India’s appeal as a venue for patent litigation has increased, and IP awareness in the country has grown with it. A thriving start-up scene is driving an upsurge in domestic filings – although this is met by a continuing backlog of pending applications, which is a constant source of irritation for IP firms. However, the patent office is committed to clearing this bottleneck and there is hope that the 458 new examiners will rapidly make a dent in the 232,000 pending applications. Lawyers are of two minds about the state of the market: they welcome any steps taken to reduce the time it takes to get a patent granted, but they are also apprehensive about the drastic increase in examination reports requiring response. New guidelines for computer-related inventions solicit cautious optimism from practitioners; although they are aware of the potential benefits, they are reluctant to predict the long-term effect the guidelines will have on innovation.
Firms: litigation and transactions
- Highly recommended
- Anand and Anand
- K&S Partners
- Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan
- Remfry & Sagar
- RK Dewan & Co
- S Majumdar & Co
- Chadha & Chadha Intellectual Property Law Firm
- De Penning & De Penning
- Khaitan & Co
- Khurana & Khurana, Advocates and IP Attorneys
- Krishna & Saurastri Associates LLP
- Lall Lahiri & Salhotra
- Obhan & Associates
- SKS Law Associates
- SS Rana & Co
- Subramaniam & Associates
- ZeusIP Advocates
A 30% increase in manpower has cemented Anand and Anand’s position as the “top litigation outfit in India”; its 100-strong staff consistently provide sterling service, delivering a tour de force in contentious settings and eloquently drafting patents according to the most exacting standards. Having spent close to 30 years honing her diverse patent toolkit, Archana Shanker heads the acclaimed practice with confidence and poise. She effortlessly handles prosecution and litigation matters, keeping a cool head in every instruction. Peers hail her ability to distil complex concepts into plain language – a talent that sees her counsel in demand among government players seeking expert input on IP policy. With a résumé stacked full of exquisite performances in courtroom dramas, Pravin Anand is one of the country’s best-known litigators. Nearly 40 years at the forefront of Indian intellectual property have earned him the respect and admiration of colleagues at home and abroad.
Chadha & Chadha Intellectual Property Law Firm
An endless source of resourceful, high-quality advice for innovators, Chadha & Chadha prosecutes patents with a high degree of responsiveness and accuracy that “dramatically lessens the burden of applying for an Indian patent”; this hallmark dedication to consumer satisfaction is underpinned by the firm’s ISO 9001:2008 compliance. Attorneys win praise for their excellent work ethic, personal touch and “outstanding performances”, through which they add value even in routine prosecution work. “Their profound depth of knowledge and insight make all the difference.” After 50 years in the business, as one client opines: “the quality of its output continues to rise and, with it, so does the strength of its relationships with rights holders”. Leading by example is “energetic, efficient and trustworthy” practice head Chetan Chadha. With his positive attitude and mastery of electronics, telecoms and IT domains, he is a pleasure to work with.
De Penning & De Penning
Storied prosecution outfit De Penning & De Penning continues to turn heads in the Indian patent market. With unsurpassed collective IP experience and an advanced technical infrastructure, the company efficiently and strategically assists its patrons in all possible patent problems. Rights holders seeking worthy representation on either side of the contentious/non-contentious divide would do well to seek out the expert counsel of David Solomon. An electronics and telecoms engineer, he excels in proceedings before the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB).
A relatively new entrant to the market, Groverlaw gears its offering towards start-ups backed by venture capitalists. In close partnership with Sagacious Research, the firm acts primarily as an informed all-round strategist for budding businesses. A personal approach, bolstered by an extensive network of investors, enables it to secure tailored rights protection on national and international stages while simultaneously securing financial input. “Head and shoulders above the competition,” Vivek Dahiya is sought after for his responsiveness, insight and professionalism. “Utilising his impressive commercial acumen, he has built up an enviable domestic practice and is always brainstorming novel, creative ways to differentiate a patent from that of a rival.”
