Renee Reuter of Jefferson County, Missouri, is a member of the Missouri Bar, International Trademark Association (INTA), and the American Corporate Counsel (ACC).
As an intellectual property lawyer, Renee Reuter has been recognized as one of the trademark industry’s top 300 trademark lawyers in the world by the World Trademark Review. In 2016, while working for Enterprise Holdings, Inc., the in-house trademark team Reuter managed was selected for the North American Team of the year from thousands of nominations made by trademark professionals around the world. She was also the recipient of the Individual Intellectual Property Award that year after being selected from over four thousand nominations made by colleagues and clients worldwide.
As Intellectual Property Counsel for Enterprise Holdings, Inc., Renee Reuter spearheaded the intellectual property registration, watch, and enforcement programs. She worked to register Enterprise Holdings’ trademark and domain names to support their expansion efforts in over 100 countries. Renee oversaw the worldwide intellectual property portfolio for the Enterprise family of companies, including approximately 11,000 trademark filings, over 70 patent filings, and registered over 8,000 domain names.
Throughout her law career, Renee Reuter has written several articles and served as a featured speaker regarding intellectual property rights.
When not serving as legal counsel, Renee can be found serving her community. Renee Reuter is currently the District 2 Representative for Jefferson County Council and Vice-Chair of the County Council. In this role, Renee leads the legislative branch of the county government as well as various legislative committees. Renee has proudly held a position on the County Council since 2010.
Renee Reuter believes in public service and putting people first. In her time as a council member, Renee coordinated efforts of government and charitable entities to serve over 1,000 flood victims following flooding that occurred within the District in both December 2015 and May 2016.
Renee Reuter also serves on the board of directors for several local civic and charitable organizations, along with her commitment to public service as an elected official. For Renee, her work in law and her passion for public service all stem from her desire to impact people’s situations and lives positively.
Renee is a graduate of Colorado College with a B.A. in History-Political Science (Cum Laude) and from Saint Louis University School of Law. It was during her undergraduate education that Renee became inspired to pursue a career in law.
At the time, Renee was a young married woman with two children. Her husband was serving in the military and was stationed overseas. In his absence, the government messed up her husband’s paycheck for two months in a row, leaving her struggling to make ends meet. She tried several times to get the payroll department to fix the mistake, but no one was listening. Upon hearing about the situation and finding that Renee was close to putting her college education on hold, one of her professors encouraged her to reach out to her local elected officials to resolve the issue. This was a new concept for Renee; she had never been told that public service officials are meant to work for their constituents.
Renee looked up the names of her local elected officials, wrote them down on a piece of paper, drove to the local post in Colorado, walked into the payroll office, and asked one last time for the situation to be addressed and fixed. When they again tried to give her the runaround, Renee handed the piece of paper to the gentleman and said, “Sir, tell me which ones I should call first.”
That got his attention. Within a few minutes, the situation was resolved. That was when Renee Reuter realized the power you could have as a public service official to help people. It was at this point that Renee switched her major to Political Science with the goal of running for office. Upon finishing her undergraduate degree, Renee decided that she should learn how to read and understand the law before attempting to write it, so she went to law school at Saint Louis University School of Law, eventually leading her into her professional career as a lawyer.
Renee Reuter comes to the fields of law and public service out of her strong desire to help people and bring them out of their worry and anxiety and into a place of hope and action. Through her experiences on the County Council, she has been able to support her community as only an elected official can. Renee continues to serve and support her community because she believes it’s the right thing to do.
An Interview with Renee Reuter
What’s the most important thing we should know about you?
Renee Reuter: I am a big picture strategist that doesn’t forget to also focus on details when necessary.
Name the most impactful lesson you learned from failure.
Renee Reuter: Failure, if studied, can move one to be creative and make changes on future attempts which are later successful. Thus, failure is typically a step toward future success.
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Renee Reuter:In 2016, after winning a trial on behalf of my client in London and settling several other contentious matters between the parties, my accomplishment was recognized by my peers in my profession and I was awarded Global IP Counsel of the Year at a lovely event in New York City. This was a proud moment.
What did you waste the most time on when you were first starting your career?
Renee Reuter: Early in my career, I wasted time on over-reporting in my job. It took time to understand what facts were key to my clients and how to succinctly communicate only the necessary facts.
Name a tool you use for work that you can’t live without.
Renee Reuter: The internet. This one invention forever changed the speed at which business is conducted, the cost of conducting business and the speed and availability of research tools.
What is your favorite hobby and why?
Renee Reuter: Gardening. I enjoy the quiet enjoyment of getting my hands dirty, the time I research to find the right plants to match certain conditions such as amount of sunlight or soil quality.
What excites you the most about your industry right now?
Renee Reuter: Due to COVID-19, our culture is shifting at a rate I have not seen before. This culture shift will spur innovation. Since intellectual property lawyers work to secure and protect rights of innovators, I expect very soon we will see new inventions that will challenge legal norms and require legal advice to determine the parameters and ownership rights in new inventions. It is about to be a very exciting time to be an intellectual property lawyer.
What concerns you most about your industry right now?
Renee Reuter: Although communication can be effective without face-to-face communication, face-to-face meetings are also important aspects of doing business. I am concerned that the shift to all-electronic interaction will make it more difficult to build meaningful human relationships.
What’s the greatest risk you’ve ever taken?
Renee Reuter: When I enrolled in law school, the cost of admission was nearly equal to my family’s annual income at the time. I remember signing the agreement for my first law school student loan. I knew at that moment I was betting on myself to be successful although I had no experience competing academically on that level and was the first person in my family to tackle a graduate degree program. I knew if I failed, I would not likely be able to pay back my student loans without severely and adversely impacting all other areas of my life. It was the scariest, riskiest and boldest step I have ever taken, and it changed my life. I have never regretted accepting the challenge and believing I could succeed.
Name one small habit that positively impacts your productivity.
Renee Reuter: I pay attention to when my brain is most strongly able to focus. For me, this is usually in the morning or on Mondays when I am well-rested. Because of this, I carefully guard my sleep time and have taken steps to make sure I go to bed at a reasonable time and get 7-8 good hours of rest every night. I also tackle the most challenging projects first thing in the morning, or at best, first thing on a Monday morning. Once those big projects are done, all the others generally are completed pretty quickly.
What tips do you have for getting a seat at the table?
Renee Reuter: Once you know at what table you want to sit, find out what others who are there did to gain admission and then do what they did. There is no reason to recreate the path, you just need to find out where the path is located.
What book has made the biggest impact on your life?
Renee Reuter: To Kill a Mockingbird. I like to read this anytime I feel I need a reminder as to why I chose the legal profession. This book shows how lawyers can boldly defend the defenseless and can help others in ways no one else can.
Do you value intelligence or common sense more? Why?
Renee Reuter: Intelligence, because intelligence impacts not just what a person knows, but also how they see the world and interact with others. I have found that the more you learn, the more you appreciate that there is always more information and knowledge which you do not have. It is humbling and encourages one to always take time to learn and gain more intelligence.
What would you consider to be the perfect day?
Renee Reuter: The perfect day for me would be to wake up in a cabin in the mountains, fix a nice breakfast, take a nature walk followed by a light lunch and a leisurely nap. Then, I would spend an hour or two reading in a comfortable chair and then visit with my family over a nice Italian dinner on a porch or patio where we can watch the sunset. The day would end with marshmallow roasting and star gazing.