This interview was first published in Legal 500
What has been your greatest achievement, in a professional and personal capability?
Professionally, I have been in practice for over 42 years and during this period, apart from representing clients in the field of Intellectual Property on wide-ranging subjects, my specific focus has been on pushing the envelope so as to assist in the development of the law. Thus, there have been many firsts such as:
- The first – Anton-Piller Order; Mareva Injunction; Norwich Pharmacal Order; and John-Doe Order;
- The first Domain Name case in India; as also the first case on Punitive and Exemplary Damages; and
- In the field of Patents, the first SEP law suit decreed in favour of Philips; and the first patent infringement law suits decreed after trial in favour of Merck and Roche.
Apart from the development of the law, I have been involved in a large number of Committees set up by the Government of India and by Chambers of Commerce and Industry as also professional Intellectual Property Associations for assisting the amendment in Legislation – both primary and secondary.
At a third level, I have been involved in mentoring a number of lawyers – over 150, who have worked with me over these years.
At a personal level, I have tried to create awareness and love for Intellectual Property through various non-traditional ways such as:
- The Raj Anand Moot Court Competition which was India’s first IP competition involving top Law Colleges all over India and which has successfully been running for over 18 years. The competition, it is believed, has made many a student turn to Intellectual Property as a career.
- A Board Game called “ANARYST” was developed to teach certain fundamentals of Intellectual Property and has been played successfully in two schools in Delhi.
- A Comic Book for children to understand Intellectual Property.
- A Play on Intellectual Property by the name “BRAIN CHILD”, performed in 2005; and
- A large variety of Books and Articles in both national and international publications.
All these have contributed quite substantially in creating love for Intellectual Property.
What do you do differently from your peers in the industry?
I believe that despite being the Managing Partner of the Law Firm, I continue to attend Court almost on a daily basis for the past over 42 years as a litigating lawyer. A lot of the other Law Firms have Managing Partners, who are not actively involved in the practice of law. I believe this is leading the group from the front.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
To put it objectively, I would give a three point advice to any youngster wishing to enter the legal profession:
- First, do not just bother about your case, but make sure that you help develop good law;
- Second, in this profession, you have to constantly learn each day of your life; and
- Third, there is no compromise whatsoever on ethics and good behavior.
Can you give me a practical example of how helped a client add value to the business?
At a practical level, I have many clients. For example, India’s largest Company making Public Address Systems (“Ahuja Radios”) or one of the largest Pen Companies (“Luxor”) whose Managing Partners I had excited asking them to set aside a budget for filing patents and developing technologies. These companies grew from a low level to obtain portfolios that were quantitatively and qualitatively very significant and turned out to be big success stories because the top leader could see the benefit of investing in innovations. On a lighter vein, the Chief of a large corporate group in India requested me to play golf with him each morning, so that he could grab fresh ideas each day.
Within your sector, what do you think will be the biggest challenge for clients over the next 12 months?
The biggest challenge in the next 12 months is the pandemic on account of which the already congested Courts have started to pay greater attention to the recent matters ignoring the cases of the past years. Even otherwise, the shift from “physical” to “virtual” and then “hybrid” has been quite confusing. The only solution appears to be for the judiciary to equitably distribute time slots amongst cases so that Intellectual Property cases can receive as much priority as any other branch of the law. After all, Intellectual Property for a company is as critical and important as a human right is, for an individual.