Interview with Dr. Elena Utkina in the international issue of WIPR`S magazine
We are pleased to announce that WIPR's Diversity Issue 2021 has published a part of the interview which Dr. Elena Utkina, Patent Department Director of Vakhnina & Partners, gave to the publication and answered questions about the protection of women's rights in Russia. Dr. Utkina was one of the first women leaders in the Russian Patent and Trademark Office (ROSPATENT), and has raised a large number of professionals, women experts, lawyers and patent attorneys. Elena has repeatedly shown by her example that a woman can be not only a highly qualified specialist, but also a professional and competent leader. She represented the Russian Federation in a number of international negotiations on behalf of Rospatent, including, was one of the founders and organizers of the PPH program between Russian Patent Office (RUPTO) and Japanese Patent Office (JPO), on the basis of which Russia afterwards entered into a number of agreements with other countries, including the United States, Germany and countries of the European Union, the Republic of Korea, etc. Dr. Utkina is recognized as one of the best specialists in Russia in the field of patenting, by a number of leading international ratings, including Best Lawyers, WIPR, IAM, etc. Our company is proud that the majority of Vakhnina & Partners employees are women, including mothers with many children, who successfully superpose work and professional career and family care.
Senior Partner of the Firm, Dr. Tatiana Vakhnina, has always supported and actively helped our colleagues, women, to become professionals in their field and achieve success. Students of Dr. Vakhnina and Dr. Utkina currently work in many large legal and patent companies, including leading Russian IP firms, and in public enterprises, such as Rospatent. We are also proud that this year our company was included in several major international ratings and publications, and was noted as one of the best companies in Russia in the field of Patent Law, which actively defends the rights of women (including European ranking WOMEN IN BUSINESS LAW and WIPR's Diversity Issue 2021)
These days, women in Russia have strong presence in the business world, including IP. According to a 2014 study by the Institute for the Rule of Law at the European University in St. Petersburg, nearly 65% of Russian judges are women. In the case of Vakhnina and Partners, it has been a female-focused firm since its inception and now 90% of staff are women. One of the firm’s leaders, Elena Utkina, is aware that she has become an important role model. “For many years, it was thought that patent specialists should be men, typically an engineer with a ‘proper’ education,” she explains. “I have shown my colleagues, students, and other young professionals that a woman can be not only a professional in the field of inventions, but also a leader. For many years, I headed the chemistry department at Rospatent (the Russian IP office), and I was Deputy Director of the Federal Institute of Industrial Property. “Over the years, I have tried to offer women colleagues every possible support, and the experience I gained earlier in Rospatent helps me,” she says.