Founder's Message & Vision

I take great pride in announcing the launch of my humble IP venture, RKR & Partners (RKR). The new venture will continue my journey as an IP lawyer-a journey that goes back almost four decades to 1984. The past four decades represent the transformation of India’s market economy from a protectionist model followed till 1990 into a globalised economy ushered in through a series of radical economic reforms undertaken in the post 90s era. The evolving IP legal landscape in India has been a close reflection of the prevailing economic policies pursued by India in the two phases. Navigating through the challenges of this evolving IP legal landscape has been truly an enriching and rewarding journey for me as a student of law. Some of my most defining moments as an IP lawyer have come about through the experiences gained and the lessons learnt over this long journey. I will always stay truly grateful for these opportunities.

Rajendra Kumar

Founding Partner

Some of these defining moments are worth recalling;

  • the current trademark jurisprudence in India recognizing the doctrines of transborder reputation and dilution in enforcement actions involving well-known trademarks owes a great deal to the caselaw that evolved in the pre-1994 era. I was fortunate to have been part of the team that successfully argued for these doctrines in the Apple and Benz judicial opinions of the High Court of Delhi.
  • Post-1994, the WTO-mandated diverse agreements, especially the TRIPs Agreement, became applicable in India. These necessitated an overhaul of the existing IP statutes and the introduction of new IP laws to bring about a TRIPs-compliant IP legal landscape in India. It was my privilege to have assisted the Government of India in developing an appropriate law for India to protect geographical indications, a form of intellectual property vested in a group of producers to protect the geographical/traditional name of a given product whose reputation, quality or characteristic is attributable to such regional origin. The law was eventually adopted and implemented in September 2003.
  • Working on the GI law was a great learning and defining experience. It opened up rare and exciting representation opportunities in India and elsewhere of some of the iconic global geographical indications, both domestic and foreign. The practical insights and experiences gained in representing some of these iconic GIs provided the valuable building blocks for a seminal work I co-authored called ‘Geographical Indications: A Search for Identity’. It was published by Butterworths in 2005.
  • During my journey over the years, I have always been fascinated by the interface and confluence of copyright and design rights in the aesthetic features of an industrial product. I would always be grateful that I was part of the arguing team in two Delhi High Court precedents (Samsonite v. Vijai Sales and Microfibres v. Girdhar). I would always cherish the learnings gained from this representation.
  • I have also been fascinated by emerging areas of IP and allied laws. The emerging legal landscape of intermediary liability in India is an emerging area of law. In this emerging landscape, the MySpace precedent is an essential milestone in defining the limits of intermediary liability and copyright claims. Representing and arguing the defense in this important precedent has been a great learning and defining part of my journey as an IP lawyer.

This new journey is part of my continuing explorations for new learnings and experiences. The new firm will continue to live by and even go beyond the values that have guided my entire professional journey like a lodestar: honesty and integrity in all dealings, courage to question and look beyond the status quo in providing practical advice with an eye for detail, nurturing and empowering the young members to grow to their full potential and be recognized as leaders in their own right, fearless to take on challenges and accept responsibility for their actions, and an insatiable hunger for knowledge.

I seek your blessings in helping me navigate this part of my never-ending journey.

Navigating through the challenges of the evolving IP legal landscape in India under the influence of these two distinct regimes has been an enriching and rewarding journey for me as a law student.

In case of any message, queries, please write in;

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