India

The Indian government is making good progress in streamlining the Patent Office’s procedures, with the goal of making it one of the speediest in the world – specific measures include hiring more examiners, improving the infrastructure and instituting expedited examinations. However, practitioners say that further steps must be taken to tackle the huge backlog of pending applications and increase India’s attractiveness as a filing destination, given its low filing numbers per capita. On the bright side, the government and IP firms’ tremendous efforts in advancing IP awareness across the country indicate, encouragingly, that the long-term potential of patent protection in this densely populated country is finally being recognised.

Firms: litigation

Firms: prosecution

Altacit Global

Headquartered in Chennai, newly ranked Altacit Global is a boutique focusing on IP and corporate law. Although relatively young – having only been founded in 2013 – its ISO9001:2008 certification is a sure sign of its stringent standards of quality. As one of the few firms with offices in all southern states of India, Altacit Global’s wide range of technical capabilities is a boon to its largely Indian client base. Possessing master’s degrees in manufacturing systems engineering and law from the University of Warwick, founder and IAM Patent 1000 debutant Sudhir Ravindran is well placed to help Indian companies formulate and execute their global patent strategies and assist with tech transfer projects.

Anand and Anand 

Globally renowned for its unparalleled expertise and impressive agility in resolving legal conundrums, Anand and Anand is the only firm sitting at the apex of the prosecution and litigation and transactions tables. Its success stems from the team’s dedication, hard work, emphasis on utilising internal systems, continuous upskilling and a solution-oriented philosophy, which strikes a chord with clients, foreign associates and IP office officials alike. Godfather of Indian intellectual property Pravin Anand has many landmark decisions to his name and never ceases to push the envelope. Most recently he teamed up with 17-year experienced litigator Vaishali Mittal to win India’s first SEP litigation on behalf of Philips. “She is extremely knowledgeable and trustworthy and works ceaselessly for her clients.” Like Mittal, Dhruv Anand debuts in the IAM Patent 1000 this year. His strength lies in resolving biotechnology disputes – he recently secured a favourable judgment for Monsanto in the first Supreme Court case involving patent eligibility under Section 3(j) of the Patents Act. On the non-contentious side, Neeti Wilson is a highly effective biotech patent drafter with a PhD in applied sciences and extensive involvement in international extra-curricular activities. Finally, Archana Shanker effectively oversees the patents and designs team. Among the world’s most successful female IP practitioners, she has spent 28 years at the coalface across the contentious/non-contentious divide.

Chadha & Chadha Intellectual Property Law Firm 

Chadha & Chadha is a safe pair of hands for patent prosecution. Members of its prosecution group have trained under international patent curriculum such as the International Federation of IP Attorneys’s patent drafting course and the side has an impressive 98% success rate for bringing patents to grant. Tarun Gandhi heads the patent prosecution and dispute team and electronics telecommunications while information communications and technology (ICT) maven Chetan Chadha leads the international practice and Gurgaon office with poise.

De Penning & De Penning

Established in 1856 and holding the grand title of the filer of the first patent, trademark and design in India, De Penning & De Penning is an indisputed pioneer. Today, it drafts patent specifications and applications for a mix of Indian and foreign applicants from its Chennai headquarters and Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai branches and is responsible for the greatest number of office actions in the country every month. Most recently, it has homed in on securing an International Organisation for Standardisation certification to complement its existing bespoke docketing software. With an engineering background and extensive experience in catering to a variety of companies, David Solomon is a good first port of call for interested parties.

Jupiter Law Partners

Jupiter Law Partners is a brand new entrant to the IAM Patent 1000 this year. A Gurgaon boutique with five partners offering services in patent, designs, trademark and commercial intellectual property, the outfit provides patrons – such as one well-known Japanese electronics corporation – with “an excellent mix of efficiency, technical knowledge and value for money”. Formerly of ZeusIP, Lall & Sethi and a US law firm, founder Sujit Thakur is an Indian Institute of Technology Khargpur graduate and patent attorney, who leads an ensemble of patent attorneys specialising in biotech, electronics, engineering and IT briefs.

