Liliane Roriz of Licks Attorneys talks about her career in IP law and interesting client matters in the past 18 months.


Career in IP law

When did you decide to pursue a career in law?

After finishing law school, I was drawn to working as a public interest lawyer. For the next 20 years, I built a career in the judiciary, dedicating myself to it until I was eligible for retirement. However, I decided to go back to practicing law, this time in the private sector.


How did you get into the IP profession?

I worked as an attorney for the Brazilian Patent and Trademark Office and later joined the judiciary.


How have you found the transition from the judiciary to private practice? 

Both careers have distinct peculiarities. I would say that the main difference is the issue of impartiality or neutrality.


Why and/or how did you join your current firm?

After retiring from the judiciary, I was offered positions in different firms but I decided to join Licks Attorneys because it was a new firm in the market. It seemed to me like a greater challenge and a unique opportunity to evolve along with the firm.


What do you enjoy most about your role or working for your firm? What makes your role/work fulfilling?

What I like the most is how complex and strategic the world of IP is. The fact that IP is growing at a fast pace, especially during crises, shows us just how crucial it is for society and its influence on our everyday lives.

As a partner at Licks Attorneys, I challenge myself every day to bring a unique point of view to the clients. I am constantly faced with intellectual challenges which bring new perspectives that inspire me to keep striving for excellence. I consider IP to be the perfect area for me to make a continued difference in legal matters.


What advice would you give to women interested in joining the IP profession and/or to junior female IP practitioners who want to get to your position?

Work hard and be proactive. Client’s interests are the basis of everything, so always try to understand your client’s business and needs. The IP profession is about innovation so you need to be open-minded to learn something completely new and out of your comfort zone every single day. This will help you figure out solutions that will make you stand out from the competition.


Client work

What is your most memorable piece of work to date as an IP practitioner?

My pharmaceutical patent work is noteworthy because it is currently a complex and controversial area in Brazil.


Could you briefly share interesting client matters you handled within the past 18 months?

The first one was a public interest civil action by the State of São Paulo which demanded reimbursement for medicines aimed at treating patients suffering from a rare condition. The judge decided in favour of the State of São Paulo but we managed to overturn the decision in favour of our client at the Estado de São Paulo State Supreme Court.

There was also an infringement action before the Paraná State Courts and a nullity action before the Rio de Janeiro Court system to stop the use of a client's trademark for a hair product. There was a preliminary injunction against our client which we managed to quickly overturn after a rehearing and obtained a favourable decision for the client.

We also had several nullity actions against our client's patents for a Hepatitis C medicine. We have thus far been able to prevent the grant of injunctions, keeping our client's patents in force.


Did you find any part of the work you have just described uniquely challenging? If so, what were the challenges, and how did you overcome them?

It is always a great challenge to overturn an unfavorable decision. It takes considerable knowledge and persuasion.


What qualities and skills are required to do your job?

Extensive knowledge, ample perception, and persuasiveness.



About Liliane Roriz

Liliane Roriz specialises in IP litigation. She worked as a Federal Court judge before joining Licks Attorneys as a partner in 2013.