8 Jan

Amit Goel

Can you tell us about some of the biggest obstacles you have faced in your professional life – and how you have overcome them?

The biggest challenge has always been to stay relevant and offer state-of-the-art services at reasonable costs. Being relevant means achieving the gold standard with your clients when they reach out to you for any internal IP or research need. Only then can you commend yourself on being a true partner. We have achieved this with many of our big corporate clients by investing in technology upskilling, retaining our champions and hiring the right talent. This has also been the biggest reason for our organic growth and has helped us to cement our place as one of the most promising IP and technology service providers in India.

What are your top three tips for ensuring long-lasting relationships with international clients?

Most business in our industry is driven by trust and relationships. To build trust, it is important to work with clients’ genuine interests in mind. My three tips for anyone trying to build a long-lasting relationship with a client are as follows:

  • Do the groundwork to understand the client’s technologies, industry and business, then use this knowledge to the company’s advantage – this means that you have to invest as much as your client does on any new vendor.
  • Understand the client’s requirements and propose the right solution to enhance its business value.
  • Shift away from a mere transactional relationship to become a proactive adviser.

You have been entrusted with patent work by some of the biggest multinationals in the world. What are the key skills for a top-level IP professional to hone?

Most of the successful IP professionals that I have known and worked with are very diligent in their work. They genuinely care about their clients’ success, make efforts to understand their business needs and provide sound advice. In my understanding, the key differentiating skill that a top-level IP professional has is the ability to find the right solutions for their clients’ problems.

What changes would you like to see made in the wireless and mobile communications space – and do you expect them to happen in the near future?

The next big things in the telecoms and wireless space pertain to the evolution of 5G/6G and 802.11ba/ax/az standards, which are expected to be implemented in 2021 and 2022. Specific areas of development include:

  • deep learning for training of radio frequency (RF) signals – machine learning can significantly improve RF parameters, as data analysis using machine/deep learning can train radio signal types to perform signal detection and classification, thus significantly reducing power consumption;
  • residential healthcare using passive WiFi wireless systems – passive WiFi sensing systems, based on activity recognition and through-wall respiration sensing, are accurate, contactless and less invasive;
  • light fidelity (LiFi) – LiFi is a wireless optical networking technology that uses LEDs for data transmission, which offers various advantages, such as working in areas susceptible to electromagnetic interference and providing higher transmission speeds;
  • vehicle-to-infrastructure communication (V2X) – these systems will enable the exchange of information and status data, providing a variety of services, including navigation support;
  • long-range wireless power – this could eliminate the use of power cables from devices such as monitors and kitchen appliances;
  • enhanced wireless location tracking – high-precision tracking can be enabled by 802.11az (eg, for applications involving indoor robots and drones);
  • initiatives for SEP patent and FRAND licensing for developing countries; and
  • a government policy in favour of telecoms service providers, particularly defining a range of average revenue per user for service providers.

Finally, what do you see as the biggest challenges facing IP practitioners in India in the next few years, and how can companies prepare for these?

The effects of covid-19 will be a big challenge for our industry. The tightening of IP budgets will continue for the next few years as companies look for ways to keep their spending in check. Further cost pressure is coming from the USPTO increasing its filing fees. Thus, the challenge will be to continue providing the same level of services and expertise with potentially strained resources. We can prepare for this situation by focusing on cashflows against profitability in the short term and strengthening our business continuity plans. In the longer term, we anticipate that AI-based solutions could bring about some drastic changes to how the IP industry has been operating and delivering its services.

Amit Goel

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Amit Goel is a co-founder and director of Effectual Services. He holds a PhD in computer science, specialising in mobile communication. Dr Goel has 17 years’ international legal experience across IP services including patent and trademark strategies, monetisation of IP assets and patent litigation. He has worked with global companies ranging from multinationals and universities to start-ups, advising them on the development of their IP portfolios, acquisition of  assets and patent licensing.