India

Intellectual property is increasingly becoming a focal point of the Indian government’s vision of economic expansion. In May 2016 the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion unveiled its first National IP Rights Policy under the slogan ‘Creative India; Innovative India’, and another state ministry recently launched the Startup India initiative to promote innovation. In addition, there are efforts to make the country’s patent system more efficient; a number of new examiners are being hired with the goal of achieving an 18-month file-to-grant timeframe by March 2018.

Firms: litigation and transactions

Highly recommended
98
Remfry & Sagar
Recommended
H
K&S Partners
Krishna & Saurastri Associates LLP
Lall & Sethi
S Majumdar & Co
Singh & Singh

Firms: prosecution

Highly recommended
98
K&S Partners
Remfry & Sagar
S Majumdar & Co
Recommended
H
Chadha & Chadha Intellectual Property Law Firm
De Penning & De Penning
Groverlaw
Khaitan & Co
Khurana & Khurana, Adovcates and IP Attorneys
Krishna & Saurastri Associates LLP
Lall Lahiri & Salhotra
Legasis
SKS Law Associates
SS Rana & Co
Subramaniam & Associates
ZeusIP Advocates
With more than 100 specialist professionals on staff, powerhouse boutique Anand & Anand effortlessly dispatches the most complex and demanding patent instructions. The dual qualification of many of its practitioners – as lawyers and attorneys – gives them a panoramic perspective on IP matters and they perform adroitly on either side of the contentious/non-contentious divide. At the cutting edge of the country’s evolving jurisprudence, managing partner Pravin Anand – dubbed “the best litigator in India” – has played a pivotal role in many precedent-setting trials. Heading the patent team, the versatile Archana Shanker stands out for her cogent advocacy in pharmaceuticals spats and steady-handed portfolio management. Technical nous and commercial savvy characterise her practice.
Chadha & Chadha Intellectual Property Law Firm
Eminent prosecution shop Chadha & Chadha makes its sophomore appearance in the IAM Patent 1000 this year. The ISO 9001:2008-certified firm – described by one international client as “one of the most efficient, trustworthy and reliable in India” – uses state-of-the-art case management systems and boasts an impressive 98% patent grant rate. Working adeptly across the technology spectrum, its well-drilled team “listens to the client’s specific needs and tailors its work accordingly. It provides an efficient and professional service, responding to inquiries quickly and monitoring pending patent applications with a keen eye”. The outfit was recently able to add new rights to Samsung’s portfolio. “Excellent practitioner” Chetan Chadha interfaces brilliantly with global innovators, guiding them assuredly around obstacles to patent protection; electronics, telecommunications and Information technology are his fortes.
De Penning & De Penning
Established in 1856, De Penning & De Penning is one of India’s oldest IP law firms; though steeped in history and tradition, it remains at the forefront of patent practice in the country and is always looking forward in anticipation of economic and legal changes. A dexterous drafter of applications across several technology sectors, David Solomon is also a go-to professional for contentious proceedings before the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB).
Groverlaw
Renowned for procuring cast-iron protection, Groverlaw is rapidly developing its contentious and commercialisation capabilities too; partnering with IP analytics firm Sagacious Research, it offers insightful advice across the gamut of patent matters. Clients laud the “outstanding professionalism, dedication and responsiveness” of Vivek Dahiya, who is “excellent in prior art searches and gives clear guidance on how to protect innovations; he becomes part of the client’s team and implements a clear strategy”.
K&S Partners
Sterling all-rounder K&S Partners is especially celebrated for its slick prosecution offering; it is India’s largest filer of Patent Cooperation Treaty applications and is also commended by foreign clients for its “efficient and solutions-orientated” work before the Indian Patent Office (IPO). Its non-contentious professionals have been especially active recently on behalf of prestigious research institutions such as the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, the University of North Carolina and the Indian Institute of Science. The firm’s 100-strong team also includes top-notch litigators, who lately won an IPAB trial for the National Institute of Immunology in a ground-breaking case regarding the maintainability of divisional patents; they also represented a world-renowned pharmaceuticals brand in a Delhi High Court battle. “Responsive, process driven, yet creative”, Ravi Bhola helms the patent practice; the life sciences expert is praised for his ability to “explain complex concepts in a very clear way”.
Khaitan & Co
Intellectual property is a core focus of general service firm Khaitan & Co. With over 480 fee-earners spread across four offices – in Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Bangalore – the outfit operates efficiently across the country and wields the firepower to dispatch the weightiest mandates with finesse. Best known for prosecution, the patent team is “meticulous, customer-centric and has a great track record of success”; drawing on the firm’s broader pool of expertise, the side is remarkable for its commercially sharp advice. The “attentive and utterly dependable” Jose Antony Madan crafts “focused and precise patents”.
