Introduction: Mr.Sachin Srivastava has an experience of close to three years in the Intellectual Property domain with LexInnova and he has handled more than 300 projects. He holds a bachelor’s in technology in Mechanical (Industrial Production) Engineering. He is an expert in providing consultation for patent litigation support services to U.S. attorneys and Japanese clients. His work-profile includes variety of projects providing Patent Litigation support to Patent Attorney’s such as:
– Source-code reviews
– Invalidity contentions
– Inter-Parte review analysis
He possess a skill set in different patent search aspects as well, covering the entire lifecycle of Patents like Freedom-to-operate search, Technological and market analysis through Landscape Studies, Invalidation/validation search, Infringement Analysis, Portfolio Analysis, Patentability Search .Here is a sneak peek into his success story.
1. When did you realize your calling for IP?
I never envisaged my career in Intellectual Property domain during my graduation. I happened to enter this field incidentally when I joined an internship program with LexInnova, 3 years back. I had only a vague idea of what Intellectual Property was and how the business worked. At first, it seemed very uninteresting, but eventually I started enjoying the work. It was only after working on an ongoing major litigation case that I realized the importance of the prior-arts I find, and the analyses I perform. I also better understood the scope of the IP domain and the growth prospects it offers. That was when I decided to make a career in IP and since then there has been no looking back.
2. How is a typical workday in your life?
Once I reach office, I check my mails for late night messages from clients and review all pending tasks that need to be taken care of. I mainly work with Indian and Japanese clients of the firm. My major responsibilities include interacting with the clients and understanding their project requirements, guiding and working along with the project team to execute the instructions, and constantly monitoring quality of the work done. Later during the day, I attend scheduled client calls and meetings, conduct training sessions for the team and handle other management related issues. Also, I am a member of the recruitment team for LexInnova due to which I am required to travel to different college campuses across India. I end my workday by interacting with my team, listening to their queries, providing them plausible solutions, and giving them instructions for the next day.
3. What skills are required in your position on a day-to-day basis?
I am currently working at the position of a Senior Research Associate in LexInnova. However, I have also been given the responsibility of a Project Manager. This allows me to work very closely with clients and assist them on patent prosecution and litigation matters. I have come to realize that three skills are very important for my job –strong knowledge of patent law of different countries, strong technical understanding of the client invention or product, and good communication skills to interact with the clients. Another important skill required for the job profile is team management as I need to guide the team on delivering best quality output and meet a promised deadline. I have to very effectively manage my time in order to fulfill multiple responsibilities of my role in the firm. Over the past few years, I have been fortunate enough to be exposed to the working culture of some renowned firms around the globe and have learnt the skills of time management from them.
4. How did you get your job?
LexInnova had visited my college campus to select students for internship program. I interviewed with them and got selected along with three other students from my batch. Initially I was skeptical about the IP field as a career but during the internship I learnt a lot about its importance and discovered that engineering and law make a fantastic combination. After my internship, due to my good performance and interest, I was offered a full-time position of a Patent Research Associate with LexInnova. I am working with the firm ever since and it has been a very satisfying journey so far.
5. Which parts of your job do you find most challenging?
The most challenging part of my job is training the new talent we acquire. For an employee to perform the way he is required to, it is very important that he receives proper amount of training which is directed towards his job requirements. Training plays an important role in determining the strength and weaknesses of each individual and hence in improving the weaknesses and focusing on the strengths. The real challenge is to bring the trainees up to a certain expected level of understanding, intent, willingness and motivation.Another challenging part is handling clients. During a projectI have to constantly interact with the clients and take their inputs in-order to make sure that the team is working towards achieving client requirements. I have to assure the clients that the firm would use all its potential to help them in achieving their objectives.
6. What do you find most enjoyable about your job?
In my job, everyday is a fresh day. Each one challenges me to accomplish something new and I enjoy conquering these challenges and delivering the best to my capabilities. I am blessed with great people around me at my workplace and I really enjoy my time with them in office.
7. How many hours do you work in a typical week?
I have never considered time as a measure of quality. I strive towards providing the best quality to our clients always. However, on an average,I work for 40-50 hours per week.
