Kraft creates top patent roles to grow IP capability

US food company Kraft Foods is looking to beef up its internal IP legal capacity, creating two new top roles for patent lawyers.

Kraft is searching for a senior patent counsel in Europe, as well as a patent lawyer to take charge of patents in the US.

Jackie Leimer, vice-president and associate general counsel, is leading Kraft’s drive to bulk up on IP.

“Kraft has always put a high value on IP,” said Leimer. “The company is acquiring part of the United Biscuits Group, so we’re very dedicated to growth. In that respect it’s an extension of that work.”

Kraft has nine trademark lawyers in Europe based in Switzerland, but no patent head. The company has R&D centres in Banbury and Munich.

The European patent head would report to the US counterpart, who in turn will report in to Leimer.

Leimer said the roles were not part of a cost-cutting drive. “We’re not adding internal staff for the purpose of reducing external work,” she said.

Leimer expects to take a minimum of 30 days to fill the two positions and is approximately halfway through the recruitment process.