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PETOŠEVIĆ People: Q&A with Aura Campeanu

Aura Campeanu has been heading our Bucharest office since its inception 13 years ago. With a degree in engineering and experience in managing EU Phare projects, Aura’s knowledge of IP grew with the firm and she is now considered one of the top practitioners in Romania. We asked Aura about her work, her turning points in life, which parts of Bucharest she would show to visitors, and much more.

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

I just reviewed a complex case before the final hearing.

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

My first contact with IP was circumstantial, while working in the management team implementing an EU-funded project aiming to upgrade Romania’s IP system. I remember when I first read the technical proposal I thought “parent patent” must be a typo! But, as a fresh engineer, I found patents to be fascinating. Two years later, when the project ended, I was offered to set up the PETOŠEVIĆ office in Romania. It was a precious life opportunity for me, and a chance to work with renowned IP leaders. That’s how I started building my career in IP, then I studied law, and my career became my passion.

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

Inconsistent practices. Even achieving what should be normal is challenging. We try to prepare our cases as well as possible, from very early stages, and be ready to adapt to circumstances.

4. What do you most enjoy doing at work?

I like all IP work, I like patents and designs just as much as I like trademarks, as well as handling customs enforcement or handling a complex litigation case. Everything. Except one thing: searches!

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

Robotics or biotechnology.

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

It was not really a job, more so an assignment — at school, a professor asked me to give lessons to a colleague, a difficult boy who had poor marks. At the beginning it felt so strange, I don’t know if we had ever talked to each other before and I didn’t even know where to start. After a while, we became good friends. With him as a friend, no one in my school ever dared to bother me!

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

Exploring the world around me, travelling everywhere and anywhere, gardening, reading, listening to music, singing and dancing, watching a good movie even for a hundred times, with family and friends. I don’t think I ever get bored.

8. What book did you read last?

“Amanti e regine. Il potere delle donne” (Lovers and Queens: The Power of Women) by Benedetta Craveri.

9. What is your favorite song at the moment?

Ah it’s hard to choose just one. I absolutely love music. OK, let’s see… “Tequila” by Blacklist feat. Carla’s Dreams, or “Te rog (Please)” by Carla’s Dreams.

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

Fish and rice.

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

Sciences. The way the natural world works has always fascinated me.

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

As a student I worked as a promoter at car shows; one half of me is shy, and my other half has Tatar origins (and warrior instincts!).

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

Hm, actually I had quite a few. The first one was when I submitted my application for high school. A five-minute conversation with a stranger probably changed my life. Even now, after so many years, I feel chills when I remember that.

The second was when I met husband, and the third — the birth of my daughters. Each moment has a magical story behind it.

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

I’d be annoyed! You know that saying: “easy come, easy go”? I think it’s true. Winning the lottery would only be a headache for me (I know, it’s weird, all my friends tell me that).

15. What is your biggest pet peeve?

Plastic waste and dog litter in the streets. I love nature, and respecting it, as well as respecting other people, is very important to me.

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

To worry less and only about problems that really exist. I’m still working on that.

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

Nothing is impossible, but be more organized.

18. What cities/countries have you lived in?

Bucharest and for a very, very short time, Maastricht.

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

Uzbekistan. The closer I am to Asia, the more I feel at home.

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

I would start the day with breakfast by the side of one of the many charming little parks, then continue with a tour from the Arc of Triumph, through central residential areas full of elegant art deco buildings that gave Bucharest the name “Little Paris”, and up through to the Palace of Parliament, Ceausescu’s masterpiece, an impressive colossal building at a historical site in Bucharest.

We would definitely have dinner at “Carul cu Bere”, the oldest and most famous restaurant in Bucharest. Then we would continue our tour with the Old Town, abounding in narrow, cobbled streets, richly adorned facades of century-old buildings (where Gypsies lived during communism), and which now hosts numerous pubs, restaurants and clubs, with great music, beautiful people, super good food and a fabulous night life that doesn’t stop until dawn, a unique place that one will never forget!

Read more PETOŠEVIĆ People interviews.