Internationally minded, the outstanding K&S Partners has been the largest filer of Patent Cooperation Treaty applications in India for over a decade; using its expertise and experience for the good of the market, the ensemble has contributed to the drafting of Indian IP law. Having appointed two new partners recently, the group continues to do a roaring patent trade; its “admirable pharmaceutical practice” has been showcasing the skills that set it apart in a series of cases before the Delhi High Court, battling on behalf of a major industry player. Prosecution and litigation are both strengths and, thanks to the assistance of sister operation J Sagar Associates, licensing deals are concluded with remarkable fluency, too. Overseeing everything is biotech specialist Ravi Bhola; a multitalented drafter, he extends his reach effortlessly into electronics, telecoms and mechanical briefs.
Khaitan & Co
Defined by a weighty advisory and licensing caseload for biodiversity and plant variety rights holders, Khaitan & Co nonetheless comes highly recommended for prosecution abilities that cut across industry sectors. With the same team managing the entire lifecycle of every patent, the set guarantees its devotees – which include Mercedes-Benz and the Godrej Group – a thorough, consistent and far-sighted approach. IAM Patent 1000 debutant Adheesh Nargolkar takes the reins and continues to build on the legacy of a recently retired partner. An “incredibly responsive” professional, he earns praise for his “initiative, particularly when dealing with adversaries”.
Khurana & Khurana, Advocates and IP Attorneys
Only a decade since it opened its doors, Khurana & Khurana has rapidly won a place among India’s top four filers of Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) applications. Domestic innovators are also well served through eight offices nationwide. The appointment of three new partners, the opening of a new Hyderabad branch and the continuing expansion into South Asia bears testament to the group’s ambition at home and abroad. Helping to maintain this is smooth contentious and non-contentious operator Tarun Khurana, a computer science maven who brings a resolutely commercial outlook to any instruction.
Krishna & Saurastri Associates LLP
An unwavering devotion to customer satisfaction, five offices across India and broad technical expertise allow Krishana & Saurastri’s experienced, multidisciplinary team to deliver a superior service without limit. Although it is perfectly capable of meeting high-stakes enforcement demands, the set counts prosecution as the jewel in its crown. Whether commissioned in the former or the latter, Manish Saurastri tackles all briefs with gusto, employing 20 years of experience satisfying high-profile patrons to secure excellent protection and forge worthwhile relationships.
“One of the best prosecution practices in India”, Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan guarantees that no technology is out of reach for its technical team. Highly regarded for their “technical and legal prowess” and “engagement with international actors”, the firm’s attorneys are renowned for their drafting of applications to strict European and US standards. Overseeing the life sciences division is Malathi Lakshmikumaran, a biochemistry maven with 30 years’ experience; few lawyers have a finer appreciation of protecting high-value innovation in the field. When matters get heated, the set rushes to the aid of frazzled rights holders, stepping in to extinguish blazing patent fires. Having handled more than 3,000 contentious matters during his three-decade career, formidable litigator Varadachari Lakshmikumaran heads the patent team with wisdom and strategic vision. When the big guns are needed, IP department head and consummate litigator Parthasarathy R is the man to turn to. He recently acted on behalf of Mahyco Monsanto Biotech in a dispute over its Bollgard cotton.
Lall & Sethi
Reverting to an independent, four-partner IP house following its uncoupling with Singh & Singh, Lall & Sethi has streamlined its services to better assist clients of any hue in realising their business ambitions. With superb IT infrastructure and case management systems in place, it prosecutes patents in various jurisdictions on the Indian subcontinent and beyond; IP-rich deals and disputes are also firmly within its grasp. Managing partner Raghav Malik is best placed to provide interested parties with more information.
Lall Lahiri & Salhotra
The potent combination of technical prowess and a positive, can-do attitude ensures that Lall Lahiri & Salhotra fully satisfies its diverse following; PCT applications stand out as a particular forte for its 38-strong team, yet it features veterans of domestic prosecution, too, who handle a significant biotech, chemistry and engineering caseload with ease and care. Founder Rahul Chaudry wears the captain’s armband and is a great first port of call.
