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PETOŠEVIĆ People: Q&A with Anamarija Stančić Petrović

Anamarija Stančić Petrović was the head of our Zagreb office for 13 years; now based in Brussels, Anamarija has been our Deputy Chief Operations Officer since 2017. She has almost 20 years of experience in IP and has served on the firm’s management board since 2006. We asked Anamarija about her free time activities, significant life events and experiences, and much more.

1. What did you just finish doing before starting to answer this questionnaire, and what will you do afterwards?

I just sent a report on the regulatory status of a medicinal product in Croatia to a US-based client and prepared three reports on trademark opposition decisions issued by the local IPO. Next on the agenda is a conference call with our CEO and COO concerning various pending projects assigned to the Operations department.

2. How come you started a career in the IP field?

Every time when I’m asked this question, it puts a big smile on my face because I really do not know the right answer. I used to say, and I thought, that I found myself in this profession just by coincidence, due to a set of circumstances at that time, more precisely, 22 years ago. But in fact, and as time goes by, I am more and more convinced that this is just what was supposed to be, somehow destined for me, though at the age of 18, I would never ever have thought of working in this profession. Today, I cannot imagine doing anything else but IP.

3. What makes IP protection challenging in your jurisdiction (and how do you overcome that challenge)?

Slow and unpredictable judiciary. We try to settle as many disputes as possible out of court.

4. What do you most enjoy doing at work?

Working on an interesting enforcement case, in particular during the negotiation phase with adverse parties. This can be very dynamic. Regulatory issues in the pharmaceutical field are a challenge, personal data protection issues likewise. Lately I have worked more on these types of cases and I’ve enjoyed it very much.

5. What would you be working in, if you weren’t working in IP?

As I said, it is hard for me to imagine doing anything else but IP. Probably, it would be something that is related to music or art in general.

6. What was the strangest job you’ve ever had?

I can’t remember any job that was odd or “strange”. But I remember the situation when I was asked to do a favour to a complete stranger and almost ended up with someone else’s child. It’s rather an anecdote.

I was 23 at that time. One evening, about midnight, I was walking down the main street, heading back home. I saw a young woman walking towards me carrying a baby in her arms. She approached me and asked if I could take the baby because, she said, she wanted to run and catch the last tram and I really saw a tram from the distance, approaching the station. She said that she could not run with the baby in her arms since the baby is quite heavy. Before I could even say something, the baby was already in my arms and the woman ran away to catch the tram. She managed to stop the tram and got in but I saw the sliding doors close and the tram depart from the station. I started to run like mad with the baby in my arms, oh God, the baby was so heavy… I tried to stop the tram myself. The tram stopped and I got in. The woman was sitting calmly on the back seat, staring at the window. I approached her and said: “Madam, I think you have forgotten your child, haven’t you?!” She just nodded and took over the baby from my arms. She did not even thank me. I got off the tram at the next stop in a state of shock and disbelief. I will never forget what happened that night or understand what this woman actually tried to do.

7. What is your favorite thing to do when you are not working?

My favourite thing to do in my spare time is doing pretty much nothing, just relaxing and spending some quality time with my family. Anyway, presently I am learning Dutch and I am taking classes twice a week, I read a lot, listen to music, go walking in the nature, go to the gym, watch movies, travel with my family… and meditate! 10-15 minutes a day is just enough. It is a part of the day that I dedicate only to myself, when I can be alone. Meditation helps me release stress, re-charge batteries and do a “quick reset”.

8. What book did you read last?

“Freedom” by Jonathan Franzen and I loved it!

9. What is your favorite song at the moment?

It’s difficult to pick only one. Oftentimes I listen to “Witch Doctor” by Crazy P (when I am in the gym or driving a car).

10. If you had to eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Stuffed peppers (best prepared by my mother, of course). I can eat that dish day and night, night and day, every day… and for the rest of my life if I have to!

11. What was your favorite subject in school and why?

Biology. I love nature and I’ve always been curious about natural phenomena. I am amazed with biodiversity on our planet Earth.

12. Tell us three things most people don’t know about you.

I never learnt to ride a bike; yeah… go on, laugh…

I have poor orientation in space (I praise the guys who invented GPS).

A “quarter” of me is of Hungarian and Polish origin (on my mother’s side). My great-grandfather’s family is from Budapest and he was born in Kaposvár. The family of my great-grandmother were Polish aristocrats, and they were from the region called Galicia north of the Carpathian Mountains. It was a province of Austria-Hungary and it now forms a part of south-eastern Poland and western Ukraine. The family had its own coat of arms and the genealogy of the entire family is kept in the Austrian State Archives. I am actually allowed to use a title of nobility next to my family name. Anyway, it simply has never had any major impact in my life nor had it brought me any particular benefits (especially during the communist regime), though I inherited quite interesting and unique pieces of jewellery and tapestry from great-grandma!

13. Tell us three moments or events that have been turning points in your life.

Life is magic, and I am grateful for each and every moment. But, if you insist:

  1. The moment when I was hired by a law firm and introduced into the world of IP for the first time. That defined my entire professional (and private) life till now;

  2. When I met my husband;

  3. When I gave birth to our son;

  4. When I graduated from Queen Mary University of London (I simply cannot exclude this from the list).

14. What would you do if you won the lottery?

Depends how much… ha ha ha… Material wealth is fine, but it does not equal happiness. That would be great, of course, but I have never in my life expected to get any “easy money”. I like to earn it. It brings more joy. If we are talking about some crazy amount, then I would certainly invest in new technologies and/or real estate. This would also allow me to do some charity work and provide financial support to those in need. The rest I would spend on traveling the globe with my family.

15. What is your biggest pet peeve?

Spitting in public… it really disgusts me when I see spittle on the pavement.

16. What is the most important thing you have learned in the last five years?

That every change in life is for the better. I learnt not to hold on to the past; not to be afraid of what the future brings but to live in the present moment!

17. What do you wish you could have told yourself at age 13?

Don’t give up on learning French, it might come in handy one day…!

18. What cities/countries have you lived in?

Sarajevo (Bosnia & Herzegovina) where I was born and lived for more than two decades; Zagreb (Croatia) where I lived and worked another two decades; and Brussels (Belgium) where I live now.

19. If you could live in another country of the 30+ countries where PETOŠEVIĆ operates, which would you pick and why?

Well, I already lived in three… let me think… Hungary or Poland, one of those, because of my origins, I guess.

20. If someone came to your city for 24 hours, where would you take them?

Which one of the above three?

Read more PETOŠEVIĆ People interviews.