K&S Partners

K&S Partners is a 37-partner IP firm, whose merit-based policy of promotion and high degree of internationalisation distinguish it from the rest. Not only does it have a carefully cultivated network of top foreign associates, but the annual, institutionalised programme of attorney exchange – rare in India – shows the outfit’s commitment to globally minded talent with first-hand exposure to international best practice. The ranked partners in the firm demonstrate this with their “clear, methodical and proactive” style of service. With a PhD in environmental science, Hyderabad office head Goutam Bhattacharyya is highly recommended for his problem solving. As one patron espouses, “the more complex the file, the more we rely on Bhattacharyya’s masterful command of Indian patent law. Well-versed in US patent laws, too, he spotlights on the differences between the two and illuminates the implications for the clients with impressive acumen.” He belongs to the biotechnology and biosciences group, as does patent practice chair Ravi Bhola. Operating from the Bangalore bureau with excellent business sense – having previously worked for Schering-Plough – Bhola is also deeply involved in K&S Partners’ extensive corporate social responsibility initiatives. Gurgaon-based pharmaceutical and chemistry practice leader Amrish Tiwari is another smart choice; straddling the contentious/non-contentious divide, he is an authority on validity, freedom-to-operate and infringement issues. In the same office, life sciences doyenne Deepa Kachroo Tiku easily reconciles inventors’ concerns and priorities with commercial realities – she herself is the owner of 21 granted patents and brings more than 15 years’ private practice experience to bear. The firm’s contentious side is fronted by Bangalore-based Sanjeev Kumar Tiwari. Formerly an independent commercial and corporate litigator for nine years, Tiwari has been an IP litigation specialist for 12 years. His background in physics enables him to understand a wide range of technical subject matters effortlessly.

Khaitan & Co

Corporate law firm Khaitan & Co maintains a 15-member patent group, which is a source of “excellent technical expertise, proactiveness and professionalism”. It manages the patent portfolios of an illustrious base of Indian-dominated clients including IIT Bombay, IIT Kharagpur, Reliance Industries and Tata Consultancy. In Mumbai, lawyer and patent attorney Adheesh Nargolkar combines “timely communication with a results-oriented approach”.

Khurana & Khurana, Advocates and IP Attorneys

“Providing clients with top-of-the-line service using an innovative business model”, Khurana & Khurana is an ISO9001:2005-certified IP and commercial law firm with an 85-strong patent team handling over 1,200 files per annum. The patent prosecution team is the firm’s jewel in the crown, serving a range of leading pharmaceutical, telecommunications and technology concerns. Tarun Khurana is a prodigious attorney with a special focus on fulfiling the prosecution and commercialisation needs of tech companies such as Google and Huawei.

Krishna & Saurastri Associates LLP

Mumbai-headquartered Krishna & Saurastri possesses more than 60 years of experience of advising domestic and international heavyweights on patent matters. Best known for its prosecution practice, it is governmental agencies’, research institutions’ and universities’ firm of choice, thanks to its state-of-the-art IT systems, attorneys’ continuous learning, flexible fee structures and the technical prowess of its ever-growing team. Manish Saurastri is a name for the contact book.

Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan 

The most compelling reasons clients cite for engaging Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan include its “strong reliability, excellent craftsmanship and sensitivity to client needs charged at rates comparable to other Indian firms”. Founder and managing director Varadachari Lakshmikumaran is a percipient litigator, who draws on three decades of contentious experience accumulated over 40,000 cases. Highly proficient Parthasarathy R had already built up the firm’s international trade practice before taking over as head of the IP practice in 2007. He is a tenacious litigator who previously had a career in the Indian civil service. Executive director and practice head Malathi Lakshmikumaran has dedicated more than 30 years of her professional life to biochemistry and molecular biology as a scientist and patent attorney. According to one client, “what she advises is always pertinent to our business needs in India. She has the depth of expertise and professionalism that propels the client’s patent portfolios forward, especially when it comes to advising foreign companies”. Ankur Garg and Prashant Phillips are top-notch patent drafters with a particular focus on software, telecommunication, electronics and electrical engineering and wind energy inventions.

