IPR is the backbone of inventions and brand protection and with the advent of the new age economy it is becoming all the more impactful for brand protection and the building of India as a country and nation leading the economy in the times to come- Shivaarti Bajaj, Co-Founding Managing Partner at RSD Bajaj Global Law Firm

This interview has been published by  Priyanka Karwa and The SuperLawyer Team

Can you tell us about your journey and how did you end up becoming a lawyer specializing  in intellectual property, data protection, and emerging technologies? 

As a person with a Masters in Biotechnology and allied Sciences, and coming from an Indian  Air Force (defence) family background, and as a first generational lawyer, pursuing law and to  build our firm has been an experience of immense learning. I have grown with the India growth  story – that if you have merit, it shall prevail with the right kind of hard work to back it.  

Furthermore, with the guidance and mentorship of Dr. Vidya Sagar, Founding Managing  Partner, Remfry & Sagar and the Father of Intellectual Property Rights in India, being able to  absorb his teachings after being recruited directly by him in the firm, was my watershed  moment. With always a keen interest in the language of law, debates, history and a penchant  for reading, having to progress into becoming a full-fledged lawyer was a natural one post that.  It was at that moment that I realized that I can use this cross-section of knowledge of science  and law that I have generated in the field of IPR’s and technology law and thereby started  contributing to the field of law. 

With the advent of the digital age, technology has always been at the forefront of our thought  process and while building the firm we follow the vision of being able to be advised through  quality and in-depth knowledge to the clients in the field of technology and emerging tech and  cater to the new age economy.  

But if I have to summarize my journey till now, in one line, I would quote Robert Frost, “These  woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep,  and miles to go before I sleep.” 

As the Co-Founding Managing Partner at RSD Bajaj Global Law Firm, what motivated  you to establish the firm and what unique services does it offer to clients globally? 

Our vision of establishing RSD Bajaj Global Law Firm is by way of creating an impact by  advising clients of the new age economy at legal and business strategic level.  

The firm’s vision is principally based on the important pillars of- being a full service law firm; integrity and professionalism – which is something which we see at the cynosure of our ethics  and functioning the firm, be it within our teams or with the client’s at large; and to take the  firm global from India.  

Being a full service law firm from India puts us in a position to advise our clients not only on  the advisory fronts on all practice area’s but also on the enforcement end of the law. This unique  ability to be on the full spectrum is something we have always envisioned at the firm and with  the amalgamation of integrity and professionalism we are keen to take it to the global forefront.  

You have successfully advised and aided in scaling of various digital/tech start-up’s.  What key challenges do these start-up’s often face, and how do you help them overcome  those challenges?

The firm – RSD Bajaj Global law firm – being a full service firm, from the point of view of the  capability of the firm to advise on Corporate, PE, M&A, IPR, Data privacy and litigation as  well. 

This makes us- in terms of capability- to be able to provide our clients with an out-an-out 360  degree advisory along with enforcement capabilities within the firm itself. This we see as a  challenge which the firm is able to dwell into and solve at a level which enables us to be present  as an end to end advisory with a strong ability of enforcement.  

Lawyers in traditional law firms do not understand how the new economy works, how their  leaders think. We have been entrepreneurs and grown with these entrepreneurs and invested  our heart and soul of theirs through process and entrepreneurship mind space. Hence, in contrast  to the traditional law firms, we see that our solutions are more suited and advice is rounded in  terms of the current business needs. At the end of the day, your product has to be good. If you  can solve difficult problem statements for clients, you are the go to person for the client. In  order to be a part of that solution, the ingredients and hence the approach both are different.  

With your specialization in intellectual property rights and data privacy, how do you  advise clients on the intersection of IPR and business laws- particularly in the Web3.0 space and with Metaverse and NFT’s ; also with regard to the Data Privacy in the India  jurisdiction?  

Also, since you are one of the few certified qualified patent attorney/agents in India with a  masters in Biotechnology & allied sciences, could you shed some light on the importance of  patents and trademarks in protecting innovations and brands? 

Intellectual Property Rights as I like to call them are a right which might have not been taken  very seriously by a plethora of businesses in India in the past. However, in the present times the  vast applicability of Intellectual Property rights along with the relevance it brings to businesses  at large is gaining it’s securing place in the legal realm of all deals, innovation and brand  protection.  

IPR is the backbone of inventions and brand protection and with the advent of the new age economy  it is becoming all the more impactful for brand protection and the building of India as a country  and nation leading the economy in the times to come.  

In the digital phase, the next juncture will have a heavy influence of IP rights in the digital  world. With the advent of Web3.0 , Metaverse, NFT’s and digital current. In the Indian  jurisdiction, it will be rather interesting to witness and be a part of judgments, findings and  decisions that we are all set to be witnesses to in the realm of practice. For instance, in April,  the Delhi High Court, for the first time, examined NFT digital player cards and the connected  right of personality of cricket celebrities.  

The Personal Data protection bill is also underway and the legislative bodies are touted to make  it a law anytime soon. This brings with it a more clear view of the law in terms of Data Privacy  in India and what it would mean for Indian tech companies etc. to be operating in and from  India. The right treatment of data is more of a necessity and the nuances if not followed well  can be leading to heavy penalties as by the government. 

You were recognized as the BW Intellectual Property Lawyer of the year 2023; and the  BW Tech Lawyer of the year 2023. In addition to this you have also been accoladed with the  BW 40 under 40 lawyers in India in 2022. What do these accolades mean to you, and how  do they reflect your accomplishments in the legal field? 

From the view of an initial reaction, I think this is a great encouragement for young lawyers in general, especially a ‘first-generational lawyer’s’ such as myself towards my contribution in the last 15+ years to the field of IPRs (Intellectual Property Rights) & Data Privacy and TMT (Technology, Media, Telecom) amongst others. As well as for my legal entrepreneurship journey of scaling a law firm, in the capacity of being the Co-Founding Managing Partner, RSD Bajaj Global Law Firm. 

Accolade’s are always positive and uplifting, however, in this enriching profession of law whilst building a law firm from India, it is a long way to go. In the present times, a lot will be in a dynamic state with respect to the profession of law and from being an active participant and contributor to the same; and witnessing the fast pace of the changing face of the economy there is still a lot to contribute.  

Here one cannot help but mention the extract from ‘Ulysses’ by Alfred Tennyson. Ulysses is about living life to the fullest and to constantly aim for positive movement. Ulysses’ zest “to follow knowledge like a sinking star” is something that holds great relevance in the practice of law. 

The iconic closing line of the poem “To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield” advocates not just the pursuit of knowledge, but also the will to do so. 

You have also been recognised as the Chair of the Young Members Committee at the  Licensing Executives Society International (LESI), in India. Therefore, as Chair of LESI  India, what initiatives have you undertaken to support young professionals in the legal  industry? 

As being honoured to be at the Chair of Young Members Committee in India, we along with  the inputs from our President from India, conduct various webinars and aid in knowledge  sharing across all countries to keep abreast with the changing legal landscape at large.  

With your vast experience and achievements, what advice would you give to fresh  graduates aspiring to pursue a career in law and the legal profession? 

Albeit the experiences that I hold come from being able to be present in the once in a lifetime change of the age and knowledge being at the centre point of the new age economy. However I always feel in a field such as the Noble profession of practice of law it will always be an uphill journey with diligence, perseverance and tenacity at its very fundamentals. This is what has mattered and will always matter as the most important accomplishment and with the learnings from seniors across all practice areas and constant guidance of senior’s always help in the learning profession such as law.

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