Khurana & Khurana, Adovcates and IP Attorneys
Khurana & Khurana continues to grow apace; it has opened two new offices in the last year and has made a slew of new signings. In the decade since its establishment, it has become the trusted prosecution firm for an array of prestigious patrons; it has recently been building a significant Chinese client base, which includes titans such as Huawei and Xiaomi. Tarun Khurana has a knack for getting electronic, mechanical and software patents granted; the MBA holder brings commercial flair to every brief.
Krishna & Saurastri Associates LLP
With offices in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Pune, Krishna & Saurastri serves rights holders with interests in every corner of the country. Prosecution is the backbone of its offering, but transactions and litigations are also handled with a sure touch. On all mandates, the firm’s strategically astute practitioners – supported by finely honed support systems – help to maximise commercial opportunities for a variety of innovative clients. Buttressed by an admirable regulatory practice, the team is especially strong in the life sciences. Versatile name partner Manish Saurastri knows how to quash disputes and pays microscopic attention to detail on IP-rich deals. Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan is “by far and away the best India-based practice that I have worked with”, enthuses one client; “thoroughness, timeliness and impeccable collaboration with in-house R&D teams, foreign associates and examiners” are its hallmarks. Under the assured stewardship of Malathi Lakshmikumaran, it thrives on non-contentious mandates and is one of the few local firms that prepare applications for the US and patent offices. Commended also for its “deep scientific expertise”, it secures IP rights across the technology spectrum, with a particular focus on biotechnology patents and plant variety protection. The firm recently overcame a number of obstacles to get an agricultural sciences patent granted for Rohn and Haas; it is also acting on behalf of pharmaceuticals giant Merck in a pre-grant opposition hearing and representing Microsoft in number of IPO appeals. Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan is also a top pick for innovators embroiled in complex cross-border litigation: founder V Lakshmikumaran relishes the cut and thrust of challenging disputes and is a familiar face at the Supreme Court and high courts. Parthasarathy R is another seasoned patent litigator who draws on ancillary unfair competition know-how to superb effect.
Lall & Sethi
Lall & Sethi is a refined one-stop shop for all IP matters: a well-oiled prosecution practice keeps the gears turning smoothly, and it also excels in thorny contentious engagements and complex transactions. A nuanced understanding of the cultural and legal niceties across South Asia – along with cutting-edge IT systems and IP management software – ensures that clients consistently receive fast and accurate solutions for all local and regional quandaries. Founding partner Chander Lall is the main point of contact for the firm.
Lall Lahiri & Salhotra
The 38-strong team at Lall Lahiri & Salhotra serves up incisive freedom-to-operate opinions and also has a talent for obtaining unassailable national and Patent Cooperation Treaty patents. The firm’s “flexible, timely and efficient” approach is popular with multinational corporations and sole innovators alike. Its technical purview encompasses everything from pharmaceuticals to polymer sciences, textiles and electronics. Perceptive pre-litigation counsel is also on hand when disputes arise. Managing partner Rahul Chaudry is a good first port of call.
Legasis
Cutting-edge automated systems help the well-trained squad of attorneys at Legasis to provide stellar assistance to patent owners: skilled drafting and reliable filing services are complemented by value-adding claim mapping analyses and competitive intelligence studies. The firm’s tailor-made legal initiatives aimed at start-up enterprises have made it an especially popular choice for small and medium-sized innovators. Full-service IP firm LexOrbis is best known for its well-honed prosecution offering. Abounding in scientific credentials, its crack squad of 22 specialist professionals prepares masterful patent applications; the commercially clued-up team is sought after for its big-picture strategic advice too. Innovative and resolutely forward thinking, LexOrbis is also at the forefront of debates surrounding Indian IP law. Founder Manisha Singh Nair is a name for the contact book. A boutique supported by a corporate law department, Obhan & Associates has all angles covered for foreign and domestic patent holders. Its made-to-measure client service is widely celebrated, as is its practical, to-the-point guidance. Especially accomplished in non-contentious matters, the ensemble recently took stewardship of Innovia Security’s entire Indian patent portfolio; increasingly a player in major disputes, it is currently acting as lead counsel on behalf of a world-leading high-technology company in an infringement suit. Mechanical engineering whizz Essenese Obhan acquires and manages rights with poise; he also provides staunch advocacy before the IPAB and courts. Passionate about R&D, Perfexio Legal works exclusively for innovative clients; it defends their interests valiantly in litigation and helps them to leverage their rights through judicious licensing agreements. The firm is superb in the pharmaceuticals space, of which it has detailed legal, regulatory and commercial knowledge; former head of patents at Remfry & Sagar Sanjay Kumar is an especially adept operator in this field.
