Having more time in the day is something we all dream of. However, AJ Park Senior Associate Zoe Dewhurst manages to fit a lot into her busy schedule! Whether it be driving trade mark success for clients, volunteering at a variety of charity organisations, travelling, or hanging out with friends over the weekend, Zoe isn’t one to let life pass her by.
Growing up in the Wairarapa, Zoe circled back to the lower North Island to settle in Wellington in 2018, after spending time abroad in London and a three-year stint in Auckland. She now lives in her first home, a renovated state house in Lower Hutt, with her partner Blair, and two inherited pets (a Dachshund and cat).
Tell us about your role
I do the full remit of trade mark work - prosecution, searching, clearance, exam report responses, etc. The focus of work I do comes in peaks and troughs depending on what the client needs, so I either get a variety or I get stuck in deep with one type of work.
Lately, I’ve been getting more negotiation work as a result of consent requests, which I’m enjoying. This generally involves negotiating with another party on behalf of my client to find a resolution to both be able to operate, and work out who owns what on the trade mark register.
I’ve also developed a knack for evidence.
It’s very detail oriented! Sometimes the level of initial information provided requires a deeply forensic approach! It takes a real investigative nature, lots of research and lateral thinking to fill the gaps so that the evidence as a whole is persuasive.
Which clients do you enjoy working with most?
I’ve had the opportunity to learn about some interesting businesses. Just a few that spring to mind are:
- PowerCo – a fun brand and team to work with. PowerCo is a company that is really disrupting the electricity market.
- Give-a-little – charity is close to my heart, so it is rewarding to work with a brand that has opened the opportunity to so many not-for-profit organisations and causes.
- Krash (Bushnells group) – they have a line of kids helmets (including the popular mohawk helmets) and a fun and engaging brand.
- Uber – being such a large organisation, there are a lot of marks on the register which is a great experience to navigate.
In addition to these examples, I always find any evidence based client work incredibly interesting to work on.
What’s sets the trade mark team apart?
Across the team, we all have differing areas of expertise – which means we can excel in certain types of work and be the ‘go-to’ for that area. This also allows us to share and pass on knowledge to upskill our colleagues. For example, at our team training I recently presented on evidence filing which is something I have honed my skills in.
For clients, the deep commercial nature of our advice is beneficial and something that not all firms offer. We have a culture of thinking broadly and understanding the client’s businesses. This means we get the best outcomes and provide expert and clear advice to our clients. And importantly, we’re responsive!
You are passionate about volunteering and giving back. Tell me more about the active role you’ve played in this space?
I’ve been a member of AJ Park’s Volunteer Community group since its inception (2019).
My involvement in community activities led me to recently be approached by IPH (our ownership group) to select a local charity partner for AJ Park. It was quite a difficult task as there are so many deserving charities out there! We landed on the Graeme Dingle Foundation which has a nice alignment with the charity the IPH group work with in Australia. The partnership was officiated late 2022 and the Graeme Dingle Foundation have been a fantastic partner, running some great events and volunteering opportunities to get involved in.
More broadly, I’ve always had an interest in the charitable side of things. It’s incredible what they achieve for communities, all without a focus on personal gain. Over the years, I’ve developed an understanding about what makes up a charity, and the requirements for registration in New Zealand. This has led me to help organisations achieve charitable status. Some of the achievements I am proud of are:
- Zonta – I helped my Wellington club acheive charitable status for its bi-annual science award.
- Zonta – helped organise a successful International Women’s Day event at parliament with over 300 attendees which was a major event for my Wellington club.
- Give a kid a blanket – I assisted in achieving charitable status for this wonderful organisation
What do you do on the weekend?
It always varies, but generally I catch up with friends over board games, take my dog to the beach, get involved in Zonta activities, visit my family, read a book, or enjoy a good movie.
I also love travelling (I have been to over 45 countries) and have a trip booked for Fiji later this year – I’m hoping to swim with the mantarays!
I also have a trip to Mt Cook booked as well as other local travel. My partner Blair hasn’t done much travel so we have a few places we want to go together.