A well-honed prosecution practice fortified by an indispensable analytics arm, Legasis delivers some of the most in-depth and accurate intelligence on freedom to operate and patentability available on the Indian market. With this capacity on top of the effortless provision of cradle-to-grave patent support and a robust corporate practice, the group is well positioned to service the varied needs of major industrial players from its offices in Mumbai, New Delhi, Pune and Hyderabad. Managing partner Suhas Tuljapurkar is a key contact.
An all-star clientele that counts Braun and Ericsson among its ranks bears testament to the international faith in LexOrbis’s expansive patent offering; acting across technical borders for multinationals, Indian corporations and government agencies, the 81-strong team hits another level when telecoms and software rights are at stake. Already a practice worthy of the praise it receives, the contingent continues to go from strength to strength; it recently merged with Bangalore firm IP Astra, established a Mumbai office, and is investing heavily in work process automation. Manisha Singh Nair is a good first port of call.
“Prompt, meticulous and extremely supportive”, Obhan & Associates cultivates and maintains excellent working relationships while dispensing top-quality patent work. With a newly opened office in Pune and an esteemed corporate practice, the ensemble goes to great lengths to ensure that all commercial and IP needs of its foreign and domestic following are well attended. Delivering patent advice that is “clear and straight to the point”, Essenese Obhan is an exceptional professional; he earns particular praise for his “comprehensive reports”, which “reflect the crystal-clear train of thought” that he applies in every brief.
The agile line-up at Perfexio adopts a highly personalised approach when dealing with clients. Managing partner Sanjay Kumar “has carved out a real niche” for the firm as an ‘innovators-only’ contingent; this mantra has won it a devoted fan base, which it assists on disputes over biosimilar products and compulsory licensing. The rapidly developing prosecution department stands out for its talents in pharmaceutical briefs and its penchant for computer-related inventions.
Remfry & Sagar
Rights holders “know that their Indian rights are in safe hands” with Remfry & Sagar, a 150-year old purveyor of “superb patent services”. With the collective earning an impressive 15% share of the inbound filing market, this faith is not without good reason; Remfry boasts cutting-edge software and case management systems that guarantee a high degree of responsiveness for clients and a combined wisdom that is frequently consulted by the Indian IP Office on policy matters. Managing partner Ashwin Julka is a market-leading voice, whose sage insights on life sciences issues often appear in high-profile industry publications. The sector is also the happy hunting ground of Ranjna Mehta-Dutt, a seasoned prosecutor who has racked up 20 years’ experience drafting patent specifications and appearing before the IPAB. On the contentious side, Pankaj Soni earns a place in the IAM Patent 1000 for the first time, having made a name for himself in the US federal courts. He is invaluable to overseas corporates seeking to assert their IP rights in India and the United States.
Ascending to the top tier of the prosecution table, RK Dewan is a “a highly qualified player in the Indian market” that rewards the loyalty of plenty of Fortune 500 companies with an impeccable patent service. One of India’s most prolific filers, the firm handles a vast workload, of which 70% is for Indian rights holders, and which earns the group a place as one of the top three PCT filers, too. Former medical doctor Niti Dewan brings a refined understanding of the life sciences sector and its commercial objectives to the group, which recently expanded with the arrival of 10 new associates and the opening of a new outpost in Dalian, China. “Immensely knowledgeable” patent attorney Disha Dewan “goes the extra mile” to educate her devotees on the patenting process and her own methodology. “Her guidance along the journey is incredibly reassuring.” She complements her robust prosecution practice with ample courtroom firepower and recently represented Adventure India on a rare declaration of non-infringement. The contentious practice constitutes a 30-strong team of lawyers based in six offices around the country, all of whom answer the call to arms before the district and high courts and the IPAB. Excelling on both sides of the contentious/non-contentious divide is 45-year IP veteran Mohan Dewan. A pioneer on the national stage, he is a sought-after adviser to whom Indian and foreign clients and government agencies are indebted.
