Alumni profile - Yashvardhan Rana
I have, and shall always maintain unconditionally, that my year as an LLM student at Queen Mary was easily one of the best years of my life. It gave me a lot more than just a degree. [...] Intellectually, it consistently challenged me to simultaneously learn and unlearn - amplifying my personal growth and helping me develop a broader view and perception of which I would previously not have considered myself capable.
Why did you choose to study your Masters in Intellectual Property Law? I wished to broaden my perspective of IP Law by increasing my intellectual ability and developing a sense of multi-disciplinary approaches in a diverse environment. I yearned to join a university to encounter the best minds engaged in this subject and was intrigued, not just by the theoretical foundations of law and society but also its new and emerging trends. Intellectual Property (IP) Law had been booming in India and I had always had an inclination to become a lawyer from my boyhood and wanted to create a niche for myself in this ever-intriguing field of law.
Why did you choose to study at Queen Mary in particular? I applied to LSE, UCL, Kings College London and Queen Mary, as I had always wanted to study in London, as it is the commercial hub of the world and I had been familiar with the place since childhood. Luckily, I got into all of them, however, I chose to pursue an LLM in Intellectual Property Law from Queen Mary as the IP modules they offered catered to my needs and were being taught by the most renowned IP professors in the world back then. We also had joint classes for our Trade Mark Law module, which was taught by distinguished professors and practicing lawyers, alongside students from UCL, LSE and Kings at Queen Mary’s Centre for Commercial Law Studies, Lincoln Inn Fields, all under one roof. In addition, Queen Mary has been consistently ranked as one of the best universities in the world for Intellectual Property Law and to corroborate this fact, the recently released QS University Rankings includes Queen Mary in the Top 30 universities in the world to study Law as a subject.
Considering that home for you is New Delhi, how was your experience of studying as an international student? How did you find living and studying in London? I’ve been coming to London since my childhood as my father loves to spend his summer vacations here. However, being fortunate enough to study and live in London was an exhilarating experience as it broadened my horizons to another level altogether. It also provided a deep insight into the workings of various legal regimes in different jurisdictions. I have, and shall always maintain unconditionally, that my year as an LLM student at Queen Mary was easily one of the best years of my life. It gave me a lot more than just a degree. I had student accommodation at Maurice Court, Mile End Campus and met many people from diverse backgrounds and countries. Intellectually, it consistently challenged me to simultaneously learn and unlearn - amplifying my personal growth and helping me develop a broader view and perception of which I would previously not have considered myself capable.
What aspects of your degree did you find most enjoyable? What modules did you like learning about and were there any lecturers in particular who had a real impact on your studies? The most notable thing about studying abroad or here at Queen Mary for that matter is that professors engage in discussions which involve a Socratic way of teaching, learning and professing one’s views as opposed to the traditional way of theoretical rote learning. My modules were Trademark in Business Law, International and Comparative Law of Trademarks and Intellectual Property Transactions. I got to learn from the very best, namely, Mr. John Hull, Dr. Apostolos Chronopoulos, Dr. Noam Shemtov and Dr. Gail Evans, and they've had a huge role to play in nurturing my thought process when it comes to writing, applying logic with a world view, and developing argumentation tactics and analysis in relation to IP Law or otherwise.
Can you describe your career since you graduated and touch upon your current role? My particular focus as an IP Lawyer is currently around IP prosecution – from registrability analysis and risk management to providing legal opinion on the availability of use, adoption and registrability of trademarks being launched by Fortune 500 companies, as well as top FMCGs in India. I also advise on trade mark protection strategies, copyright issues and specific assignments relating to Design Law, certain aspects of strategic brand management and advisory, IP auditing and due diligence to portfolio management, transactional advice and agreement drafting, permitted user/registered user recordals and other procedural compliances. I am a part of the Trademarks, Copyright and Design Prosecution Team at Inttl Advocare, Noida. I’m fortunate enough to have become an active member of notable organizations such as APAA, INTA and FICCI IP Forum. Additionally, in January, 2020, I was appointed as an Editor, The Trade Mark Reporter, INTA and in November, 2019, I was the recipient of the Top 50 Emerging IP Professional in the world award - The IPR Gorilla, 2nd Edition held in Dubai. Recently, I’ve been inducted as a Member of the FICCI IP Forum for IP Professionals to address the existing and evolving IPR issues in India along with stalwarts from the legal industry. I have authored several articles on Intellectual Property Law and Practice which are published in leading blogs, websites, journals and magazines in my free time.
How did it feel to receive the award for ‘Top 50 Emerging IP Players/Professionals in the world’? How has this award impacted on your work and reputation? My life has taken me around the globe—allowing me to see people, places, and things others may never get the chance to experience, while shaping my perceptions of the world we live in. I ask not simply to impress upon the minds of young students and lawyers but act as an influencing agent, to impact our system—the rational balance of our world—for the better. One case at a time.
It feels good to be awarded alongside stalwarts and young budding professionals belonging to big firms and companies from the Intellectual Property law industry and allied fields such as Al Tamimi & Co., Clyde & Co., Reliance Industries, Micro Labs Ltd., Marks & Clerk, Spoor & Fisher, Infosys, Ferrero SpA to name a few. This is just the start in the right direction; let’s see what the future holds.
Is there any advice you would give to current students or recent graduates considering their career options? Most of them out there know more than me. So I would just like to reach out and use this platform to tell them a few things - Don't chase people. Be yourself, do your own thing and work hard. Everything will follow. Your degree is just a piece of paper, your education is seen in your behaviour. Keep a positive mind and find and surround yourself with the people out there who have the same mission as you.
What was special about your time at Queen Mary? Can you give one or two examples of your most memorable moments? Being taught by notable professors of IP Law in Central London, i.e. Lincoln’s Inn Fields and nurturing lifelong friendships from diverse cultures. Also, being selected as an assistant editor of the Queen Mary Journal of Intellectual Property (QMJIP) was a terrific feeling.
What did this role involve and what did you gain from this experience? My work as an Assistant Editor entailed writing blogs, peer reviewing and editing, soliciting and/or developing content, particularly full-length articles, liaising with and encouraging potential authors to contribute with articles. Attending to meetings focused on peer reviewer training and developing content (both online and offline) for publication in QMJIP was a very stimulating experience. I developed a sense of coherence in writing and my idea of research and finding law and precedents gave me an added advantage. Also, I take this opportunity to say that everyone can learn law but what separates a good lawyer from the rest is their ability to identify the real problem at hand, finding unparalleled law on a particular subject and ultimately applying it to their case in the best possible manner.
Complete the sentence - If I wasn’t an Intellectual Property Lawyer I would be… A restaurateur or an Air Force Pilot. I’ve always had this dream of opening a Michelin star restaurant in the heart of Delhi competing with the very best from around the world. Well, this is still on the cards - let’s see how the future pans out. Also, I had an inclination to become an Air Force Pilot and join the forces to serve my nation in times of adversity and turmoil. However, this plan never materialised, as I did not take up science as a subject in my school.