Hallmark IP wins ex-Olswang trademark star

Hallmark IP has recruited Olswang’s former head of trademark filing and prosecution, Vivienne Coleman, as the first step on its road to becoming a multidisciplinary IP practice.

Coleman left Olswang in August following a restructuring of the IP group, which also saw patent attorney Stephen Carter rejoin Mewburn Ellis. Coleman joins former KLegal founding partner and Hallmark managing director James Hodgson, whose enthusiasm for the multidisciplinary practice (MDP) model remains undimmed despite the demise of the accountancy-tied firm.

“Vivienne’s appointment marks the first in a series of developments to our practice scheduled for 2005 when we intend to increase our service offering to patent filing and prosecution as well as IP litigation and commercial work,” said Hodgson.

Hallmark IP was founded in 1886 as the Trade Mark Owners Association, a not-for-profit association for members such as Bass, Heinz and Nestle. It rebranded itself Hallmark IP in 2003 and Hodgson joined earlier this year with a view to modernising the company and taking advantage of a first-rate client list, including Cadbury Schweppes, Hilton Hotels, Intercontinental Hotels and Ladbrokes.

Hodgson’s arrival heralded the departure of the old guard, including executive committee member John Groom, who left to set up his own business.

Hallmark IP is now a limited company, which Hodgson hopes will become an IP consultancy encompassing trademark and patent litigation and filing, and IP audit and consultancy.

Hodgson wants Hallmark to go head-to-head with law firms and follow in the footsteps of combined IP firms such as Marks & Clerk, which set up Marks & Clerk Solicitors, and Willoughby & Partners/Rouse & Co.