Remfry & Sagar
A titan of the Indian patent landscape since 1827, Remfry & Sagar continues to provide top-drawer IP services to more than 8,000 companies in 70 countries; blue-chip clients include Bayer, GlaxoSmithKline and Sony, while its work with fledgling enterprises has seen it recently designated a facilitator of the Startup India campaign by the national government. Forty dedicated practitioners at the “tried and trusted” firm process a significant share of the country’s new patents, especially in the life sciences – a field in which they are established leaders – and increasingly in the electronics arena too. On the contentious front, Remfry & Sagar has a real facility for hammering out favourable out-of-court settlements, but fights doggedly in court when necessary; it recently secured a Supreme Court verdict for Teijin against the Union of India regarding a patent that the IPO had erroneously allowed to lapse. Managing partner Ashwin Julka is an IP thought leader who sits on the editorial board of the Life Sciences Intellectual Property Review, while fellow biotechnology sage Ranjna Mehta-Dutt serves as vice chair of the Asia Patent Attorneys Association. “RK Dewan & Co does a sterling job in patent prosecution – in terms of responsiveness, the quality of briefs and adherence to standard operating procedures, its workmanship is excellent." Often tasked with tricky domestic instructions, the ISO 9001:2008-certified firm is also gaining traction with inbound filers; it now manages Indian applications for Fortune 500 company Reliance Industries. Heading this side of the practice is refined professional and life sciences maven Niti Dewan. The firm is also a force to be reckoned with in litigation; it is currently doing battle on behalf of Thermax in a High Court patent infringement spat. With six offices, the set is especially well placed to tackle India-wide briefs; it continues to expand, commissioning new office space in Delhi and Mumbai in the past year. Elder statesman Mohan Dewan maintains a bustling practice which transcends the contentious/non-contentious divide.
S Majumdar & Co
With four strategically placed posts across the country and a robust network of foreign associates, S Majumdar is an imposing presence in India. The prized boutique has a dizzying array of technologies on lock, but is especially proficient at meeting and exceeding the needs of pharmaceutical companies. It also wins many plaudits for its stellar courtroom performances: “It is highly active and efficient in patent litigation.” This praise is in no small part due to the top-notch Subhatosh Majumdar, a dexterous litigator and vocal proponent of IP awareness in the country.
Singh & Singh
Singh & Singh remains in fine fettle, in spite of its recent split from Singh & Singh Lall & Sethi. Hailed for its contentious prowess, the esteemed boutique has handled a plethora of mission-critical disputes – be that for patents, trademarks or designs – since its inception in 1997. Its keen counsel is especially incisive at the intersection of the IP and IT spaces, and the telecommunications industry is a particular forte. Saya Choudhary is a leading name here for patent issues.
SKS Law Associates
“The team at SKS Law Associates handles considerable responsibilities with great diligence. It provides excellent support in all IP-related matters.” Although knowledgeable across the gamut of technologies, the set excels on high-tech and life sciences mandates in particular. Contentious and non-contentious instructions are dispatched with similar ease, and the firm ensures that IP portfolios are comprehensively protected and monetised. Founding partner Sunita Sreedharan is “a responsible, intelligent, motivated individual with a high degree of integrity. She displays a mind well suited to the world of intellectual property and does a great job leading her expert team”. She is additionally hailed as “an excellent practitioner with a strong understanding of biodiversity issues”.
SS Rana & Co
Full-service outfit SS Rana & Co performs admirably in the IP space. From whipping up watertight applications to deftly navigating thorny infringement issues, the certified firm troubleshoots all patent conundrums thrown its way. Robust technology transfer and commercial agreements practices add value in IP-rich transactions, too. Its impressive clientele includes an assortment of multinationals and local patent holders. Vikrant Rana manages the firm with assurance.
Subramaniam & Associates
Bustling IP shop Subramaniam & Associates is home to a close-knit squad of technically savvy practitioners, who provide first-class support to rights holders throughout the patent lifecycle. From the moment an idea is conceived, the set keeps hawkish watch, ensuring that nascent inventions are afforded maximum protection and that their commercial potential is fully realised. Well known for tackling high-profile disputes, it ably serves international conglomerates and domestic entities alike. Hariharan Subramaniam is a respected figure in the community: “He has the experience, knows the law and is very perceptive – clients can totally rely on his expertise.”
ZeusIP Advocates
ZeusIP Advocates boasts a deep font of technical and legal wisdom from which his clients can draw. Celebrated for its thorough drafting capabilities and astute management of patent portfolios, the boutique is additionally lauded for its client-centric approach: it focuses on long-term business goals and builds vigorous relationships which stand the test of time. Naqeeb Nawab is the main point of contact.

