PETOŠEVIĆ PEOPLE: Q&A with Ana Stojanović
Senior Associate and Attorney at Law Ana Stojanović has been part of the PETOŠEVIĆ Serbia team for over 12 years. As an experienced IP practitioner, Ana advises clients on all aspects of intellectual property law and represents the firm at various conferences. We asked Ana about her work, her favorite food and music, and much more.
How did you start your career in the IP field?
I started in a pretty “spectacular” way almost 15 years ago. The previous law firm I worked for, which also handled intellectual property law matters, received a patent infringement case which I was assigned to lead. Patent disputes are extremely rare in Serbia, which is why I am saying that my early days in IP law were pretty unusual, although I also handled other IP and commercial law matters at the time. My interest in IP actually began much earlier, when I encountered this area of law for the first time in my third year of law school.
What is the most challenging aspect of your work?
Keeping up with trends in online trademark infringement.
What do you most enjoy doing at work?
Analyzing and advising about complex matters.
What would you be working in, if you weren’t working in IP?
I would probably work in something related to music, because it is a big part of my everyday life. Or perhaps something related to food.
What was the first job you’ve ever had?
My family owned a real estate agency at the time I was a law student, and I was involved in various tasks, legal and non-legal.
What is your favorite thing to do when you are not working?
Playing the piano, singing in a choir, cooking (especially with chocolate), running and exercising, and travelling!
What book did you read last?
I recently read an inspiring book, “Wheel Me Around the World” by Snežana Radojičić. It’s a true story about a Serbian woman who gave up her conventional life in Belgrade and decided to travel the world by bike (she is still living this way, travelling by bike, alone). This is not something I have ever longed for, but I am moved by this woman’s tremendous courage and her trust in positive experiences on these journeys.
What is your favorite song/music at the moment?
I have often listened to Georgian-British singer and songwriter Katie Melua in the past year, and these days I have been listening to Carole King again, but I mostly like to relax with smooth vocal or bossa nova jazz.
What is your favorite dish of all time?
My preferences are changing and I believe I am veering more and more toward a vegetarian diet. However, I will never refuse sarma, a regional dish made of minced meat rolled in sour cabbage leaves. I will say though that currently my favorite food is dark chocolate!
If you could meet anyone in the world, from the past or present, who would it be and why?
I didn’t have idols after my teenage period (they were mostly rock and roll musicians at the time), although many erudite persons, but also ordinary wise people, influenced my personal development. That said, I am not sure that I am longing to meet any one of them in person. I am happy with the way our “encounters” occurred, but I guess it would definitely be interesting to meet and talk to many of them.
What was your favorite subject in school and why?
Music and English language. Music brought me joy and fun, and English language lessons were easy for me. I remember an episode during an English language class in elementary school, when the teacher gave us a written exam. I finished mine in 20 minutes and then helped the classmate sitting next to me with her questions, each of us keeping one eye on the teacher so as not to get caught. I can again feel that childish joy of our small victory for getting away with this. Of course we both got good grades!
What did you want to be when growing up?
I don’t think I ever wanted to become someone or to do something in particular. I was just an ordinary kid who liked playing outside with friends, listening to music, doing homework…
Tell us three things most people don’t know about you.
I considered studying psychology, but eventually chose law school.
I have been a true wine lover for years. I rarely order any other beverage, alcoholic or non-alcoholic, when I go out.
I like to spend time near the water, particularly the sea; it brings calm to my mind and soul.
If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
Playing an instrument other than the piano.
What is your biggest frustration about the world around you?
I try not to get frustrated about things I cannot change or influence, but I am concerned about climate change and how much modern industry and the way we live damage our planet. Last month the air in Belgrade was very polluted, had extremely high levels of toxic particles. It was very unpleasant and worrying.
What is the most important thing you have learned in the last five years?
I have learned that inner peace and harmony with yourself and people around you are of the greatest importance, so I am trying to implement that in everyday life. I realized that being happy, the state everyone wants to reach, is about who you authentically are or have become rather than what you have. We live in the Western culture where the material, meaning everything outside of a person (things, places, other people) is highly valued, and we probably all need to go through the process of finding balance.
What do you wish you could have told yourself at age 13?
That the most important thing is to accept and love yourself for who you are, and not to expect others to do the same and to understand you. I guess this is one of the regular confusing topics in the teenage period.
What cities/countries have you lived in?
I’ve visited many, but I’ve never lived anywhere outside of Belgrade.
If you could live in another country of the 30+ countries where PETOŠEVIĆ operates, which would you pick and why?
Well, I would probably pick Belgium for obvious “sweet” reasons, mentioned above! Actually, I doubt that I would intentionally decide to live anywhere else just because of liking a city or country, but there are many interesting countries where PETOŠEVIĆ operates worth visiting. For example, Moldova has the largest wine cellar in the world; it is actually an underground city filled with wine. I would maybe also pick Georgia, where the singer I often listen to these days is from originally. If, however, PETOŠEVIĆ Group one day establishes an office somewhere on the Mediterranean coastline, I will be the first in line!
If someone came to your city for 24 hours, where would you take them?
Twenty-four hours is not enough time, as Belgrade has many interesting spots. Depending on my guest’s preferences, I could take them to the Kalemegdan fortress and park, the National Museum that was recently renovated, and Saint Michael’s Cathedral. Lunch or dinner would be in the traditional, bohemian Skadarlija district or “world” cuisine near the Danube river. I would also consider cruising the Danube and Sava rivers; walking around Ada island in the Sava river or in some of the surrounding parks and woods; Nikola Tesla Museum, or maybe the House of Flowers (the resting place of the communist Yugoslav president Josip Broz Tito); as I said it would depend on what my guest would choose!
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