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IP start-up gets Swiss-connection with senior joiner

Lake Geneva
Lake Geneva

Ex-FoxMandal Little start-up boutique IP Gurus is moving to a larger office and has hired the former in-house senior counsel of luxury goods group Richemont and an associate in Geneva.

Former Richemont senior counsel and US qualified lawyer Bharat Dube has joined IP Gurus as a consultant, less than a year after it was started up by former FoxMandal Little IP head Pooja Dodd.

For 19 years Dube had worked at the Richemont Group, which owns luxury brands such as Cartier and Montblanc, and where he said he had co-ordinated large-scale global intellectual property (IP) enforcement actions and had won record court awards against counterfeiters.

"What Pooja and I are trying to do," said Dube, "is to get these kind of results as well in an Indian context. We want to be very enforcement oriented and we'd like to follow the money trail and take assets from counterfeiters."

Dube is intended to become an IP Gurus partner when he receives his Indian law practising certificate. "I'm in touch with the Bar Council - if need be I'll requalify in India," said Dube, explaining that the Indian legal system does not allow foreign qualified lawyers to become partners in Indian law firms.

Dodd commented: "He's got years of experience behind him and it's going to help us grow professionally and in terms of the knowledge. He has a very creative way of looking at things… it was really outside-of-the-box thinking."

Dube joins with Geneva-based associate Diviyakshi Gupta, who had previously worked as an IP legal assistant in-house at Japan Tobacco and as an IP lawyer at FoxMandal in 2003.

Gupta will be based in Geneva full-time and will do Indian law work. Dube said that he would spend 70 per cent of his time in India and the rest in Geneva, focusing on business development and non-Indian law work.

IP Gurus is also set to move from Noida with Dodd and three associates to a new 1,500 square foot office in South Delhi next month, which will give it space for a total of 10 lawyers.

Looking back over nearly a year of operations, Dodd said: "It's been good - I don't think I can complain about the kind of business we've done."

Dube is also working on a separate part-time project called Mantra Global IP Consultants, which aims to pull together a number of IP experts in various jurisdictions to give IP advice internationally.

Pooja Dodd was one of the entrepreneurial lawyers profiled in our 2009 feature on How to start up your own law firm.

Photo by Pear Biter

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