Individuals: prosecution

Ravi Bhola - K&S Partners
Chetan Chadha - Chadha & Chadha Intellectual Property Law Firm
Vivek Dahiya - Groverlaw
Mohan Dewan - RK Dewan & Co
Niti Dewan - RK Dewan & Co
Calab Gabriel - LEX IP Care
Francis Stewart Groser - Groser & Groser
Ashwin Julka - Remfry & Sagar
Tarun Khurana - Khurana & Khurana, Adovcates and IP Attorneys
Malathi Lakshmikumaran - Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan
Jose Antony Madan - Khaitan & Co
Subhatosh Majumdar - S Majumdar & Co
Ranjna Mehta-Dutt - Remfry & Sagar
Essenese Obhan - Obhan & Associates
Dev Robinson - Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co
Archana Shanker - Anand and Anand
David Solomon - De Penning & De Penning
Sunita K Sreedharan - SKS Law Associates
Hariharan Subramaniam - Subramaniam & Associates

Individuals: litigation and transactions

Pravin Anand - Anand and Anand
Mohan Dewan - RK Dewan & Co
Rajeshwari Hariharan - Rajeshwari & Associates
Sanjay Kumar - Perfexio Legal
V Lakshmikumaran - Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan
Subhatosh Majumdar - S Majumdar & Co
Shwetasree Majumder - Fidus Law Chambers
Essenese Obhan - Obhan & Associates
Parthasarathy R - Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan
Manish Saurastri - Krishna & Saurastri Associates LLP
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Issue 86