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PETOŠEVIĆ People: Q&A with Oleh Karpenko

Part of the PETOŠEVIĆ Ukraine team, attorney at law Oleh Karpenko develops and implements enforcement strategies related to software copyright, trademark, design and plant variety rights in Ukraine and other former USSR countries. Before joining the Kyiv team in 2018, Oleh worked in IP at other Ukrainian law firms and was an investigator and prosecuting attorney at several district prosecutor’s offices. We asked Oleh about his work, his hobbies, and much more.

1. How did you start your career in the IP field?

I was working as a prosecutor and I decided to make a career move to the private sector as an attorney at law. When it came to choosing the field of law, I recalled a criminal case based on copyright infringement in which I acted as a prosecutor. This is how I realized that I find IP interesting because it is closely connected to human progress — inventions, artwork, technologies, etc.

2. What makes IP protection challenging in Ukraine and the Russian-speaking region? How do you overcome that challenge?

The inactivity of law enforcement authorities, legislative loopholes, bureaucracy. Despite all the obstacles, we keep working on forming a positive law enforcement practice which will strengthen the rule of law.

3. What do you most enjoy doing at work?

I love all contentious matters and enjoy participating in investigative actions, court hearings, negotiations.

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

I think I would build my career in the prosecutor’s office, or work as an attorney at law in the field of criminal law.

5. What was the first job you’ve ever had?

I was a construction worker.

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

I love spending time with friends. I also like swimming and travelling.

7. What book did you read last?

“Crystal Horizon: Everest – The First Solo Ascent” by Reinhold Messner.

8. What is your favorite song/music at the moment?

“Space Oddity” by David Bowie.

9. What is your favorite dish of all time?

It is really difficult to explain, but its original name is “Okroshka”. This is a kind of cold soup, comprising a mix of mostly raw vegetables (like cucumbers, radishes and spring onions) along with boiled potatoes, eggs, and cooked meat (such as beef, veal, sausages, or ham) with kvass — a non-alcoholic beverage made from fermented black or rye bread. You have to try at least once to know what I am talking about.

10. If you could meet anyone in the world, from the past or present, who would it be and why?

Stephen Hawking. I would ask him whether we will ever travel at the speed of light. It could have been a great and long conversation!

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

History and Ukrainian literature. History – it gives you access to the experience of previous generations and it is always very exciting to take a look at the most significant events of the past. Ukrainian literature – it is really beautiful and reflects our rich culture.

12. What did you want to be when growing up?

I wanted to be a fighter pilot, then changed my mind, but I still want to obtain a pilot license someday and buy a plane.

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

I can swim more than 50 meters underwater without breathing. My playlist includes both punk rock and classical compositions. I enjoy watching thunderstorms – it is exciting.

14. If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?

I would like to learn freediving and high-altitude mountaineering.

15. What is your biggest frustration about the world around you?

War.

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

Do not wait for something to be changed around you – work to make that change happen.

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

Be more careful and study more – it will be really useful. Enjoy every second of your childhood, you will miss it!

18. What cities/countries have you lived in?

I lived in Luhansk, in eastern Ukraine, then I moved to Kyiv in 2014.

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

Luxembourg, because it is a beautiful country and a well-located starting point for travelling to most European destinations.

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

If we are talking about Kyiv, I would take them for a walk through the city center to see its great architecture, both new and old; then we could have dinner in a restaurant serving traditional Ukrainian food, and finish our tour watching the great views of the Dnipro river and the surrounding hills.

Read more PETOŠEVIĆ People interviews.