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Pioneering Remote Legal Services and Intellectual Property Defense With Paula Brillson

Pioneering Remote Legal Services and Intellectual Property Defense With Paula Brillson

March 6, 2024   |   Written by Gladiator Law Marketing
Paula Brillson is the Managing Attorney at Digital Law Group, a firm dedicated to protecting brands and assisting individuals with intellectual property, licensing, corporate matters, and dispute resolution. Founding the company in 2013, she aimed to offer critical legal services to innovators across the technology, consumer products, and media sectors, guiding them from idea to commercialization. With a history of brokering deals in Hong Kong through her startup Asia Capacity Exchange and serving as Intellectual Property Counsel in the Philippines, Paula brings a wealth of international business experience to her role. Her legal expertise is underpinned by a JD from Rutgers University and admissions to practice law in New York and Washington. Paula has earned a reputation for developing and implementing strategies that build and enforce robust intellectual property portfolios, negotiating numerous client deals, and providing strategic, business-driven advice, particularly in copyright, trademark registration, and IP monetization and enforcement.
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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Paula Brillson talks about how her diverse background led to her law career
  • Measures for businesses to stay ahead of governmental changes, economic shifts, and technological advancements
  • The importance of diverse expertise and outsourcing to grow business
  • Paula shares how she created a commodities exchange for bandwidth on demand
  • How did Digital Law Group come about?
  • Why it’s crucial to work with an attorney who understands a company’s unique needs and can provide tailored legal solutions
  • Paula’s approach to challenging negotiations

In this episode…

How is it that some legal professionals manage to stay ahead of the curve, especially in the rapidly evolving fields of remote work and intellectual property defense? Could the integration of pioneering legal services be the secret to their success? According to Paula Brillson, a trailblazing managing attorney, the answer lies in a proactive, forward-thinking approach. She highlights the critical role of understanding and navigating the legal intricacies of technology and innovation, ensuring that intellectual property rights are not only protected but effectively enforced. This comprehensive strategy, Paula argues, empowers entrepreneurs and innovators, providing them with the legal foundation and confidence to compete and thrive in the global marketplace. In this episode of 15 Minutes, host Chad Franzen is joined by Paula Brillson, Managing Attorney at Digital Law Group, to explore the landscape of remote legal services and intellectual property defense. They discuss Paula’s journey from telecoms to the founding of Digital Law Group, her innovative approach to providing legal services remotely, and her passionate defense of intellectual property rights for startups and inventors, showcasing her as a pioneer in her field.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Sponsor for this episode…

This episode is brought to you by Gladiator Law Marketing, where we deliver tailor-made services to help you accomplish your objectives and maximize your growth potential. To have a successful marketing campaign and make sure you’re getting the best ROI, your firm needs to have a better website and better content. At Gladiator Law Marketing, we use artificial intelligence, machine learning, and decades of experience to outperform the competition. To learn more, go to or schedule a free marketing consultation. You can also send an email to

Episode Transcript

Intro  0:01   You’re listening to 15 Minutes, where we feature community leaders sharing what the rest of us should know but likely don’t. Chad Franzen  0:12   Hi. Chad Franzen here, one of the hosts of Share Your Voice where we talk with top notch law firms and lawyers about what it takes to grow a successful law practice. This episode is brought to you by Gladiator Law Marketing, delivering tailor made services to help you accomplish your objectives and maximize your growth potential. To have a successful marketing campaign and make sure you’re getting the best ROI, your firm needs to have a better website and better content. Gladiator Law Marketing uses artificial intelligence, machine learning and decades of experience to outperform the competition. To learn more, go to where you can schedule a free marketing consultation. Paula Brillson is an international business executive and attorney she founded Digital Law Group in 2013 to provide businesses critical legal services for innovators, which, from idea to commercialization, focusing on technology, consumer products and media sectors. She has helped hundreds of entrepreneurs develop and implement strategies for building and enforcing intellectual property portfolios. Paula, thanks for joining me today. How are you? Paula Brillson  1:15   Thanks, Chad. Great to be here. Chad Franzen  1:17   Hey, you have a pretty diverse background, shall we say? Tell me how and when you knew you wanted to be an attorney. Paula Brillson  1:27   I wanted to be attorney from the time I was third grade, I think that was a response to a bully. But yeah, just the idea that I could understand the people the rules and regulations in the world that we operate, because in so many ways, were powerless. And ignorance of the law is not an excuse. And so from a young age I was I was very confrontational in terms of wanting to understand my rights and asserting my rights with I had basically more brawn and brains at that time. So it was just, it was just