From its auspicious inception as an Anglo-Dutch merger in 1999, Reckitt Benckiser has since become a major international FMCG company and world leader in household cleaning products, with dominant brands in most categories of household cleaning and health & personal care. With such a strong global presence, Reckitt Benckiser now employs around 35,000 people, operating in over 60 countries across all continents, and selling its products in more than 200 countries. The continuous success of Reckitt Benckiser is soundly based on a long-term business strategy to focus on the expanding categories in which the company has leading brands.
Following the decision to divide its existing operations into more autonomous and accountable business units, we are seeking a multi-talented patent leader to become IP Director for Reckitt’s Hygiene Home Business Unit (HHBU). The HHBU has a fantastic portfolio of leading brands, 80% of which are either number 1 or 2 in their respective categories – household names such as Lysol, Vanish, Finish and Air Wick. The position will report directly to SVP Legal HHBU in Amsterdam, with initial ‘bedding-in’ support from VP General Counsel, Patents in the UK.
The role will involve all aspects of day-to-day management of the HHBU patent function including defining, maintaining and reviewing the BU’s strategy in patent-related matters. It will also involve enhancing the value of patent assets and ensuring the freedom of the HHBU to market their current product lines – with specific emphasis on the Finish and Vanish brands and new product lines. The role encompasses direct and remote team management responsibility, and further growth of the HHBU’s dedicated patent team.
The successful candidate is likely to possess:
- A good honours or higher degree from a well-regarded university;
- Full qualification as a European Patent Attorney;
- At least 7 years’ experience within an in-house environment. For those in private practice, previous experience within industry will also be taken into consideration;
- Exposure to FMCG businesses and good understanding of intellectual property law relevant to branded consumer products;
- Proven management of complex patent matters, typically spanning multiple jurisdictions;
- People management experience in a leadership role;
- Proven record of effective budget management;
- Patent litigation experience;
- Working knowledge of legal systems of other jurisdictions, relevant to RB’s principal businesses.