J. Scott Evans joined Adobe in October 2013 as director of Trademarks, Copyright, Domains & Marketing. He was recently named In-House Counsel of the Year by World Trademark Review, a prestigious legal publication, in their 2017 World Trademark Review Industry Awards. As icing on the cake, he is also a past president of the International Trademark Association and has twice been voted as one of the 50 Most Influential People in IP by Managing Intellectual Property magazine.
Scott has worked in the field of intellectual property since receiving his Juris Doctor cum laude in 1992 from the Louis D. Brandeis School of Law at The University of Louisville. He’s passionate about his work, family and serving the LGBTQ community, recently taking on the role of executive sponsor of one of our employee network groups, AdobeProud.
We spoke to J. Scott about his life at Adobe and why trademarks are so important.
Congratulations on being named World Trademark Review In-House Counsel of the Year. What does this honor mean to you?
I’m incredibly humbled. I love what I do, and it’s a joy to be recognized for doing what you love.
Why trademarks? What makes you so passionate about them?
The purpose of trademark law is to protect consumers. I have a family—a mom, sisters, son, husband—and I know that trademarks assist my family and billions of other consumers in making smart purchasing decisions.
Trademarks are symbols of the promise businesses make to their consumers: a promise of quality and responsibility for the products and services they sell. I want to make sure that trademarks function as designed. I think this is super important to a healthy economy and a safe marketplace.
Tell us about your career before joining Adobe.
I began as in-house trademark counsel for Fruit of the Loom, where I worked for about three years, before joining an outside law firm. Then, after about nine months, I was asked to become a partner—thus Adams Evans P. A. was born. I stayed with my firm for 11 years, until Yahoo! recruited me. In July 2013, Adobe called—and I joined in October 2013.
I’ve been involved in the development of intellectual property protections on the Internet since 1998. The Internet is fascinating and always changing; that change means that you must constantly learn new things. That’s exciting to me.
What does a typical workday look like for you?
I manage a team of seven legal specialists. I work with them to review all branding—granting permissions to use our trademarks, enforcing our trademark rights against abusers and reviewing all marketing materials.
Basically, I’m an escalation point for the legal specialists. I also lay out our overall strategy and priorities and work with my team to ensure that we meet our goals. It’s great work!
Why are trademarks important to Adobe?
Our Adobe brand is one of the company’s most important assets. It is the moniker used by millions of consumers, consultants, analysts and media outlets to identify our company or our revolutionary products.
It’s critical that we protect these symbols of our goodwill from abuse by unauthorized parties. It’s also important that we secure and maintain trademark registrations from the many countries around the world where we sell our products.
You’ve recently become the executive sponsor of the AdobeProud employee network group. What are you looking forward to in this position?
I look forward to being an ambassador representing Adobe’s commitment to diversity and tolerance in the workplace. It’s an honor to serve the LGBTQ community here within Adobe. I really enjoy working with my fellow LGBTQ colleagues to ensure that we support one another and work in the best interests of all Adobe employees and the communities where we live and work.
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