India

The Indian Patent Office and local courts were quick to adapt to new conditions under covid-19 and early on adopted videoconferencing as a tool for conducting hearings in urgent cases. Strengthening international cooperation, the country signed a major memorandum of understanding with the United States, as well as a Patent Prosecution Highway agreement with Japan. Practitioners report that the government’s efforts to streamline Patent Office procedures are beginning to bear fruit as newly hired, well-trained examiners are working aggressively to clear a backlog of applications, giving confidence to local and international stakeholders alike. Somewhat more concerning is the backlog of Patent Office appeals before the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB). The board, which has often been unable to act due to a lack of staff, resumed functioning in 2020 when the Indian Supreme Court extended the term of its chair. More recently, the government has introduced a bill to abolish the IPAB entirely and hand its functions to the high courts. It remains to be seen whether such a move would constitute a step forward in terms of IP protection, but chaos in the appeals space makes it all the more important that patent filers secure the best help possible when preparing applications.

Firms: litigation

Firms: prosecution

Altacit Global

With offices in Bangalore, Chennai, Cochin, Coimbatore and Hyderabad, Altacit Global caters to a clientele of mainly local companies. As testament to its excellence, the comparatively young IP and corporate law specialist firm has already acquired ISO 9001:2008 certification. Founder Sudhir Ravindran holds degrees in manufacturing systems engineering and law. He has built a team of technically savvy individuals who guide businesses through every step of the patent process with a steady hand.

Anand and Anand 

Considered “one of the best firms in India for IP matters” by rights holders locally and abroad, Anand & Anand is the only outfit to feature at the top of both the litigation and prosecution tables. The practice’s unrivalled reputation derives from the hard work of the patents and design team, whose members have dedicated themselves to perfecting their service offerings over more than four decades. Throughout his illustrious career, “eminent lawyer” Pravin Anand has made invaluable contributions to the Indian IP scene while representing some of the world’s largest corporations in numerous landmark cases. A respected voice in the country when it comes to FRAND matters, Vaishali Mittal is credited with prevailing in India’s first post-trial SEP judgment. Mittal has recently been working alongside Pravin in high-stakes litigation for a leading pharmaceutical company. Dhruv Anand makes his second appearance in the IAM Patent 1000 this year. His dispute resolution and litigation skills are regularly sought out by companies such as Monsanto and Pharmacyclics, as well as several luxury brands. Neeti Wilson is a force to be reckoned with in the non-contentious space. A passionate defender of patent rights and the environment alike, she participates in regional and international conferences to spread awareness of IP and biodiversity issues. One of the most successful female practitioners in the market, Archana Shanker leads the patents and design team.

Chadha & Chadha Intellectual Property Law Firm 

With most practitioners possessing both technical and legal qualifications, Chadha & Chadha handles patent matters across a wide range of industries and technical areas. As well as being highly capable, its experts are “a pleasure to work with because of their service-oriented mindset, efficiency, professional expertise and understanding of IP law”. “Clear and quick in corresponding, down to earth and reasonably priced,” the firm is an excellent choice for clients – boasting a 98% success rate in obtaining patents grants on their behalf. “The most trustworthy patent attorney in India by far,” says one foreign associate about international practice head Chetan Chadha. Meanwhile, “outstanding” Tarun Gandhi drafts highly complex patent applications with confidence. Gandhi, who oversees the patent prosecution and enforcement practice, can be counted on to “respond promptly if there is something that needs urgent attention”.

De Penning & De Penning

De Penning & De Penning has had plenty of time to fine-tune its IP practice, which statistics show is responsible for the largest number of office actions month after month. Established in 1856, the firm is known for having filed the first patent, trademark and design in the country. From offices in Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai, its IP practitioners draft patent specifications and applications for multinationals and local clients alike. David Solomon, a key contributor to the outfit’s success, has a background in engineering.

Jupiter Law Partners

“Promptness, honesty and skill” characterise Jupiter Law Partners, which makes its sophomore appearance in the IAM Patent 1000 this year. The Gurgaon-based boutique “way surpasses other firms in India” with its “advanced and technologically qualified attorneys” who attract clients from across the globe, including a famous Japanese electronics company. Founder and Indian Institute of Technology Khargpur graduate Sujit Thakur is “outstanding in performance, extremely responsive, commercially savvy and has very sound legal knowledge”. Thakur, who has experience working at a US law firm as well as another firm ranked in this chapter, has been assisting patent owners for 17 years.

