Intellectual Property assets (i.e., patents, know-how, trade secrets and copyrights associated with technical aspects of our business) are important to the continued success of Mars Wrigley and more broadly Mars, Incorporated. Mars, Incorporated invests significant resources and effort in developing new technologies and our policy is to vigorously protect its Intellectual Property (IP) assets, make them accessible to all the Business Units, and use them to maximize profitable growth. The IP Counsel is responsible for leading all IP efforts for selected Mars Wrigley technologies, and for working with Associates in other functions such as R&D, Marketing, Digital Technologies, and Commercial to ensure technology and innovation are identified, protected and leveraged by the organization. Key activities include leading all IP-related activities for the selected Mars Wrigley technology platforms, including but not limited to, drafting and prosecuting patent applications globally; developing the patent portfolio; managing outside counsel; ensuring appropriate agreements are in place; and providing clearance guidance and freedom to operate for new products, process, and pack technology launches.
This role will be based in Chicago, IL.
Juris Doctor (J.D.) from an accredited law school
Licensed to practice before the USPTO, EPO or equivalent
Undergraduate degree in Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Food Science, Biology, Biochemistry or equivalent
5+ years of IP-related legal experience (in-house experience is a plus). Some pre-law school technical experience preferred.
Strong written and oral communications skills, with the ability to communicate and interact effectively with clients and business leaders at all levels of the organization; must be able to identify critical issues requiring action and convey them in a manner that is understandable and useful to the business partner
Strong interpersonal skills and demonstrated ability to function well in a multi-disciplinary team environment
Must be a team player
Quick study, able to handle complex matters with multiple initiatives going on simultaneously
Must exercise sound judgment, be able to work independently and efficiently under time pressure and deadlines in a face-paced environment
Self-starter that is effective in driving change throughout the business and gaining stakeholder buy-in
Strong attention to detail and ability to consistently and timely complete projects
What would be your key responsibilities?
Leads all IP related activities for the selected Mars Wrigley technology platforms, including conducting preliminary patent searches, identify potentially patentable subject matter, draft, file and prosecute patent applications (in house or with outside counsel), and perform freedom to operate analysis and related client counseling for assigned R&D group(s).
Manages outside counsel to coordinate prosecution of global patent portfolios
Works with IP Team to provide competitive intelligence and pro-active IP strategy counseling to assigned R&D, Marketing and Business group(s).
Directly advises assigned senior leadership and R&D group(s) with respect to IP-related contracts and terms, including for example, confidentiality, consulting, material transfer agreements, and research agreements and joint development agreements.
Manages and provides counseling on trade secret and confidentiality-related matters.
Works with other Law Department Associates to provide IP-related advice and support for transactions and client counseling.
Advises regarding intellectual property aspects of licensing, M&A and commercial activities as assigned by Associate General Counsel, IP.
Manages litigation-related activities as assigned by Associate General Counsel, IP.
Develops and provides IP training for innovation groups and business and commercial teams.
What can you expect from Mars?
The opportunity to learn, develop and take charge of your own career.
An industry competitive compensation package including generous benefits (i.e., 401(k), health, etc.)
Commitment to our Purpose and our Five Principles.
An environment where all Associates feel valued, supported and comfortable being themselves at work.
The opportunity to work cross functionally, add value and impact a better world for generations to come.