a natural progression that I would end up going laws. Chad Franzen  2:14   So let me ask you, this is what drew you I mean, obviously, in third grade, you’re gonna think a lot differently than you do as an adult. But is what drew you to being an attorney, still what you enjoy most about being an attorney? Paula Brillson  2:26   Yes, absolutely. Because one of the things that I’ve always kind of is is really been my platform is helping a little guy helping the underdog because as as a young person, let’s just say I had personal family situation that was beyond my control and didn’t understand what was happening. As a result, I ended up in like a foster care type of program. And I think at that time, it really made me want to, when I understood my rights, I understand for example, from doing research, and this was pre internet, that I can emancipate myself as a minor at 16, I took my GED, and ended up going to college. And all of those things would not have been possible if I didn’t understand that these channels were available. And so as I continued on, I realized that a lot of people don’t have that resourcefulness, if you will, or even just the I’d say the fortitude and the confidence to stand up for their rights. And it just I think it was just a natural progression from you know, the first company I worked with, which was a small baby bail company, but was competing in the telecoms, the local access telecoms industry for the first time and trying to get equal rights, with the baby bells and then on to MCI when we were trying to get equal rights with AT and T so, you know, sometimes I feel like our path chooses us and it is always been the case that my path has been an of defending the endured underdog and then parlaying that into working with startup companies, which obviously as you know, is really exploded in the last 1020 years. But more so now, and particularly after the pandemic. Chad Franzen  4:29   So, you know, as I mentioned, you have a lot of international experience, I was hoping to ask you about some of that. I know you. You moved to Hong Kong at one time when When and why did you decide to do that? Paula Brillson  4:42   Right. So one of the exciting things I found when I got to law school I, I was very interested in paradigm shifts. what was coming next to understand the business environments meant that we can better protect ourselves we could plan as to what was coming Next. And when I saw what was coming next was the telecom and the, and the data boom. And my law school colleagues said, This is so strange that you want to focus on telecoms, and you know, and and be a lawyer. And but it was almost like I had had a crystal ball. So I went to a study abroad program in Madrid that offered an international Mass Media course. And I just, it was just so exciting to me, the idea that you have the entertainment, business, technology, innovation, all converging in that area. And so basically, I spent a number of years working for this local company who was competing with the, the baby bells, at the time that there was deregulation, and, and then, as deregulation started to happen globally, I zoned in on an area in Hong Kong, where they were really open to deregulation. And I was able to work out of the MCI Hong Kong office to assist our company, to be able to take advantage of the new deregulation and guide the regulator. And in that way, I would say every great position that I’ve had, I created myself because I saw a need, I put together a proposal, and I presented it to whoever I’m working for, at the time. And now I do the same for my clients, I don’t just wait for a client to come to me and say, This is what I need. I look at what’s going on in the environment. And I advise them as to what they should be looking at. And that if you will, the prophylactic measures they should be taking in order to you know, stay ahead of governmental changes, changes in the economy and the use of technology. Chad Franzen  7:01   So if you’ve worked for other companies, and you created the position for yourself, or what has been maybe a key to convincing these, these businesses of these companies to create this role that you have, you have found like, you just have to really illustrate the problem and how you’ll solve it. Paula Brillson  7:19   Right. Well, first of all, all right, there’s a matter of gaining trust, you get hired to do a position, you do your possession, you do it well, and you do it for a period of time. What I noticed that today’s intrapreneurs is they’re working for a company for a year, and they feel that they deserve a promotion or a raise, and is there’s the dissatisfaction that, you know, just takes place very quickly. And you know, I’m from the I come from the school where you stay in a position for a number of years. And you you continue to contribute, be a team member. And your team members will look at you and say yes, this person is ready for that promotion. And so I think there’s a balance today, because yes, we do move a little more quickly. And people do not stay in their positions for 10, 20 years like they used to. But to be able to develop that trust, and have the consistency where a company realizes that you are you’re acting as part of the team and not just the eye and what can I get from this, and taking the opportunity as it presents itself, where the company might be looking for a change or looking to grow into a new market. And then I take the opportunity to run with that, by let’s just say putting together a PowerPoint presentation. And quite frequently I’m doing that as I spoke with my colleagues. And again, it’s not the it’s not the mishelle in this organization. And that’s what I find. You know, it’s also another challenge that a number of entrepreneurs face, people feel so isolated today, they’re working from their home offices are mostly contacting by, you know, like, like we are