Lall & Sethi

With branches in a few South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries, Lall & Sethi has a wealth of know-how in pursuing regional patent protection. It was also one of the first firms to gain SEP and FRAND-related patent work in India. Patent practice head Anju Khanna is a name to have on speed dial.

Legasis

Legasis Partners provides the full gamut of patent services from its Mumbai, Pune, New Delhi and Hyderabad offices. The operation is overseen by Suhas Tuljapurkar, who is also the non-executive director of Legasis Services.

LexOrbis 

With a 180-strong team, of which more than 60% are women, with members hailing from all 27 states of India Bengaluru, Mumbai and New Delhi, LexOrbis is a champion for diversity. Years of commitment to this cause by co-founder and managing partner Manisha Singh has made the firm one of the fastest-growing IP outfits in the country; from 2018 to 2019 alone, it added 24 patent attorneys to its engineering and life science group. Singh is a tenacious litigator with ample patent commercialisation experience.

LS Davar & Co

LS Davar & Co is a forerunner in the first generation of Indian-origin and Indian-owned IP firms. Having commenced operations almost 90 years ago, it has expanded beyond its Kolkata base to New Delhi and in January 2019 its Bangaluru building opened for business. The outfit’s 45 patent attorneys focus on electronics, mechanical, life sciences and pharmaceutical inventions and rely on its 250 support staff. Joshita Davar Khemani oversees this illustrious practice.

Obhan & Associates 

Obhan & Associates made tremendous progress last year with the augmentation of its AI and software capabilities. Besides its New Delhi home base and Pune outpost, it opened a centre in Bengaluru last year to tap into the local high-tech and start-up ecosystem. The firm also fosters impressive bonds through the combination of its robust IP team and a complementary corporate team, especially when advising start-ups, which the ensemble does in a holistic manner. With valuable SEP experience, Essenese Obhan is a magnet for high-stakes contentious and transactional mandates.

Patentwire 

“Attentive, knowledgeable, and responsive,” new IAM Patent 1000 inductee Patentwire not only ticks all the boxes for a strong patent attorney firm but also brings fresh perspectives and approaches to the Indian IP scene. Its diverse offerings range from patent prosecution, illustration and 3D modelling to dispute resolution and IP commercialisation. Founded in 2008 by Lalit Ambastha, it is overseen by Shruti Kaushik. The pair take the time to understand each patron before advising them in the most candid way possible how to achieve superb results. “Great listeners and eager to help, they are effective communicators who are willing to go the extra mile for the best results. They get to know the client’s business goals before aligning them with a suitable patent strategy that does not break the bank.”

Perfexio Legal 

A major player in patent oppositions, Perfexio Legal is a force to be reckoned with, particularly with regard to pharmaceutical patents. Representing innovators in infringement proceedings, the firm also conducts pharmaceutical regulatory litigations, which challenge biosimilar products. Having substantially increased in size, its group of 21 professionals includes six senior attorneys who specialise in electronics and software. Former head of intellectual property at Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan and Remfry & Sagar’s patent department helmsman, Sanjay Kumar now presides over the side.

RAHUL CHAUDHRY & PARTNERS 

Formerly known as Lall, Lahiri & Salhotra, RAHUL CHAUDHRY & PARTNERS is extremely reliable for patent prosecution judging by the 99.9% success rate in patent grants (including Section 3 grants) it has reportedly maintained. Working primarily for large concerns, its team of 180 cover the major technical areas from the Gurgaon office and oppositions and litigations from the Delhi outpost. Its retention rate of clientele – standing at 100% since its founding in 1983 – demonstrates its devotion to quality work and client service. Name partner Rahul Chaudhry is a consummate adviser on both contentious and non-contentious mandates. An erstwhile director of India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation, Ramesh Dhawan adeptly leads the patent and design department.