K&S Partners

K&S Partners walks the walk when it comes to running a merit-based, responsible practice, as clients and foreign associates will gladly confirm. “A leader is only as good as his team, and the team at K&S Partners provides exemplary, time-sensitive services. Clear, sophisticated reports are provided soon after tasks have been completed, and they are sensitive to the needs of small businesses with limited budgets.” The side has a no-family employment policy and has continuously attracted and attained professionals whose “impressive quality of service and strong procedural know-how” keep clients coming back for more. Hyderabad office head Goutam Bhattacharyya is “unique among Indian attorneys in terms of the level of skill and commercial nous he brings to the table”. Beyond his professional capabilities, Bhattacharyya is regarded as a “highly ethical, caring person”. Biotech and biosciences-focused Ravi Bhola chairs the patent practice while playing an active role in the firm’s corporate social responsibility initiatives. Amrish Tiwari makes light work of both contentious and non-contentious matters in the fields of chemistry and pharmaceuticals. As a patent owner with considerable industry experience herself, life sciences guru Deepa Kachroo Tiku brings a fresh perspective to the team. Before joining K&S Partners, patent and design litigation practice leader Sanjeev Kumar Tiwari worked as an independent commercial and corporate litigator, earning him valuable experience that complements his physics background and technical expertise.

Khaitan & Co

The 16-person patent team at corporate law set Khaitan & Co operates as a boutique firm within a full-service practice. A number of well-known Indian and international companies feature on its client list. In the past year alone, the team has been approached by big names such as Alibaba Group, the Indian Institute of Technology and Sanofi Aventis. Adheesh Nargolkar takes the lead on complex patent matters of all sorts, contributing to Indian IP practice through his involvement in INTA policy initiatives and as a member of the association’s Trademark Office Practices India Subcommittee.

Khurana & Khurana, Advocates and IP Attorneys

IP and commercial firm Khurana & Khurana’s high-quality output has earned it ISO 9001:2005 certification. Clients “feel comfortable assigning work” to the more than 130 practitioners that handle all areas of intellectual property with ease and display outstanding strength in patent prosecution. Tarun Khurana and Swapnil Sanap are prominent experts in their field. A software engineer and head of the Pune office, Sanap enters the rankings this year following an overwhelming amount of positive feedback from happy customers. “Mr Sanap efficiently helps secure IP rights through technical and legal input while going beyond the required level of professional assistance to assist us on a personal level.” “He is always putting his soul into his work,” another collaborator remarks, adding: “He has good social skills and a positive attitude.” Besides regularly working with large corporations such as Huawei, Sanap remains attuned to the unique challenges facing small business owners, one of whom tell us: “He has referred us to different government schemes which reduce the financial burden of drafting a patent application on start-ups like ours.”

Krishna & Saurastri Associates LLP 

Over at Krishna & Saurastri, a continuously expanding team of IP and prosecution specialists lend their services to everyone from government agencies to reputable research institutions. With 60 years’ experience, top-of-the-line IT systems and advanced technical understanding, the side is well equipped to handle any challenge coming its way. Business owners with their eyes on India should keep Manish Saurastri in mind when seeking patent advice.

Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan 

Clients of Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan benefit from the multitalented team’s comprehensive knowledge of IP law, science and engineering. A seasoned litigator with more than 40,000 cases under his belt, Varadachari Lakshmikumaran founded the full-service firm over three decades ago. A fellow litigator and former civil servant, Parthasarathy R played an instrumental role in building the international trade practice before taking on the role of head of intellectual property. Malathi Lakshmikumaran’s expertise lie in biochemistry and molecular biology – her keen business sense never failing to impress patent owners. Ankur Garg and Prashant Phillips focus on drafting software, telecoms, electronics, electrical engineering and wind energy-related patents.

Lall & Sethi 

Lall & Sethi’s strong presence in South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation countries makes it a solid option for innovators looking to protect their patents in the region. Not only do practitioners possess extensive IP knowledge, but all work goes through rigorous quality controls to ensure that it adheres to the high standards that the firm has become known for. Modern IT systems and IP management software developed in-house help to achieve this. Leading the team is managing partner and patent department head Anju Khanna.

Legasis

Legasis Partners takes a commercial approach to IP protection, offering comprehensive patent services from offices in Mumbai, Pune, New Delhi and Hyderabad. Director Suhas Tuljapurkar is the person in charge of overseeing the entire operation.

LexOrbis 

One of the fastest growing IP firms in India, the “reliable” LexOrbis draws on the expertise of a well-rounded team of 180 members. This diverse group comprises experts from all of India’s 27 states with legal and technical qualifications to their name. Strategist Manisha Singh has played an important role as an adviser on Indian IP policy. Singh takes on the most complex cases to pass through the firm, while her newly ranked colleague Abhai Pandey focuses his practice on litigation and enforcement. Clients “have no hesitation rating Mr Pandey and his team very highly, as the efficient and productive IP professionals provide quality services in terms of communication, timeliness, drafting claims and patent applications, and more”.

