Ana-Maria Baciu of Simion & Baciu in Romania talks about her career in intellectual property law, the most interesting piece of work in the past 18 months, and life outside work.
Ana-Maria Baciu (AMB): The decision came rather late, in my last year of high school. But the signs were there long ago, as I had always been a “lawyer” for my schoolmates who had a less powerful voice.
AMB: The beginning of my career (around 2001 – 2002) coincided with the development of IP departments within full-service law firms in Romania. I had the chance to be part of the set-up of the first truly specialised IP department in such a firm, the oldest and, at that time, biggest Romanian law firm. From that moment on, the choice was easy.
AMB: I was lucky enough to be the right person in the right place and at the right time. The firm I was with at that time was setting up the IP department and I was young, willing, and flexible enough to really want to be part of it. At a time when most young lawyers wanted to become M&A lawyers, I wanted something different. IP proved to be different enough to challenge me to such extent that I never wanted to quit it.
AMB: In 2019, I decided to set up Simion & Baciu with former colleagues including Cosmina Maria Simion and Andreea Bende. It remains the best decision of my professional life.
AMB: The team, the clients, the projects, the fact that I really like what I do and how I do it. It’s a mixture of people and things that make me very happy to be part of this project.
AMB: Our clients’ success makes our work fulfilling. But success has different meanings for different people. Success can be seen as winning a case that allows a client to continue with their business or stopping products that are potentially dangerous for consumer during the customs procedures. Each client’s success story makes our journey worthwhile.
AMB: Be brave, learn and do your best. Don’t try to do everything at once – it’s usually not how it works.
AMB: It’s difficult to choose one piece of work in a 20-year career.I’m lucky enough to feel that every piece of work I have done for my clients is important enough to make a difference.
AMB: In late 2019, we were instructed by Libra Internet Bank to secure its trade mark rights over the LIBRA/LIBRA BANK names internationally as well as before the EUIPO.
We have been assisting the client throughout 2020 with its overall strategy in securing and defending its trade mark rights against an international entity (affiliated to Facebook) which wanted to protect a house mark intended to be used for a virtual coin (LIBRA).
Our assistance included filing active oppositions before the EUIPO, filing international applications on behalf of the client, coordinating several responses to office actions in other jurisdictions, and preparing the overall strategy to be pursued. The conflict ended with the other party re-branding to DIEM (see news coverage here).
AMB:Difficult negotiations with the other party made us believe we cannot solve the [LIBRA] dispute without an endless fight. We were happy with the way it ended.
AMB: Hard work, passion, knowledge, information, empathy, and respect.
AMB: Always put your client’s interest ahead of anything else, including your own interests.
AMB: The thought that tomorrow is always another day and another chance.
AMB: My three 'kids' – two boys (9 and 13) and a husband who likes gadgets and toys – are my very important projects outside the firm, and they keep me busy and entertained all the time.
AMB: Romanian food is the main favourite, followed closely by Italian food. And hiking is the favourite sport these days.
AMB: I’m not sure this qualifies as a hobby, but I really, truly like people. Family, friends, colleagues, clients – I like them. And more than anything else, I like spending time with them.
AMB: I am an optimistic person, and I always look forward to something. It may be the next vacation or the next big project, you name it; I always look forward to it!
Ana-Maria Baciu is a regulatory and intellectual property lawyer who has been assisting clients in various industries for more than 20 years. She deals with contentious and non-contentious IP work. Baciu is also qualified as a European trade mark & design attorney. She became the managing partner of Simion & Baciu on June 1 2019. Learn more here.