Remfry & Sagar

An impressive all-rounder with 120 attorneys and three offices in Bengaluru, Chennai and Gurgaon, Remfry & Sagar’s impressive list of clientele – consisting of the crème de la crème in aviation, technology, life sciences and government research institutions – is a fitting testament to the firm’s enduring appeal almost 150 years after its inception. “It truly sets itself apart from the rest with a solid grasp of technology, the ability to critically analyse Patent Office communications and rendering options and recommendations while meeting deadlines and responding to enquiries in a timely manner”. Pankaj Soni is a one-of-a-kind adviser in the country. Leading the patent litigation practice, US desk and an electronics, information and communications technology and mechanical patent prosecution team, the India, New York and New Jersey lawyer has substantial experience acting before the US federal courts and Indian high courts for Fortune 500 companies with significant exposure to the US IP ecosystem. Life science leader Ranjna Mehta-Dutt is a dab hand at prosecution, appeals and other contentious matters. Finally, managing partner Ashwin Julka is an ardent thought leader who ensures that the practice runs like a well-oiled machine.

RK Dewan & Co 

Representing a mix of top Indian corporates, Fortune 500 companies and government agencies, the 85-strong patent team at RK Dewan & Co has filed more than 2,000 Indian and international patent applications in the past 12 months alone, many the result of outstanding original drafting efforts. An enviable domestic client base, including such household names as Reliance Industries, Hindustan Petroleum and Tata Consultancy, has come to rely on the firm for top-quality work across a kaleidoscopic range of technology areas, including important fields of convergence. The firm recently opened a Bengaluru outpost to complement its Mumbai headquarters and Pune, Chennai, New Delhi, Kolkata and Indore branches. Mohan Dewan has dedicated almost half a century to intellectual property, making him one of the most senior and revered figures ranked in this chapter. At the helm of the patent practice is Niti Dewan, a medical doctor and patent attorney with versatile technical capabilities extending from pharmaceutical to mechanical patents. Cambridge-educated biotech maven Disha Dewan is a silver-tongued litigator with an expanding patent practice.

S Majumdar & Co

A West Bengal standout, S Majumdar & Co’s 10 engineers, 28 technical staff and 48 lawyers cover everything under the sun but are particularly strong in the biotech and pharmaceutical sectors, enjoying a dominant market share for patent oppositions in the country. Managing partner Subhatosh Majumdar spent the first 20 years of his practice primarily conducting patent searches and drafting specifications and has concentrated his efforts in the past decade on resolving contentious issues.

Sagacious IP

“Sagacious IP is perennially ready to provide useful and economical solutions to IP issues. Prompt in turnaround times and responding to enquiries, it is well placed to formulate and implement IP strategies.” Vivek Singh heads the IP filing and prosecution practice with alacrity.

Saikrishna & Associates

“Saikrishna & Associates is one of the rare Indian law firms with SEP experience.” It recently made two new IP partners and set up a new Mumbai office to cater to its growing workload, which includes handling SEP disputes on behalf of OPPO, VIVO and Xiaomi. On the pharmaceutical side, managing partner Saikrishna Rajagopal and key litigator Sidharth Chopra successfully warded off an injunction application by AstraZeneca against Dr Reddy’s in relation to a ticagrelor patent.

Singh & Singh 

Contentious powerhouse Singh & Singh “brings extraordinary patent litigation expertise to the table, thanks to its client friendliness, excellent team structures and ability to think out of the box”. Already a preferred service provider of high-stakes pharmaceutical and telecoms litigants, the firm recently expanded with a new, complementary taxation, data protection and bankruptcy code practice. Patent litigation team leader Saya Choudhary was one of the first Indian practitioners to participate in SEP proceedings and has therefore accumulated a wealth of expertise dealing with telecommunications patents. Most recently she has been representing TLM Ericsson and Dolby in enforcing their SEPs. Bitika Sharma is an expert at litigating biotech and pharmaceutical patents and au fait with handling competition law issues.