right now, not in person. But you know, being in a vacuum being in a silo is not, you know, how companies big little companies become big companies. And it’s really, that important aspect that I’ve stressed today with my clients is like, everyone focuses on what their core strengths are and and outsource the rest to others and then kind of get out of their way. And so it’s from that premise that I kind of focus as to what is my, what my area of expertise is, and I expound upon that. So an example is I have a client whose products are are regularly being infringed on Amazon, Walmart, and we’re doing takedowns. So they are getting into the country through through our US Customs. So I created a proposal for them to show that we can educate Customs and Border Control by creating presentations and agreeing to have, you know, setting up demonstrations at the key ports to educate the the officers on how to detect this is a real product. This is an infringing product. Well, in the last six months, I have not done any takedown infringement work for them. And so then they get me involved in another area, and so on and so forth. So, you know, in terms of seeing the bigger picture, I think, you know, getting back to your point of my diverse background, from telecoms, and when I moved to Hong Kong, I saw an opportunity to buy and sell bandwidth, like any other commodity, because here you have companies going, I need a half circuit between here in Japan, because that’s how international circuits are sold. We’ve got, if we want to have a circuit to get communications to a hub in Japan, we need to have an agreement with our counterparty in Japan. So I go to trade shows, and it’s like, I’m looking for a root at this price. And it was like it reminded me of what it must have been like when, you know, farmers were trying to trade corn or grain. So we created this commodities exchange where it was basically bandwidth on demand. And and that was occurring, that it was like a currency exchange where you could see the prices of the routes and you could choose it. And if you were connected to our network, you would be able to seamlessly have a 45 megabit connection or whatever it is that you required. But if you recall with early 2001, when the intranet tags along with that, so did my clients. And so we ended up all of us, closing our shop during that time companies, your clients can pay your bills, you can pay your bills, but what an incredible learning experience and as I so I had now, not only being a lawyer, and having the background and telecoms, but now I’ve had the experience of what it is to be a CEO, to report to a board to have employees, and all of the agreements and all of the issues and all of the compliance. And it was, again, my path our paths I feel choose us. Because I afterwards, I was approached by a company in the Philippines. They told me they had been received a cease and desist letter for trademark infringement. It was not something that I had handled before. But I did my research. And using kind of my business savvy that I had developed, I saw, like how could we turn this hopper this kind of contentious situation into a collaborative environment. And what I learned was that the two parties working together could actually curtail infringement that was happening. And and we agreed to work together for 18 months, or the company was so pleased with how I had settled that they gave me an offer to come to work for them in the Philippines. Now I’m in an IP house where the leadership team are inventing products, patenting them trademark and distributing them to 60 countries. And, and so that was the next area that I had to get up to speed. And just having a legal background. I feel you get the education on how to research and if somebody comes to me with something that I can handle, most likely I can. If I can’t figure out a solution by looking at my you know, doing research, looking at how similar legal issues have been resolved in the past, then I usually have a network of other attorneys that I can refer them to. Chad Franzen  14:31   So you have done a lot of things that most people don’t either have the guts to do or don’t think to do like you know, you mentioned he took you to the GED at 16 and in graduated and went to college at that time. Most people just go through the process of finishing high school. You move to Asia, you started your own business in Asia. Have you always been kind of like, willing to put yourself out there like that? Paula Brillson  14:56   Oh, what 100% I’m a firm believer that The only time that I’m growing is when I’m uncomfortable. And I put myself in positions to be uncomfortable. Just because of that, because I have seen time and time again that when I do that there is a reward, there’s growth, and there are new opportunities that come along with that. And so I think that it is scary for some people to do something new. And a lot of but yet you have all of these entrepreneurs starting new businesses, that’s scary. Um, are you going to have a falling out with your, with your founders? You know, like, how do you how do you get from point A to point B? And, and that is why, I think, because of everything that I’ve gone through that I’m like, uniquely positioned to help entrepreneurs, not just because I’m a former CEO, of a startup company, but I have the legal background to support that. Chad Franzen  16:04   Absolutely. So as you mentioned, you were you were in the Philippines, I believe you went there, and oh, four, what brought you back to the US? And when was that? Paula Brillson  16:12   Well say I was I was in Asia for about 10 years. And I came back to in about 2006. I think, you know, my world felt a little small corner. When I mastered something, I’m ready for my next challenge, if you will. And I spoke to the company, and I said, How would you feel if I lived in the US and we worked via zoom. So