Yashvardhan Rana is an Intellectual Property Lawyer with a particular focus on IP prosecution practice. He is an active member of the Bar Council of Delhi, Delhi High Court Bar Association, APAA, INTA, LAWASIA, IBA and FICCI IP Forum. In January, 2020 he was appointed as an Editor, The TradeMark Reporter, INTA and in November, 2019, he was the recipient of the Top 50 Emerging IP Professional in the world award – The IPR Gorilla, 2nd Edition held in Dubai. Recently, he has been inducted as an ‘esteemed member’ of the FICCI IP Forum for IP Professionals to address the existing and evolving IPR issues in India alongwith stalwarts from the legal industry. His success mantra is Don’t chase people. Be yourself, do your own thing and work hard. Everything will follow. Your degree is just a piece of paper, your education is seen in your behaviour. Keep a positive mind and find and surround yourself with the people out there who have the same mission as you.
It’s going to be an interesting journey reading how he looks at the smallest things of life and the few principles he follows in days to day life to be an accomplished person.
Why Intellectual Property Law?
The world of brands have always fascinated me since my childhood as I’ve seen my father patronising various well-known brands from multifarious departmental stores from every nook and corner all over the world on our summer vacations. This routine was followed on every vacation that he took us to and I accidentally got immersed and it had further captivated me to dwell into the world of brands like never before. On another note, I also used to read up his case files at night in our house chamber of high stake matters pertaining to trade mark law in my college holidays. Since, I also had an inclination to become a lawyer from my boyhood days and Intellectual Property Law was and has been booming in India, I chose IPR as my specialisation and further wanted to create a niche for myself in this ever-intriguing field of law.
One thing that you would like to change about Intellectual Property Law in India?
Well, there are many – but to cut the long story short, few of the specific problems that have arisen over the past few years pertain to but are not limited to having IP specialists/experts at specialized benches/forums which should be well co-ordinated and centralized, stricter penal provisions, liberal approach to registration of generic names, appointment and disposal of matters still take time, should develop a mechanism in ensuring that further infringement of rights does not occur while a lawsuit proceeds through different stages, Quick seizures of counterfeit goods through criminal action, Streamlining of formalities, Long timelines to be shortened, Incorporation of AI, Blockchain Technology, 3D printing and other technological advancements post COVID era etc. at a war footing.
One thing that makes you feel proud of yourself?
In the last decade, I graduated from one of the most reputed law schools in the country – Symbiosis Law School, Pune, worked with a renowned IP litigator for two years – pursued a post-graduation LL.M. degree in Intellectual Property Law from Queen Mary University of London – came back to India and joined a Tier-I IP law firm switching to IP prosecution – being recognised as one of the Top 50 Emerging IP professionals in the world – appointed as an Editor for The Trademark Reporter, INTA to now being recognized as an esteemed member of the FICCI IP Forum.
My life has taken me around the globe—allowing me to see people, places, and things others may never get the chance to experience, while shaping my perceptions of the world we live in. I ask not simply to impress upon the minds of young students and lawyers but act as an influencing agent, to impact our system—the rational balance of our world—for the better. One case at a time.
One strength that has helped you to be accomplished?
I have had many struggles along the way but have overcome them by keeping the right amount of attitude, persistence, resilience, compassion and empathy, being curious everyday, developing the habit of inculcating smart work in my daily life. Everyone can learn the ropes of law and work hard, however, what sets you apart is your willingness to learn and improve yourself everyday, being absolutely honest to your work, and applying and working upon your skill sets that you’ve learned in the process of becoming a lawyer.
I would also like to add here that these days people tend to compare themselves with others, seek validation on social media channels to be in the limelight, keep a tab on the activities of your competitor (both online and offline). All this is acceptable to a certain limit – but if you don’t have a purpose in life, a clear conscience and the constant need to introspect and contemplate on your actions or so to say being grateful for whatever you have (especially in these troubling times) – one shall remain a “paper tiger” in the long run. That’s pretty harsh – would rather say that he/she would have less of an impact on the society as compared to others in the long run. Be good and Do good!
Most difficult trademark clearance case or registration so far?
Well, there have been many and it is hard to single out one case or registration as each case has a different set of facts and circumstances and totally depends on the degree of complexity of the case that you are in pursuit to solve. In our ever-more inter-disciplinary and inter-connected world, innovations and laws inform and influence each other, ultimately emerging in response to each other. Going back to when I was a fresh graduate straight out of law school, I would say that I got lucky back in the day and got through with persistence and hard work (smart work was not the “in” thing at that moment), in turn appearing before Ld. Judges and Registrars at District Courts and Delhi High Court – starting out in Litigation for about a period of two years before pursuing for an LL.M degree. It was that moment when I got a taste on how to climb the ropes of law and the constant determination required to become a successful lawyer. I was involved in matters pertaining to Trade Mark and Copyright Law particularly and from the very start I was given the chance to accustom myself to what lies ahead being thrown in the deep blue sea consisting of big fishes catering to hungry sharks involving high stake matters. Also, a big shout out to my seniors back then who had helped me a lot in understanding the procedural aspects of law. In the stifling hustle-bustle inside and outside the courtrooms, gathering information and inspiration from stalwarts, dealing with restless clients, and networking with and learning from legal professionals, I found my place. And in the field of Intellectual Property Law, I believe I can find the knowledge, and thus the power, to make my cause a reality. That was the most difficult and the most invigorating moment (not a case or registration per se) so as to say – that was much needed from the start to instill that confidence in me with that renewed determination to continue as a practicing lawyer.
So my unusual advice to young lawyers would be to get the real taste of law – you should try out appearing before courts or engage yourself from the very beginning through internships or otherwise to learn the procedural aspects of law (how it plays out in the real world). You may opt to switch or continue depending on your circumstances alongwith a host of other logical reasons that you may have but remember to atleast have a short stint before you sit behind that plush desk of yours nodding your heads to your seniors earning in lakhs and crores to become a keyboard warrior or a robot or something like that. Just Kidding! You know what I mean.