SKS Law Associates

SKS Law Associates takes a highly strategic approach to patent work – be it contentious, non-contentious or policy-related. It recently expanded its collection of biotech and high-tech talents with the addition of two IP lawyers. Highlights of the last year include successfully stopping allegations of breach of confidentiality against two scientists brought by a competing pharmaceutical company, preparing a submission on proposed amendments in the Guidelines for Access and Benefit Sharing for the National Biodiversity Authority and representing industry bodies at a series of government forums. Formerly Anand & Anand’s life sciences group leader, Sunita Sreedharan is now CEO of SKS Law Associates.

SS Rana & Co 

SS Rana & Co is one of the most ardent proponents of advancing IP awareness in India, organising educational programmes, which aim to teach children and adolescents respect for IP rights. The patent team – comprising 18 professionals across the electrical, electronic, ICT and biotech fields – serves a foreign-dominated clientele. Managing partner Vikrant Rana is a name to bear in mind.

Subramaniam & Associates

“The highly respected Subramaniam & Associates delivers top-notch technical advice with a great deal of reliability and trustworthiness”; as such, it has become one of the most revered names in the Indian IP world. Having brought up a collection of top IP talents through his teaching duties at legal and technical institutions nationwide, Hariharan Subramaniam is a four-decades experienced attorney who has made important contributions to the Indian IP system.

Other recommended experts

Samaresh Chakraborty is DP Ahjua & Co’s patent department leader based in Kolkata. He is a tenacious litigator with a following of pharmaceutical companies. Calab Gabriel of Lex IP Care has been at the IP coalface for 40 years, having founded and headed the patent team of K&S Partners for more than 20 years. Rajeshwari & Associates’ name partner Rajeshwari Hariharan is a smart choice for pharmaceutical patent litigations in which she has more than two decades’ experience. Working for a mix of domestic and foreign companies, Satish Rana drafts patent specifications to Indian, European and US standards and formats with “a keen eye for detail”. “Exhibiting exemplary professionalism,” he operates from Prism IP, which also provides “excellent guidance including searching and analytics for patent owners”.

Individuals: litigation

Individuals: prosecution

  • Lalit Ambastha - Patentwire
  • Goutam Bhattacharyya - K&S Partners
  • Ravi Bhola - K&S Partners
  • Chetan Chadha - Chadha & Chadha Intellectual Property Law Firm
  • Samaresh Chakraborty - DP Ahuja & Co
  • Rahul Chaudhry - RAHUL CHAUDHRY & PARTNERS
  • Joshita Davar Khemani - LS Davar & Co
  • Disha Dewan - RK Dewan & Co
  • Mohan Dewan - RK Dewan & Co 
  • Niti Dewan - RK Dewan & Co 
  • Ramesh Dhawan - RAHUL CHAUDHRY & PARTNERS
  • Calab Gabriel - Lex IP Care
  • Tarun Gandhi - Chadha & Chadha Intellectual Property Law Firm
  • Ankur Garg - Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan
  • Francis Stewart Groser - Groser & Groser
  • Ashwin Julka - Remfry & Sagar
  • Shruti Kaushik - Patentwire
  • 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 
  • Prashant Phillips - Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan
  • Satish Rana - Prism Intellectual Property
  • Sudhir Ravindran - Altacit Global
  • Manish Saurastri - Krishna & Saurastri Associates LLP
  • Archana Shanker - Anand and Anand 
  • Manisha Singh - LexOrbis 
  • Vivek Singh - Sagacious IP
  • David Solomon - De Penning & De Penning
  • Sunita K Sreedharan - SKS Law Associates
  • Hariharan Subramaniam - Subramaniam & Associates
  • Sujit Thakur - Jupiter Law Partners 
  • Deepa Kachroo Tiku - K&S Partners
  • Amrish Tiwari - K&S Partners
  • Neeti Wilson - Anand and Anand