S Majumdar & Co
Reputed for its prowess in opposition and revocation proceedings, S Majumdar has been providing a holistic patent service from its Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Hyderabad offices for 25 years. Alongside contentious instructions, the ensemble works wonders in prosecution and transactional briefs. Founder Subhatosh Majumbdar is a versatile litigator devoted to improving IP awareness among India’s innovators.
Following its recent split with colleagues at Lall & Sethi, Singh and Singh remains a lauded practice that showcases “extensive litigation experience and refined legal understanding” in complex instructions. The “quality, attentiveness and responsiveness” of the practice is underpinned by Saya Choudhary, who picked up the torch following the departure of Prathiba Singh. “Choudhary is a dedicated advocate who succinctly presents positions in court; a percipient strategist, she always has a complete game plan in her head that ensures she remains several steps ahead of the opposition.” She has made a name for herself as a specialist in complex standard-essential patent cases.
SKS Law Associates
A vaunted high tech and life sciences practice, SKS Law distinguishes itself through a burgeoning plant variety practice. The firm crafts and maintains strong portfolios, from which it expertly engineers commercialisation opportunities in line with its patrons’ ambitions. Helming the practice is former Anand & Anand life sciences commander Sunita Sreedharan.
SS Rana & Co
Famed for its trademark nous, full-service law firm SS Rana also has a patent practice enjoyed by “a stable of excellent clients”. ISO 27001:2013 certified, the office plays host to commercial, IT, telecoms and technology transfer divisions, which nicely dovetail with the patent offering. Managing partner Vikrant Rana is the main contact.
Subramaniam & Associates
Celebrating the 10th anniversary of its cradle-to-grave IP offering, Gurugram-based Subramaniam & Associates has rapidly earned itself a place among the country’s top choices for life sciences entities. Exceptional knowledge of pharmaceutical advertising, plant variety rights and data protection issues guarantee the group’s loyal following a far-reaching service that extends into IP-adjacent legal disciplines. The first individual in the history of the Asian Patent Attorneys Association (India) to be elected its president twice, Hariharan Subramaniam is a respected figure in the domestic IP community. His oversight ensures that quality is a priority when handling complex patent matters.
A creative and commercially minded approach underpins ZeusIP’s highly celebrated service. Although best recognised for their abilities in the soft IP realm, its technically sound lawyers – assisted by a well-structured support network – tackle the most challenging of patent instructions with aplomb. Naqeeb Nawab is the central point of contact.
Other recommended expertsCalab Gabriel founded LEX IP Care after spending 15 years at K&S Partner. A vastly experienced procurer and enforcer of patents, he also provided vital input in the drafting of the Indian Patents Act. From Groser & Groser, Francis Stewart Groser maintains an eminent reputation for IP work and is a revered figure in the field, having spent 60 years honing his craft. A founder of eponymous outfit Rajeshwari & Associates, Rajeshwari Hariharan deploys her biotech training to great effect when representing companies before Bombay and Delhi’s high courts. Having co-founded Fidus Law Chambers 10 years ago, Shwetasree Majumder continues to impress clients with her deft prosecution strategies and superb courtroom performances. The leader of Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co’s IP team, Dev Robinson is a dab hand at enforcing patent rights in India and beyond and adds value through the skilled negotiation of high-stakes transactional agreements.
Individuals: litigation and transactions
- Pravin Anand - Anand and Anand
- Saya Choudhary - Singh & Singh
- Mohan Dewan - RK Dewan & Co
- Rajeshwari Hariharan - Rajeshwari & Associates
- Sanjay Kumar - Perfexio Legal
- Varadachari 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
- Pankaj Soni - Remfry & Sagar
- Ravi Bhola - K&S Partners
- Chetan Chadha - Chadha & Chadha Intellectual Property Law Firm
- Vivek Dahiya - Groverlaw
- Disha Dewan - RK Dewan & Co
- 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, Advocates and IP Attorneys
- Malathi Lakshmikumaran - Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan
- Subhatosh Majumdar - S Majumdar & Co
- Ranjna Mehta-Dutt - Remfry & Sagar
- Adheesh Nargolkar - Khaitan & Co
- 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