BriffaWay – The Carmen Influence

Written by Margaret Briffa | April 4, 2017

Intellectual Property

Tonight I leave work early to catch my nephew playing in a school production of Carmen. I first saw this opera as a young teenager and to my shame I giggled through the full two and half hours much to the annoyance of everyone around me. What was so funny that I behaved so badly throughout? All I could say in my defence was that the opera had been so ‘utterly over the top’ that I had found it thrilling. A moving story said and sung in the most theatrical of ways imaginable. Many years later as a law student I picked up a short book entitled ‘Introduction to Intellectual Property Law’ by Professor Jeremy Philips. In the first paragraph under the heading ‘Why study Intellectual Property Law?’ Professor Phillips says ‘Intellectual property is surely the Carmen of all commercial laws.’ With that one word I was totally hooked. Immediately I saw images of the feisty gypsy girl, the cigarettes, bullfighting, the spurned soldier Don José, the glamorous victor toreador Escamillo, and I have never looked back. How perfect a description in that one word ‘Carmen.’ The practice of intellectual property law has allowed entry in a wonderfully exciting world where all clients are working at the cutting edge of their field and we work with them to protect and harness their creativity to make sure it works within the commercial world. Tonight I will try and banish all thoughts of law as I watch my nephew. I will find it hard to forget however how this particular opera influenced my career and what pleasure there is from working with all these creative business to bring something special to the world.

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