he common belief that knowledge and experience are the doors to a bright future has been proven to be true once again by two talented alumni of BITS Pilani, Ojas Sabnis and Gouraj Yadav. The duo came together to launch their own company, Hourglass Research. Well aware of the fact that the lack of talent can impede an organization’s growth, the duo conducted an extensive talent search and hired candidates from some of the best institutions such as BITS Pilani, IITs, and NITs along with post-graduates in Semiconductors and Communication field from top American universities.
Some of them had prior industry experience of working in Ericsson, Broadcom, Tata Communication, and Tata Motors. The steady journey of the company, quality services and a long list of clients has indeed reinforced the belief that knowledgeable resources are the strength of the company. Talking about companies’ services, Ojas says, “Hourglass provides a broad spectrum of patent prosecution, litigation, licensing, intellectual property management, competitive intelligence and strategic services in diverse verticals like hi-tech, mechanical, chemical and material science.”Prior to starting Hourglass, both Ojas and Gouraj worked in various MNCs and together accumulated 10 years of experience in the IP sector.
However, Hourglass faced its share of troubles during its initial years. The company is entirely self-funded; hence, it took some time for the cash-flow to streamline. Attracting talent was a challenge as IP is not yet a well-followed career option in India. However, with a good blend of technical knowledge, industry experience, and IP knowledge the company was able to overcome those challenges. It banked on and thereby received many referral businesses, a fortune that cleared most of the looming fog for the company.
Over the last 2 decades, fast paced development has increased the inflow of IP work. India and other APAC countries have become home to R&D divisions of several global companies. Naturally, the IP resources generated by these organizations need to be managed properly. Eyeing this huge opportunity, Hourglass started conducting a comprehensive in-house IP training program and IP awareness sessions among technical institutes and corporations. It helps to introduce candidates to the field of IP. Right from building patent portfolio to managing the IP assets, and from evaluating licensing options to studying the competitive landscape, Hourglass manages it all for its clients.
The company provides prime services which include acting as an outside counsel for technology companies, assisting in US and India patent drafting and prosecution by acting as a liaison center between development centers and IP counsel, managing filing and prosecution through in-house patent agents and partner attorneys in the US, UK, Europe and other major countries. The company’s other key services include providing analytical support through technology landscapes, competitive analysis, white-space analysis, and licensing support services. Gouraj, while stressing on company’s focus says, “We believe in building long standing relationships with our clients.”
Based out of Mumbai and US, Hourglass plans to grow its local footprints to Bangalore and Hyderabad, and expand internationally to South East Asia, Israel and Nordics regions. The company has a tie-up with BITS Pilani to provide industry exposure to students and assists IIT-Gandhinagar with their IP and entrepreneurial activities. The company is also planning to revamp its employee benefits plans. Ojas concluded the interview by saying, “Growing to 60 clients, drafting 700+ patent applications, conducting 200+ invalidity searches, 500+ patentability searches, and building 1500+ licensing collaterals are some of our milestones till date.”