LexTalk World Interviews Ms.Leena Desai. Leena is the Managing Associate and Trademark Team Lead of the Firm’s highly regarded and growing Trademark & Domain Name Group. Prior to joining Royzz & Co, Leena was associated with WNS Global Services and Kochhar & Co. Leena manages a wide range of Indian and International Trade Mark portfolios and she has extensive experience in the prosecution of Indian and foreign trade marks, clearance searches, multi-jurisdictional recordal projects, transactional matters and contentious actions. Leena is regularly appears before the Trade Marks Offices in India and is highly experienced in drafting various IP agreements and infringement suits.
Leena’s practice incorporates clients from a broad range of industries including consumer electronics, technology, automobiles, pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, aquaculture, fashion, FMCG, to name a few. Leena is known for her extensive experience in all aspects of contentious and non-contentious IP matters.
She regularly advises clients on matters including IP portfolio management, trademark availability search and clearance opinions, registration, enforcement, domain name dispute matters, drafting and negotiating agreements related to intellectual property rights, drafting of cease & desist notices, infringement suits and briefing counsels on various IP infringement suits and commercial arbitration matters. In addition, Leena also has experience in counselling and assisting clients on general corporate law matters, employment matters, commercial contracts, real estate agreements, compliances under local laws and RBI.
Host: Tell us about a complex legal issue you worked on. Describe the complexity and tell us how you approached it?
Leena: The most interesting and complex legal issue that I worked on was “Running Shaadi.Com”. The matter was challenging as we had limited time and we had to move the Bombay High Court just 2 weeks before the movie was scheduled to release. I had drafted the plaint in less than 24 hours. The biggest challenge was that it had come before a judge, Hon’ble Justice GS Patel who had passed an adverse order just a year prior to this movie name infringement suit. Despite all the challenges, we were able to get an order from the Bombay High Court directing the movie producers to change the name from “RunningShaadi.Com” to “Running Shaadi” and provide proof of compliance before the release. The movie producers were also directed to change the name from all the promotional materials and remove dialogues referring to Shaadi.com.
Host: The pandemic saw some courts begin moving towards more remote proceedings and availability. Is this sustainable, and a possible way to increase access to justice, in your opinion?
Leena: Yes, the new hybrid mode is sustainable and possible way to increase access to justice as a hybrid mode saves lot of time as it makes justice accessible to everyone. I feel we are going to take some time to accept the hybrid mode as we have some judges/lawyers who are not tech savvy but we are adopting the new mode and it is actually working as we are working towards reducing the paperwork and moving towards a more digital way of working. The Trademark Registry has adopted the virtual mode quite swiftly which was something we had never imagined. Therefore, in my opinion the hybrid mode is a faster, efficient and sustainable mode of increasing access to justice for all.
Host: How would you rate the current legal system's drive towards encouraging access to justice? Is there tangible movement in closing the justice gap?
Leena: Yes, virtual proceedings or hybrid mode is a more tangible mode and reduces the justice gap. Currently, we all are working towards making the virtual/hybrid mode more accessible so that we increase the accessibility of justice amongst all the members of society. The courts these days are adopting this new way quite swiftly and matters are moving fast making justice more accessible. It takes time to accommodate a new technology into the system, we are moving towards it slowly as this might be the new way of doing business and function.
Host: In the era of legal technology, what are the most commonly used tools for you?
Leena: We in the firm use lot of different tools and have recently develop an indigenous tool for our clients. This tool makes our clients IP portfolio accessible just at a click of a button. We have developed for our clients and for us to access portfolios and check status of matters be it trademarks/ patents filed in any part of the world just at a click of a button.
Host: Time is money in any profession and in legal it's most of all. How do you ensure to make the best of your time as a lawyer?
Leena: Time management is of utmost importance to us lawyers and I personally do not like to miss deadlines and have never missed a deadline. I prefer and work towards closing the matter before the deadline and the team and the firm work closely to achieve the set timelines. We as a team plan the matters at the beginning and during each month. We as a team plan the deadlines and work towards closing the matter within the set timelines.
Follow LexTalk World for more news and updates from International Legal Industry.