Chhavi Jain, Legal Manager at Havells India Limited, spoke on ‘Unlocking the Expectations of an In-House Counsel’ in an interactive webinar session organized by ALG on June 20, 2020.
Chhavi, who handles Havells’ IP portfolio, extensively discussed the modalities and challenges of managing an IP portfolio and how to effectively meet the expectations of an in-house counsel by external counsels/ attorneys.
Detailing the roles and responsibilities of an in-house IP counsels, she also threw some light on the significance of brainstorming and sensitizing the product and design team(s) of a company about IP protection. She added that external counsels, who possess knowledge about the latest cross-industry and judicial trends, also play a key role in identification of IP in the developed product.
Chhavi also pointed out that timely and effective communications from the external counsels always helps in addressing and solving issues, meeting the deadlines, etc. Effective communication entails using indicative and intuitive subject lines for emails, providing clear and concise opinions, sending timely reminders and sending quarterly status reports. These pointers served as important takeaways for ALG’s attorneys who frequently interact with in-house counsels.
The importance of standard operating procedures (SOPs) in streamlining workflow was also stressed upon. SOPs which also define the roles to be played by external counsels, are useful for effective time management.
A clear understanding of brand positioning and knowledge sharing by external counsels also serve as important catalysts for a company’s success.
Chhavi concluded her speech by pointing that “…external counsels and in-house counsels…can…achieve the desired result by working together and complementing each other”.
She also fielded some interesting questions raised by ALG’s attorneys. Regarding the role of external counsels in decision making, she informed that while companies do not micromanage routine prosecution matters, they play a bigger role in high stakes matters like litigation actions. She also shared that the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a decrease in litigation and an increase in amicable dispute resolution.