it was the at the time it wasn’t zoom or Skype? And, and then I would make myself available. So basically, during the day, I was raising children, went to school, did the kid thing they went to bed, and I would log into Skype and work with my clients? until like, the wee hours? And so I’d say yeah, so I was the first remote law firm, if you will, back in 2006. But what I saw, and you know, that everything that I had honed from working with that, and and my past experience, that I could, you know, go out and, and cultivate new clients, and have more clients just like them. And, and so I started to go to trade shows, I started to submit myself to speak at various trade shows, like why was I going to speak on I have this fall? Like, I was just very diversified, like, what was it that I was going to focus on in that? And really what it came down to was, what am I most passionate about? Right? I mean, don’t you find like if I had to spend my whole day drafting contracts, that would be like, you know, eating saltine crackers, all that? Sure. So what I was really passionate about was guiding companies from an early stage, and then guiding them in a later stage where they had to make decisions like acquisitions or mergers, some kind of exit some kind of, so that. So basically, when there was that time of change, when there was going to be a shift, those are the areas that I always felt most comfortable assisting my clients. Chad Franzen  18:25   So how did that how did that kind of work out for you, you decided you were going to speak at a trade shows you you figured out, you know, get some topics that you were passionate about that would be good, good topics to speak about, you know, has that developed into something more for you? Paula Brillson  18:39   Yes, in fact, I went to work for I went to a trade show they live electronic retailing Association, which was basically product marketers coming together with a whole ecosystem of distributors, fulfillment houses, etc. And I just went in and I think I finagled myself an invitation to like the hottest ticket I was like on an exhibit pass. I finagle myself into this, this tentative cocktail party hosted by a very large distributor. And while I was there I met I met a gentleman who said that his daughter was in law school. And would I had just graduated law school. And it would instead of her go into a large law firm, she didn’t get to touch really no any MIDI or meaningful legal matters that would I be willing to take her on and, and long story short, I met with her Jessica Sutherland we were partners for eight years, we formed digital law group together. And again, path is choosing me and I just I get out there. I’m open to the new opportunity. And I don’t really have any commitment to what that outcome I was going to be here, I was looking for clients at this trade show. And I ended up meeting a partner that really helped me grow brand, the practice, she was largely responsible. She came up with the name digital Law Group. And you know, here we are now 10 years later, and it isn’t it all about being digital. And, and I want to talk a little more about that when you’re ready for me to engage particularly on AI. Chad Franzen  20:27   Yeah, I was just gonna was just gonna ask you about about that. So if you could just tell me a little bit more, you kind of got into it about how Digital Law Group came about, I believe that was in 2013. So you’ve already had quite a bit of experience. At that point, how did it come about? And then what do you guys do? Paula Brillson  20:45   Right, so I continue to serve my company, creative Nations International out of the Philippines, but I started to, I guess, pretty much through word of mouth, began to have con clients come to me for contracts for trademarks, particularly than monitoring intellectual property that was being infringed. And talk about a David and Goliath situation, helping inventors to protect themselves and basically enforce their intellectual property rights against large companies with unlimited budgets. And that really became just just kind of a personal mission. Occupying all my free time to try to help those adventures, and pretty much what I thought is, the best approach was trying to try to help them before they were taking advantage of make sure that they launch with the most, you know, the strongest protections don’t go to a trade show, unless you have your patent issued. Don’t put your trademark out there, if you haven’t filed it. And etc, I wrote a book actually, on protecting intellectual property rights called called as stolen on TV. Oh, really. And through that book, I got a number of, you know, clients coming to me. So, you know, for assistance. But, you know, my, my educational aspect of what I do is to try to get those inventors before they have maybe spent money with a with a inventor, submission, venture help company. There’s a lot of companies out there trying to scam, you know, small intrapreneurs. And if I can get the message out there early enough, before they miss stack, then that is always an amazing success. Chad Franzen  22:57   So what do you guys do with AI? What did you want to get into about that? Paula Brillson  23:02   Well, what I want to get into about that is, so we’re looking specifically about, you know, just this new technology that I think people are dabbling in right now. But somehow, in some ways, they’re very happy with the, with the outcome, so that they feel like maybe they’re saving money, or saving time somebody could write a blog for you, or I help design a website, I’m talking specifically to, you know, startups in the areas that are germane to contracts, corporate setup intellectual property. And what they do now, when they have a legal issue is they ask chatbot, I have this crap I find gave to me, which is, please do not confuse your Google search with my law degree. And it’s the