LS Davar & Co

“Diligent, proficient, responsive, easy to approach and entertaining any patent-related query at any time” is how one client of LS Davar describes the well-established, first-generation Indian firm. Since opening its headquarters in Kolkata almost 90 years ago, the outfit has extended its reach to New Delhi and Bangalore. Its 50 patent specialists tackle matters related to electronic, mechanical, life sciences and pharmaceutical inventions. The side continues to go from strength to strength under the leadership of Joshita Davar Khemani.

Obhan & Associates 

Obhan & Associates understands the importance of building long-lasting client relationships. As a result, multinationals such as Mitsubishi Heavy Industries entrust it with their entire patent portfolio year after year. Indian unicorn Pine Labs is another company won over by the team’s sound legal strategies and commercial advice. Focusing on corporate and IP law, the firm operates out of three offices located in New Delhi, Pune and Bangalore. Managing partner and mechanical engineer Essenese Obhan’s services are highly sought after by Fortune 500 companies and some of India’s most prominent businesses alike.

PatentWire 

Patent drafting and prosecution, particularly in the areas of biotechnology, automobile, mechanical engineering, medical devices, electronics, pharmaceuticals and robotics, are PatentWire’s specialties. “Their attention to detail and how they make themselves available and take the time to understand a client’s wants” keep customers coming back for more. “An expert on patent matters,” founder Lalit Ambastha “has done impressive work in creating IP awareness among researchers, micro and small industrial communities, and young students throughout India”. IP strategist Shruti Kaushik is another valuable member of the “excellent, highly recommended team”, which offers “professional services enriched with quality, punctuality and a deep essence of honest input”.

Perfexio Legal 

Perfexio Legal enjoys a strong reputation in patent oppositions, especially in pharmaceutical matters. The patents and design group, whose legal and technological expertise attracts businesses looking for solid patent protection strategies, comprises more than 20 IP professionals, including attorneys specialising in electronics and software. Before founding Perfexio Legal, Sanjay Kumar was an IP and patent department head at two other firms ranked in the India chapter.

RAHUL CHAUDHRY & PARTNERS 

The “highly qualified attorneys” at RAHUL CHAUDHRY & PARTNERS, formerly Lall, Lahiri & Salhotra, are known to achieve outstanding results in terms of obtaining patent grants for clients. Their impressive success rate attracts a client base comprising mainly large Indian corporations, which benefit from the technical skill of practitioners based in Gurgaon and Delhi. The “customised services, detailed opinions on the best way forward and quick turnaround times that make their service approach special” leave rights holders “extremely happy and satisfied”. “An expert in aligning business interests with optimised legal strategies,” Rahul Chaudhry handles both contentious and non-contentious matters with ease.

Remfry & Sagar

Headquartered in Gurgaon with offices in Bangalore and Chennai, Remfry & Sagar has been breaking new ground in intellectual property since 1827. With a top-notch clientele that encompasses a wide range of industries, the side has gained a reputation as “one of the top firms in India”. An ability to retain talent and provide quality services has resulted in up to 20% of inbound IP work passing through the firm on a yearly basis. Pankaj Soni likes to stay busy. As the person in charge of the patent litigation practice, as well as the US desk, he manages a group of patent prosecution attorneys who handle issues related to electrical, computer and mechanical inventions. Soni has accumulated plenty of international experience to boot. Beyond India, he is admitted to practise in New York and New Jersey. Life sciences practice leader Ranjna Mehta-Dutt is a competent all-rounder who has long made a name for herself in the field. Meanwhile, managing partner Ashwin Julka leads the team of 250 professionals and more than 115 attorneys effortlessly. He also shares his expertise with the wider IP community as an active member of various international IP organisations.

RK Dewan & Co 

The 75-strong team at RK Dewan & Co works diligently to maintain the high standards that clients have come to expect. As well as seven offices across India, the outfit has two liaison offices in China and the United States, allowing for personable services where patent owners have the opportunity to meet with attorneys face to face. Fortune 500 companies come to the firm for everything from prosecution to litigation and transaction work, as do innovative domestic businesses, which make up most of its client base. On top of that, the one-stop shop for IP issues has invested in a sizeable search practice. One of the most experienced individuals in Indian intellectual property, Mohan Dewan has advised more than 5,000 clients and drafted just as many patent specifications during his 50 years in the field. Head of patents Niti Dewan is a medical doctor whose technical expertise extends beyond life sciences to include automobiles, IT, nanotechnology and material sciences. Meanwhile, biotech specialist Disha Dewan confidently litigates complex patent infringement matters before the New Delhi courts.

