“Keep moving forward with unwavering determination, and you’ll find that the rewards are bound to follow.” – Evolution from a First-Generation Lawyer to IP Law Specialist, Anil Kumar Sahu, Managing Partner of ALL IP CARE.

This interview has been published by Namrata Singh and The SuperLawyer Team

Can you share with us the story behind your journey into the field of law? What inspired you to pursue a career in law, and how did your early experiences shape your path to becoming a seasoned legal professional?

As a child, I witnessed my family go through a challenging and emotionally taxing ordeal that required multiple visits to various courts. During this time, my father faced significant hardship due to family disputes and it was during these moments of adversity that I had a profound realization that I would never want to see my family or anyone I cared about go through such difficulties again.

This poignant experience became the catalyst for my decision to pursue a career in law. I was determined to gain the knowledge and skills necessary to navigate the legal system effectively, to protect the rights and interests of my loved ones, and to ensure that justice was served. It was a deeply personal motivation that fuelled my journey into the field of law, driven by a heartfelt commitment to prevent others from experiencing the same kind of turmoil and uncertainty that my family endured.

Your firm, ALL IP CARE, specializes in Intellectual Property Rights among other legal services. What drew you to focus on this particular area of law, and what excites you the most about working in the realm of IP rights?

Becoming an advocate, especially as a first-generation lawyer, presented me with numerous challenges on my path to success. In 2002, I embarked on a journey of advocacy at Tis Hazari Court. I gained first-hand experience in handling a diverse range of legal matters, including civil, criminal, matrimonial, writ, and service cases.

However, life had other plans and in 2007, when I decided to switch my practice in the domain of Intellectual Property laws. This transition introduced me to the intricate world of IP laws.

During my tenure at the IP law firm, I was fortunate to be presented with significant opportunities that I regard as noteworthy achievements. I was entrusted with the task of working on a research paper related to prior publication in the Designs Act, and I was also deeply involved in trademark research. These experiences allowed me to delve deeply into the realm of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) laws.

Given your extensive experience in criminal law, could you share some insights into how you approach defending clients in criminal cases, especially in light of your specialization in areas like Intellectual Property infringement?

When approaching clients, particularly in cases of Intellectual Property infringement, I adhere to a strategic and comprehensive approach. Though stringent laws on criminal prosecution exist, their enforcement is challenged by limited awareness among law enforcement bodies. Investigation and scrutinizing evidence surrounding the alleged infringement go hand in hand, further buttressed by assertions from potential witnesses such as subject matter experts or law enforcement officers who can support building the case, whether it be a civil or criminal prosecution. Being able to adapt strategies based on evolving circumstances ensures the best possible outcome for the client in protecting their IP.

Your profile mentions your involvement in organizing workshops and seminars on various legal topics. What motivates you to engage in these initiatives, and how do you believe they contribute to the legal community?

As an IP lawyer, organizing workshops and seminars is not only a professional responsibility but also a passionate pursuit. The lack of awareness among people about intellectual property remains a significant hurdle, leading to substantial challenges in enforcing IP rights. It provides a platform to disseminate knowledge about trending developments and legislative changes within the field among young lawyers and business professionals which in return provides space to enhance understanding of complex IP concepts, as well as moulding opportunities for collaborative ventures. At the same time, it allows for an interesting brainstorming session with budding lawyers and business professionals.

As a seasoned advocate, you’ve undoubtedly encountered diverse legal challenges. Can you tell us about a particularly challenging case you handled and how you navigated through it to achieve a favourable outcome for your client?

I could recollect a notably challenging case that I handled which involved securing an injunction against a defendant who was dealing in jewellery falling under class 14, while using a tagline deceptively similar to our client’s tagline registered in class 3. Dealing with this complex matter required a strategic combination of legal research, expert collaboration, and meticulous argumentation and we crafted a compelling case by highlighting the infringement of both trademark rights and the deceptive trade practices involved. Through persistent negotiation and leveraging the strength of our legal arguments, we successfully obtained the injunction, thereby protecting my client’s intellectual property rights and securing a favourable outcome.

However, I would like to stress that it is not a particular case but the domain of IPR laws which is itself a very challenging and rocky terrain which requires intellectually eccentric application of mind.

 Your firm has been involved in various legal initiatives and collaborations, including workshops with law enforcement agencies. Could you elaborate on the significance of such collaborations and how they contribute to the broader goal of legal awareness and enforcement?

These collaborations with legal firms and law enforcement agencies are important for promoting legal awareness and enforcement of IP rights. These initiatives facilitate the exchange of knowledge and expertise, creating a better understanding of complex legal issues and procedures which in return helps in building capacity through proper guidance. Altogether, these efforts contribute to more effective problem-solving strategies, enhanced enforcement outcomes, and increased community engagement, by working together comprehensively and securing awareness among all channels of enforcement.

Away from the courtroom, do you have any hobbies or interests that you like to indulge in? How do you strike a balance between your professional commitments and personal pursuits?

Maintaining a healthy work-life balance for me involves a clear distinction between my professional and personal life. I establish boundaries to ensure that when I’m working, I’m fully engaged and focused on my professional responsibilities, and when I’m off-duty, I prioritize personal time with my family and watching documentary/ Bollywood movies. Additionally, I love to Share my knowledge and passion by becoming a mentor or teaching others about the different realm of the provision of laws.This separation allows me to recharge, spend quality moments with loved ones, and pursue hobbies and interests, ultimately ensuring that both my professional and personal aspects of life coexist harmoniously and contribute to my overall well-being.

Lastly, considering the rapidly evolving legal landscape and the challenges faced by the current generation of legal professionals, what advice would you offer to young lawyers aspiring to make their mark in the legal field?

Perseverance and patience are the fundamental keys to success. It’s essential never to lose faith in yourself and your journey because life has a way of presenting opportunities that make all the challenges and efforts worthwhile. I suggest to all young lawyers to remember a famous dialogue from the movie ‘3 Idiots’ – “All is well.”. This simple mantra serves as a reminder that, despite difficulties, maintaining a positive mindset can be a powerful tool to navigate through life’s ups and downs. Keep moving forward with unwavering determination, and you’ll find that the rewards are bound to follow.

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