Journalist Dan Hyman sat down with firm founder Vivek Jayaram recently to talk about creativity and innovation.
1. What initially led to you centering your firm’s practice on creative people and their ventures and those types who can’t help but think outside the box? As long as I can recall, I’ve enjoyed surrounding myself with creative people. Musicians, computer geeks, readers, entrepreneurs, etc. People who like to think of new ideas. So I think part of it was intentional because I wanted to work with and support these kinds of people and the communities in which they thrived. But I also think it happens naturally. The best business you can start is the one that’s most authentic to yourself. So if you’re a creative type, or an outdoorsy person, or a yogi, you’re probably going to organically surround yourself by others who have shared interests. Sure, it’s also great to be around people who challenge everything you stand for, but I think by and large our “decision” to represent creatives and their companies is because we share common principles and philosophies, and at the end of the day we enjoy working with one another to achieve a common goal.
2. Do you consider yourself a creative person? And if so, how do you feel this is reflected in your approach to legal matters? Because I have always been around creative people, I never considered myself the most creative person in the room. However, I have always enjoyed taking an abstract or somewhat complex idea and breaking it down into something far more basic and accessible; and I think that takes creativity and that’s a lot of what we do as lawyers. We also have a philosophy in-house that we try to get clients to where they want to be; we’re not naysayers unless we have to be. Sometimes, this requires some creative thinking to structure a solution that’s not ordinary (or maybe even a “best practice” in the field) but that allows the client to accomplish their objectives.
3. What should everyone know — regardless of their current legal needs — about intellectual property law? Replication or duplication in the digital age has become remarkably easy. So while a company’s IP might seem like an afterthought at first (maybe taking a backseat to things like marketing or sales), in many cases its a business’ most valuable long-term asset. So protecting what you’ve come up with — software, brand names, logos, creative works — is actually what provides the backbone for longevity in the marketplace. Everyone should know that their business probably has some IP that could be protected.
4. Who are some innovators you’ve been particularly impressed by in recent times? Tough question! But here’s a few clients and others that come to mind: Daniel Arsham & Alex Mustonen, Anna Meredith, Ronnie Fieg, Sanford Biggers, Rohit Prasad, Jeff & Michael Zimbalist, Teddy Santis, Adam Neumann, Zaha Hadid, Hedi Slimane, Pat Vihtelic, Britt Daniel, Pat Corcoran.
5. Lastly, what excites you most about the future of Jayaram Law? The constant specter of possibilities unknown.