This post was first published on June 12, 2012.
IP profession is fun and enjoyable for many reasons. However, there are some reasons that sometimes bog you down.
a. Scary Deadlines
Scary deadlines are first in that list. Every IP action is linked with a deadline and more often than not missing these deadlines is fatal. For people, who believe in Indian Stretchable Timings, these deadlines can be killing and nerve wracking.
b. Dealing with IP Office
Despite the increased transparency and friendly IP officers, dealing with the office can many a times be frustrating. Long lines and perpetuating timelines can de-motivate the most patient of folks. More often than not, clients ask – How much more time do you think we need to get my patent or trade mark registered? Unfortunately, no IP professional has an answer to this question.
c. Indecisive and Short Sighted Clients
Many clients are indecisive and do not value IP as a long term asset. No attorney can provide immediate returns and the result is endless explanation. To make things worse, IP in many cases does not yield any business benefits and IP attorneys often receive a bad beating for making the investment.
d. Enforcement Mechanism
With a few exceptions, the enforcement mechanism does not move as fast as needed and it can get really painful to see your client’s IP being violated with impunity. Though the speed is increasing, the history lives on in many clients’ minds. Wiping it out is always a herculean task.
e. Social Status
Despite the hype, an IP professional has not been able to scale the social ladder. Many do not realize their value and they are often treated as coordinators or docketing personnel. The mind and skill that goes into IP activities is still not valued by many people. Will we climb up the ladder in the next few years? I hope so.
f. IP Quacks
It is difficult to differentiate between an IP quack and a true IP professional. Half knowledge professionals and people with lack of appropriate qualifications make life of an IP professional very difficult. While some intelligent riders jump over the hurdles, others stumble on them.
Completely agree with you Kalyan! Until the standards at the IPO improve, IP practice in India is going to remain a lacklustre affair, which any lawyer can engage in, without much practice in the field. Only when the IPO dramatically increases its standards of examination, will we be able to separate the men from the boys.
I have one more point and in my opinion important one:
Understanding of IP law and technology:-
It’s a bitter truth, that to become an expert in IP profession “ one must understand IP law and technology to give his client the best result”. Most of the IP professionals in India are expert in one filed and advice their client in one direction, neglecting either legal or technology prospect.