“Patience, perseverance, and hard work are the three important pills for a 1st generation lawyer,” – Gowthami Reddy D, Founding Partner at Pentallect Partners.

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

Your journey into Intellectual Property law seems quite diverse and extensive. Could you share some insights into how your career began and evolved to where you are today?

Post my LL.M degree in Intellectual Property law, I was very keen on establishing an IPR practice.  However, it is very important for a lawyer to be exposed to many areas of practice before narrowing down to the field of liking. Therefore, I chose to practice general litigation along with IPR. In total, I worked for 4 law firms before starting on my own.  Most of my work was in the area of IPR. During my time as a junior associate, I wrote articles on different topics of Intellectual Property to explore the subject.  Writing articles on topics you would like to explore is the best way to gain knowledge on the said topic. My articles I posted on LinkedIn actually brought me clients. I also got an opportunity to train MSMEs through MSME DI Chennai which brought the much needed visibility. Patience, perseverance and hard work are the three important pills for a 1st generation Lawyer. 

As someone who has practiced in both independent and corporate legal settings, what differences do you find in terms of approach and strategy when handling intellectual property matters?

In both the setups, ultimately the strategy depends on the facts and circumstances of each case. In terms of approach to clients, cases, fees etcA corporate firm is extremely structured and there are systems in place to deal with multiple aspects. 

Intellectual property law encompasses various aspects, including patents, trademarks, copyrights, and geographical indications. How do you stay updated with the latest developments and best practices across these diverse areas?

Being a lawyer; to serve your client best it is very important that you keep yourself updated. It is very essential that you read regular law journals and latest judgements, blogs, and international and national blogs. Regular reading is the key.

Your involvement with MSMEs and entrepreneurs suggests a passion for supporting small businesses. How do you tailor your legal advice to meet the unique needs and resources of these clients?

Like I mentioned earlier there are no hard and fast rules as to how to deal with a certain type of client. Requirements of each client, whether a person/ entity is unique and every case requires a tailor made strategy.

Could you share a memorable case from your time at Fox Mandal Little where your expertise in copyright infringement or design registration made a significant impact on your client’s business?

While in Fox Mandal, I was doing more of prosecution than litigation and I remember working on very prestigious brands and clients.  Many were international. It is pertinent to mention that it was here in Fox Mandal that I was exposed to the non-contentious and prosecution side of IP practice; wherein my previous and later association with other firms were more of litigation. This experience allowed me to look at and practice IPR in a 360 degree perspective.

Reflecting on your journey thus far, what do you consider your proudest professional achievement, and what lessons have you learned along the way that you would like to impart to others in the field?

My entire journey thus far is an achievement. Being a 1st generation lawyer and without a legal background and guidance, holding my ground so far is a great achievement for me. Apart from that I have many prestigious names in my clientele. Integrity, honesty, sincerity and hard work shall take anybody a long way. However, sometimes smart work is also important.

You’ve authored the IP Digest and conducted numerous IPR training sessions. How do you believe education and awareness in intellectual property rights contribute to innovation and business success?

In my experience, in the Indian scenario I have seen quite highly educated people lacking awareness on Intellectual Property Rights.  Many of them are quiet ignorant about the benefits it can offer and also the dangers of not taking certain actions at the right time. That is the very purpose of coming up with this digest so that the laymen and children can learn the importance of IPR. Exploiting one’s IPR is a practical way to success. That is what I try to reiterate in my training sessions.

Your academic journey includes pursuing a Master of Laws (LLM) in Intellectual Property Law from the University of Manchester. Could you share some insights into how the educational experience in Manchester differed from your studies in India, and how that experience has influenced your approach to practicing intellectual property law?

It is mostly self-learning through course works and dissertations. It was however different, and had a different perspective. Some exams were for 1hr 15 min which actually needs you to keep the subject in your fingertips. Overall, it was a good exercise to the brain and a test of your ability and calibre.

You’ve been involved in mediation and copyright infringement cases. How do alternative dispute resolution mechanisms contribute to resolving IP disputes effectively?

There are certain aspects of IPR that can be resolved only through courts.  However, there are disputes which could be solved by using alternative dispute resolution mechanisms. Its time saving and faster compared to litigation.  It is beneficial under certain circumstances. 

How do you typically unwind or recharge outside of your professional responsibilities? Do you have any hobbies or activities that help you relax and maintain a healthy work-life balance?

You will actually know when you need a rest, your brain’s ability to think further stops for a minute. I do have hobbies of which reading books of literature and children’s books give me utmost pleasure. I like to watch legal dramas to keep me motivated and connected. Travel is a must and the best. Nevertheless, the best among them all is to spend quality time with family, cousins and close friends. It rejuvenates like no other.

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