S Majumdar & Co

“Trustworthy” S Majumdar & Co’s team of 10 engineers, 28 technical staff and 48 lawyers can be found in West Bengal. The full-service IP firm has developed a stellar reputation in biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, earning it a large proportion of Indian patent opposition cases. Subhatosh Majumdar started out 20 years ago focusing on patent searches and drafting specifications. He now concentrates on contentious matters.

Sagacious IP

Clients that approach “professional and technically sound” Sagacious IP with their patent issues are met with practitioners who are “efficient, affordable and knowledgeable” in the field. The firm caters to everything from major multinationals to start-ups hailing from more than 45 countries. This international experience facilitates “good recommendations on future filings in various locations”. Vivek Singh “keeps the customer in mind in all interactions, and is receptive and open to feedback”.

Saikrishna & Associates

With sharp practitioners described as “having sound legal understanding, as well as relevant experience”, it is no wonder that rights holders flock to Saikrishna & Associates for patent advice. What is more, “it is one of the rare Indian law firms with SEP experience”. A team of patent agents and attorneys with diverse technical backgrounds tends to the client’s every need, including that of Chinese smartphone giants Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo. Litigation veteran Saikrishna Rajagopal is a respected player in the SEP and pharmaceutical space, while patent head Garima Sahney is known for her commercial sense. Sidharth Chopra is a key member of the dispute resolution and litigation practice.

Singh & Singh

The go-to firm for pharmaceutical and telecoms rights holders, Singh & Singh runs one of India’s most well-regarded contentious practices. In fact, it is one of only two firms to make it into the top tier for litigation in this chapter. The outfit recently added a complementary taxation, data protection and bankruptcy code practice. One of the first practitioners in the country to participate in SEP proceedings, Saya Choudhary helms the patent litigation group. Meanwhile, Bitika Sharma has dedicated herself to biotech and pharmaceutical patent litigation, and is proficient at dealing with competition law matters to boot.

SKS Law Associates 

Since its establishment in 2007, strategically minded SKS Law Associates tackles contentious, non-contentious and licensing-related IP issues with aplomb. It is also involved in policy work, having helped draft a law on traditional knowledge protection. Before becoming CEO of the firm, Sunita Sreedharan ran the life sciences group at Anand & Anand. She previously worked at the High Court of Kerala at Ernakulam.

SS Rana & Co 

Passionate about spreading IP awareness in India, SS Rana & Co organises educational programmes that target young audiences around the country. IP and corporate law are the firm’s areas of specialty. A largely international client base relies on the patent team for advice on electrical, electronic, ICT and biotech issues. Managing partner Vikrant Rana is a name for the address book.

Subramaniam & Associates

Hariharan Subramaniam is the managing partner and founding member of “well-established” IP firm Subramaniam & Associates. The side enjoys an excellent reputation in Indian IP circles, which foreign associates attribute to the “formidable leadership of Hari” himself. Having passed on his extensive knowledge to younger generations through his teachings at institutions across the country,. “highquality technical advice, trustworthiness and reliable services” make for a powerful combination.

Other recommended experts

Kolkata-based Samaresh Chakraborty heads DP Ahuja & Co’s patent department and is the litigator of choice for many pharmaceutical companies. After four decades in the industry, Lex IP Care’s Calab Gabriel has countless achievements under his belt – one of which was founding and running K&S Partner’s patent team for over 20 years. Ankush Mehta of Mehta & Mehta possesses “deep knowledge of Indian IP provisions, which helps in overcoming the particularly tricky ones”. In the case of biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, “these areas require special care since Indian patent law is not in favour of pharma or medical technology patents. Ankush is very much up to date on the developments to that end and is really helpful in making reasoned decisions in regard to both national entry and prosecution. Ankush genuinely loves the challenge of getting complex cases through and is very proactive, rather than simply forwarding rejections.” Rajeshwari & Associates’ very own Rajeshwari Hariharan has been litigating pharmaceutical patents for more than 20 years. Over at Prism IP, Satish Rana’s practice focuses on drafting patent specifications holding up to Indian, European and US standards and formats. “Satish and his firm are wonderfully reliable, technically focused, responsive and cost-effective. Their search capabilities are excellent.” Another client raves: “What I particularly like about Satish and his team is the very short response times, direct communication and the overall uncomplicated cooperation. Satish is very interested in advancing IP case law in view of new technologies.”

Individuals: litigation

Individuals: prosecution