you hadn’t gone into the law?
Michael: That’s a toughie! I’d probably be dealing with mechanical things. I’ve always had an interest in electrics and electronics. From my early teens, I was building pre-amps for guitars and I even managed to sell a few. I love guitars and have a bit of a collection. It’s the mechanics and set up that interests me most. I could have been a luthier, designing and making guitars!
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