Gorodissky & Partners
How do you engage with and educate clients on the value of their intellectual property?
Most of our foreign clients are owners of large IP assets and we are proud that many of these assets are continuously growing thanks to our professional assistance. Our Russian clients are on their way to building similarly impressive IP portfolios and we are grateful to them for engaging us from the very beginning of their IP journey to create IP strategies for them and implement these in practice. There is no universal recipe for creating an understanding of IP values among clients, but knowledge of their business and technologies, attentiveness to their needs, being able to give more than just formal advice – on both the technical and legal nature of the IP rights that they have or intend to obtain – and helping in-house counsel to learn about intellectual property and continuously increase this knowledge all form a strong basis for long-lasting, beneficial cooperation.
In what ways are IP disputes becoming more complex in Russia?
IP disputes are involving more sophisticated technologies and becoming a part of complex litigation strategies, rather than being standalone disputes. Therefore, teams of patent and trademark attorneys, lawyers in the fields of intellectual property and antitrust, and technical experts with deep knowledge and experience of science and technology must all work closely together.
How can Russian patent owners best protect their assets abroad?
Russian patent owners should start to think about the quality of rights that they can obtain from the very beginning. Many patent owners are still careless with regard to employees’ rights, disclosure of the essence of an invention before filing an application, observing the sufficiency of disclosure requirement and much else. Therefore, to ensure the best protection of IP assets outside Russia, it is important to take the first step locally, in Russia.
How are client demands changing and what effect has this had on your practice?
Clients want their IP attorneys to be immediately ready for any situation that they may face in the modern, fast-changing world, where technologies, laws, doctrines, regulations, interpretations and important court decisions are evolving every day. All these changes require modern management of traditional areas of practice by supporting clients with IT solutions, fostering professional intuition for the timely detection of issues and studying and deploying new technological and legal practices. Many clients are now developing their own electronic platforms and systems for obtaining and managing IP rights and this requires IP professionals to be ready to establish interoperability between their own and their clients’ systems. As such, law firms need to have an IT department that not only ensures the operability of the firm’s proprietary e-processing system, but also solves the task of securely and reliably connecting the firm with all available clients’ electronic platforms and systems.
What advice would you offer someone considering a career in intellectual property?
When people seek my advice regarding a career in intellectual property I usually say: if you have a choice of where to begin your IP career, try starting with a position at a patent office or, even better, in an in-house patent or trademark department. Working at a law firm may not be the best option for a first attempt at IP law and I am sure that for many people, entering the profession via a different route could lead to a much better career. Law firms do not always allow newcomers enough time to look around and select a field that appeals to their nature and mindset (eg, intellectual property). To progress in the IP field you need to accumulate a large number of skills that are not usually necessary in other branches of law or business, so it is worth considering gaining such skills even if you are not yet sure whether you want intellectual property to become your profession for life. As a reward, you can always be sure that your hard work to become an IP professional will pay off quickly. Within four to five years will be a specialist whose expertise is invaluable to recruiters – keeping you confident that you will have a profession as long as the IP system exists.
Partner, Head of Patent Practice
Yury Kuznetsov represents multinational and Russian clients, with a primary focus on the prosecution and enforcement of patent rights in the fields of electronics, communications, computer systems, audio and video engineering. Mr Kuznetsov has significant experience in oppositions and appeals before the Russian and Eurasian patent offices and in representing clients in a number of litigation cases. Another important aspect of his practice is IP due diligence and freedom-to-operate analyses, including advice relating to patent infringement.
Click here to see his IAM Patent 1000 2000 profile.