In 2020 Kangan Roda founded IP boutique law firm illuminIP, in New Delhi, India. In this interview with Asia Law Portal, Ms. Roda explains what inspired her focus on intellectual property law, her new firm, illuminIP and the future of her practice, her experience of intellectual property litigation in India’s courts, what businesses should keep in mind about IP when doing business in India, and her hopes for the future of intellectual property law in India.
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You specialize in intellectual property rights and practice at the Delhi High Court, India. Tell us more about your practice.
I have been intrigued by and passionate about the field of intellectual property since my Law School days and have practising IPR law since past 7 years now. The key areas of my practice include Trade Marks, Copyright, Designs and Music laws. Thanks to my years of working and training under the most brilliant minds in the field of IP law I have been able to specialise in providing complete brand portfolio management and advisory services to start-ups and well-established corporates alike.
I take pride in saying that my area of expertise is IP Litigation as well, due to which I have had the privilege to represent eminent and acclaimed companies in Courts and Tribunals from all business sectors be it Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG), Pharmaceuticals, Food & Beverages (F&B), Information Technology (IT), Banking etc.
Presently I am focused on setting a new standard for IP practice, modifying the quaint and traditional ways into creating customised and unique services packages to cater each client’s unique requirements be it an individual or an organisation.
You have represented eminent companies before the Courts in IP litigation. What are the prime IP considerations to consider for companies and entrepreneurs doing business in India?
In my experience, depending on the nature of business, companies, entrepreneurs or even individuals seeking to do business in India are themselves making it a priority to protect their IP first and foremost even before commencing any business activity. Which IP is what? differs depending on the business, its nature or product and sometimes even the size of the organisation.
It is extremely important to protect an individual’s creation primarily, be It a product’s functionality or its design through the IP provisions to keep it unique to their organisation. For a well-established organisations their primary concern becomes protection of the brand name/trade mark from any infringement or violations thereof, companies which have done business over the years gain a certain goodwill which becomes attached to their names, In certain cases a brand name is associated with a certain quality of goods as well, no company would want to anyone to use their name and put a sub-par product or service out to consumers, which could affect their brand value or damage their future sales.
The companies are getting more aware about the protection of the brand which is a healthy for the business as well as the consumers. Last 4-5 years have brought in more awareness pertaining to IPR in the businesses and consumers compared to last 2 decades combined. One of the major reasons for that is also our countries booming economic potential and the consumer base for almost anything and everything which is driving businesses from all over the world to explore India as a market and as the amounts of alike businesses increase, so does the need for them to protect their intellectual property and individuality.
Tell us more about your firm, illuminIP
Where do I start. Let me start first with how it came to be, as I mentioned earlier that during my years of working in this field under the biggest and best of names in IP law field within my first few years of dealing with clients and representing them, I realised that there was a serious gap in the industry when it comes to offering diverse services at an affordable pricing. I realised that there should be dedicated and customised service packages depending on different portfolio and needs of every client considering facts like the time, effort and cost that goes into a project or the services the client seeks on a regular basis. 6 years into this field and after falling in love with what I do, I decided I want to open an IP law firm which is transparent with its working and is dedicated to providing a custom-built service experience for every client’s individual or unique needs.
That is how illuminIP came to be a boutique IP firm providing one stop solutions for all Intellectual Property Rights. We have a complete in-house team dealing, on a daily basis, with Trade Mark, Patents, Designs, Copyright, Conflicts, Custom Border Protection, IP Litigation, Raid and seizure operations. While we specialise in IP law, we also render services pertaining to corporate law actively and we have a strict policy- regular or not, we treat every client as special.
What inspired you to pursue a career in IP law and what have been your most significant professional experiences so far?
Something new is being created every day in this world and protecting the innovators and their inventions is a notion that always intrigued me. Having tried my hand and most streams of law this is the reason I got drawn to IPR the most.
It is not only my belief but now a well-researched and now a studied fact that Intellectual properties play a vital role in today’s time in a country’s economic development. I have said it before and I will say it again- IPR not only touches the higher end of the economy but also each and every fragment of the economy, I firmly believe that India is yet to realize IP’s full potential and I want to be a part of the journey towards the realisation of that potential.
Also a great motivation for me was the fact that similar to an Invention’s influence is not limited to one nation, thanks to statutes like the Madrid protocol an IP experts influence has also began to cross borders and widened the field of practice for Indian IP experts to multiple nations.
To answer the second part of your question, I cannot pinpoint on one but there are many significant professional experiences such as I was blessed with the opportunity to train and learn under the biggest and brightest minds in the field of IPR which helped me gain a comprehensive understanding and deep knowledge of the industry requirements relating to core practice areas and the role intellectual property rights in the businesses. Which in turn lead to my most accomplished, proud and significant professional experience so far which was founding an IP boutique law firm called illuminIP in 2020.
What are your plans for your practice for the future?
I am excited about the future growth and prospects of illuminIP and developing a streamlined pitch for IP laws in India. I intend to make the most of the IP practice and every opportunity I am bring are offered in my practise area or further. I also intend to contribute more to Fashion, Media and Entertainment law in the future. I will be working on broadening my horizon while maintaining focus on my expertise as a professional.