8. How would you describe the corporate culture?
Corporate culture essentially consists of three components: values, people and workplace. The company values are core of its culture and offers a set of guidelines on behaviors and mindsets needed to achieve its vision. People and workplace are very closely related to each other. People cannot work at a place where they don’t feel comfortable and they cannot grow where they don’t feel welcomed. The culture in a workplace should be innovative, friendly, creative, and one that promotes learning.
9. What are the future prospects of this field?
Intellectual Property is a lucrative career, now more than ever. Many high profile IP cases are constantly making news and with increasing number of patents lawsuit filings in the US, the stage is set and exciting times are ahead. Also, due to increased awareness towards Intellectual property, it has emerged as a major area of business competence.A technical graduate can choose to be a patent engineer/analyst, patent agent or examiner with the PTO and later an IP expert/consultant. A legal graduate can look at patent prosecution, patent litigation, E-discovery, document review and paralegal management as probable future prospects.
10. What would be a reasonable salary range to expect if someone is interested in entering this field? What is the long term potential?
An engineering graduate planning to take IP as a career can expect salary in the range of 4 to 5.5 lacs per year. Experienced professionals may apply for positions of Technical Consultants/Experts, Source Code Reviewers, and Project Managers and can expect salary packages between 8-12 lacs per year. Patent Attorneys in the US charge as much as 2500 dollars per hour as their consultancy fees. Salary should be of least importance for an entry level graduate. He/she should focus on learning the trades of the game, compensation would increase accordingly. At LexInnova, when we find a knowledgeable candidate, compensation is never a barrier.
11. If you could start all over again, would you change your career path in any way? Why?
My career till now has been a dream journey, full of adventures and challenges and I won’t like to change it.LexInnova gave me a platform to showcase and enhance my skills as a technology expert and a team leader. I graduated as a mechanical engineer but have great interest in the software domain. Due to my interest and knowledge I started getting involved in Source Code Review projects and excelled in them. Recently, I have successfully completed two such high-profile projects. LexInnova has grown from a small group of 10 people to a team of 80 professionals in less than 2 years. We have opened two offices in the US to increase our presence, added new services and hired industry experts at strategically important positions. I have been a part of the firm in this transition and feel great as my contributions to firm have been acknowledged.
12. What educational preparation would you recommend for someone who wants to advance in this field?
In-order to advance in the field of IP, a person should possess strong knowledge of both technology and patent laws. The technology knowledge helps in understanding the inventions and legal knowledge helps in protecting the invention with appropriate fencing.Diploma courses in IPR can also be done to gain knowledge and experience. IP can be a great career option for people having technical expertise in domains such as, physics, electrical engineering, electronics, computers, semiconductors, instruments, medicine, pharmaceutical, and biotechnology.An internship experience with a good IP firm also helps in the orientation of an individual towards IPR. It also develops a level of professionalism which is very important for someone who wants to advance in this field.
13. Can you suggest some ways a student could obtain this necessary experience?
Students aspiring to make a career in IP should learn and understand their course subjects well. They should be able to apply their learning to real life cases and understand the underlying technology. I recommend the students to read a lot and develop an aptitude towards IP by referring to latest infringement lawsuits, amendments to the patent laws, and advancements in the IPR industry. Also, they can refer to latest publications and journals to speculate the innovations happening around the globe.Internships with IP Firms and diploma courses in IPR may play an important role in obtaining the necessary experience. The amount of hard work that a student puts in determines the level of success.
14. What are the most important personal satisfactions and dissatisfactions connected with your occupation? What part of this job do you personally find most satisfying? Most challenging?
Nothing is more rewarding than making a meaningful, fulfilling career that celebrates who you are and what you want to achieve. I personally feel very satisfied when we receive excellent client feedback for a project or when the client wins the litigation case using our work product. I feel dissatisfied when new employees decide to end their career in IP without exploring the immense opportunities this field has to offer in current times. A technical graduate can choose to be a patent engineer/analyst, patent agent or examiner with the PTO and later an IP expert/consultant. A legal graduate can look at patent prosecution, patent litigation, E-discovery, document review and paralegal management as probable future prospects.
15. Finally what suggestions
Intellectual Property is the next big thing and we need to be ready to absorb the shock it will produce globally.Hard work, aptitude, passion and most importantly attitude will determine your destiny. The right attitude backed with sound technical knowledge and industry exposure will fuel your success.Nothing is impossible if you are willing to find the silver lining.Learning is a continuous exercise, never stop it.