same thing with AI, I saw I had a client recently, email me an issue and then include a two page response that ChatGPT generated, which basically made the situation so complicated. It dealt with a post employment request for an employee or an independent contractor to sign an NDA. And that NDA basically said that the company would own any of their intellectual property. So when they put the query to chat GPT chat up TK back with well licensed your will license it back to the company and I just went on and on and my response was, don’t sign the NDA. That’s an that’s a separate bargaining point. And, you know, you came to work for this company under a specific set of conditions you would produce this and they would pay you this now. They’re asking for something entirely different which is something else that you could bargained for it. But for the most part, you don’t have to sign it. And, and that just gave him so much relief. And that’s exactly what happened in the company, changed the NDA. So it did not include any of those provisions. So I don’t think that’s the kind of advice you’re gonna get from an AI generated platform. And I, while a number of attorneys are concerned that AI will take over their practice, I say, use AI efficiently. And, but also double check that with an attorney who’s you know, a walking talking, you know, pulse generating, today. Chad Franzen  25:41   Sure. So, I have one more question for you. But first, tell me how people can find out more about Digital Law Group, and maybe a reason why they should rather than going somewhere else. Paula Brillson  25:56   Sure, and I appreciate you asking that. Because you know, whether it’s whether it’s a corporate setup, or contract, there are so many platforms that are willing to, you know, let’s just say a Legal Zoom, for example, but not every company and not every situation fits into a cookie cutter, and I see less and less today’s companies fitting into a cookie cutter. And so those kinds of shortcuts, you might save money in the short term, but you’re going to spend more money on long term, when things are not a lot aligned with with with the company’s objectives. My website is And in working with entrepreneurs, I realized that you know, a lot of times they’re pre seed, their budgets are limited. And I’m willing to be flexible with them in terms of structuring, whether it’s fixed rate packages, or other pay, pay over time arrangements. And I work with them kind of on a collaborative level, I’m not the kind of attorney, as I said, In the beginning, where someone’s going to come to me and say, I need this, this, this, and I just do that, I educate them. And I really appreciate the opportunity, for example, a company, I’m working with a new company who was replacing single use containers, and it’s called reusable logistics. And they said, we’d like you to set up a C Corp for us. And I said, Well, they do consider a public benefit company, which basically can balance the desire, the desire goals of the company to benefit the public, ie environmental League, and balance the need of, you know, for you to satisfy the shareholders. And that was something that they hadn’t considered. So that’s something that you’re getting with me, you’re kind of also getting someone who responds extremely quickly and efficiently. And I have a great team of advisers that they can work with, whether it’s they’re developing a new product, and they want some input. Do we think you know, is that a good idea is that something that’s been done is, you know, what are the price points that I need to hit in order for this to be a marketable product? And so that’s pretty much what you’re getting? You’re not getting your traditional law firm. And you know, you’re getting advisors, trusted advisors. Chad Franzen  28:36   Last question for you. I appreciate your time today, Paula, you clearly have a lot of experience in negotiating I’m sure you could write a book about negotiation. Can you give me like a Cliff’s Notes version of how you kind of your approach to difficult negotiations or disputes? Paula Brillson  28:55   Of course, no one likes them. I mean, even for me, I like to be Can’t we all just get along? I find that when an event happens, that is when emotions are high. And I try to create the pause, I find that the pause is extremely important to allow the emotions to settle so that people can be reasonable. When I get on a phone with another attorney, or someone who is cutting me off, I will end the call. Very simple. If you’re not listening to me, my voice isn’t gonna go up higher than yours in order to make you listen, maybe there’ll be a better time for us to come back. And, and with that approach, I find that they say you know, level heads will prevail like that. And so I found that to be very successful, and I’d have understanding at the end of the day you’re dealing with people and who have a history Are there I’m not aware of. And I think at the end of the day, people want to have their needs met. And and you know, to me a win win is not my client got everything and they other got nothing but where they walk away where there’s good feelings. Because you never know maybe in the in the future there is an opportunity to work with, with that other, you know, company or person and it’s always a win win win, we can leave that door open, because you never know your client today could be your boss tomorrow. Chad Franzen  30:33   Hey, Paula, it’s been great to talk to you. Thanks so much for taking the time and sharing your stories and all of your insights and perspectives. Really appreciate it. Paula Brillson  30:41   Thank you. Great questions. Appreciate your time today, Chad. Chad Franzen  30:44   Thank you. So long, everybody. Outro  30:48   Thanks for listening to 15 Minutes. Be sure to subscribe and we’ll see you next time.

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