This article has been written by Ishaan Banerjee, from Vivekananda Institute of Professional Studies, Delhi, affiliated to Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University. This article explores trademark law as a sought after option for lawyers and what are the top law firms practising trademark law in India. This list will be useful to know what exposure one can get and the level of skills one needs in the trademark law industry.
Trademark law has emerged as a lucrative opportunity for practising law and it is still expanding. With the globalization and expansion of trade and business, India signed the TRIPS Agreement (The Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects for Intellectual Property Rights) for protection of trademarks and this has brought a large amount of business and litigation in trademarks being conducted in India. The government, in 2017, made some trademark rule changes which brought much-needed improvements like expedited prosecution and electronic service of documents. In this growing legal market, firms are succeeding and their specialisation in trademark matters is improving day by day.
If you want to be a successful trademark lawyer, this compiled list of the top 10 trademark law firms in India, while not definitive, would certainly give you an idea of what law firms are the top in the business and identify their key practice areas, along with gauging the level of skills needed to work in these firms.
This list has been divided into two parts: the first one is for firms leading in enforcement and litigation and the second is for firms leading in prosecution and strategy.
Enforcement and litigation
Anand & Anand
- Formed in 1923, Anand & Anand is a full-service intellectual property rights law firm, covering everything under the ambit of intellectual property. This includes trademarks, copyrights, litigation and other areas like geographical indications (a sign used on products that have a particular geographical origin and whose special features are due to that place of origin) and biodiversity etc. The firm’s key and most successful practice areas are in the fields of copyrights, designs, patents, trademarks and litigation.
- The firm has advised a range of top Fortune 500 corporations, medium and small enterprises and startups across different industries. The firm has been awarded ‘Firm of the Year’ in the Asia Awards 2019 under the Managing Intellectual Property category and has been ranked Tier 1 across the trademark prosecution and contentious rankings. The firm has had several victories to its name, including successfully obtaining a permanent injunction against a restaurant called Social Goregaon for the infringement of trademark and copyright.
- The firm provides services in the trademark field, such as brand development through complex searches, protection, enforcement with regard to issues like counterfeiting, disparagement and commercialization through licensing, mortgage and other means.
- Here is the link to their website: https://www.anandandanand.com
K & S Partners
- Founded in 1994 as a three-member team, in this short period of time, K & S Partners has expanded to Gurgaon, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai and Bangalore and now includes over 120 professionals with an overall strength of 260. The firm has dealt with clients from neighbouring countries such as Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Myanmar etc, along with national clients.
- The firm offers services in the range of prosecution, advisory, protection and transactional services across the practice areas of copyrights, designs, geographical indications, litigation, patents, trademarks and plant varieties.
- The firm specialises in trademark prosecution and enforcement. While the trademark prosecution team has a lot of experience, the enforcement team is still relatively inexperienced. However, it boasts of an equally strong team dealing with both civil and criminal enforcement matters.
- Here is the link to their website: https://www.knspartners.com
Remfry & Sagar
- Remfry & Sagar practises in the areas of patents, trademarks, designs, copyrights, IP litigation, patent litigation, corporate law, technology, media, and telecom.
- This firm holds to its account a huge 15% of all inbound trademark registrations in India. The firm’s clients include reputed businesses, startups and Fortune 500 companies, policymakers and government agencies.
- The firm was ranked as a Tier 1 firm for IP for 4 successive years starting 2016 to 2019 under the Legal 500 Asia Pacific rankings and was the winner in the intellectual property rights category under the India Business Law Journal Awards 2019.
- Here is the link to their website: https://www.remfry.com
RK Dewan & Co
- RK Dewan and Co have rapidly grown to cross borders with its own team of foreign associates. It is already a well established firm in premier cities of India like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Pune and Chennai.
- The firm has a wide range of clients ranging from small and medium enterprises, academic and research bodies, public and private companies to government bodies and MNCs. These clients come from varied fields like agriculture, nanotechnology, software, automobile industry and food packaging industry etc
- The firm practises in every aspect of IP and provides a multitude of services such as agreement drafting, IP litigation, valuation, audit and even IP training and education.
- In 2014, the firm successfully defended Taparia Tools Limited in front of the China Trademark Review and Adjudication Board against a trademark infringement suit instituted against it by a local Chinese brand, thus bringing great relief and serving as a victory to the client.
- Here is the link to their website: https://www.rkdewan.com/index.php
Saikrishna & Associates
- This is a tier 1 full-service firm with the practice areas being intellectual property, telecommunication, corporate law and competition law. Founded in 2001, the firm has expanded rapidly to include 19 partners & associate partners as well as over 100 plus lawyers.
- The firm has a humongous practice area along with engagement in industry sectors like FMCG and retail, automotive, media and entertainment, software and artificial intelligence etc.
- Sources have referred this firm for its enforcement and litigation services, which are under the charge of the experienced litigator Saikrishna Rajagopal.
- Here is the link to their website: https://www.saikrishnaassociates.com/index.php
Prosecution and strategy
Anand & Anand
- Anand & Anand once again tops the list for firms involved in trademark prosecution and strategy. Led by the outstanding litigator and Managing Director Pravin Anand, the firm has emerged as one of the top firms for not only trademark law but also for entire IP law.
Archer & Angel
- This firm operates in the sectors of retail, franchising and distribution, real estate and construction, employment, corporate and anti-corruption and compliance, along with intellectual property matters. The team also advises on technology transfer, licensing, trade secrets and unfair competition.
- The firm deals with clients of Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 repute and provides for the protection and defence of their trademarks. The firm has an established presence in SAARC countries.
- The firm particularly takes a front line action of cease notice/ legal notice to avoid the time involved in litigation. The firm also has been involved in collaborating with investigation teams and raids of places which have been accused of trademark infringement. The firm also has the specialised service of securing registration of brands with Indian Customs for border protection.
- It has also successfully defended a South-East Asian company against a US corporation which filed a trademark infringement suit in connection to the distribution of products in the Indian markets.
- Here is the link to their website: http://www.archerangel.com/home/
AZB & Partners
- AZB & Partners practise encompasses a wide area including aviation, employment, microfinance, white-collar crimes, international trade and intellectual property etc.
- One of the top law firms in India, it is also a major player in intellectual property rights as well. It was Top Ranked in the Chambers Global 2019 and has been the recipient of various awards as well. The firm is renowned for its availability.
- The firm practises trademark due diligence, portfolio management, litigation, enforcement, prosecution etc.
- Other specialised services include drafting, negotiation, conducting property and brand audits, customs records and border enforcement for brands.
- Here is the link to their website: https://www.azbpartners.com/
Chadha & Chadha Intellectual Property Law Firm
- Chadha & Chadha is a patent and trademark agency. It is involved in all areas of intellectual property including patents, trademarks, plant varieties, licensing, copyrights etc. The firm is known for its availability and keenness on building lasting relationships with its clients.
- The firm is also involved in practising in diverse technical fields like that of automotive, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, metallurgy, sports equipment etc
- It also has an international presence with organisations like the Institute of Trademark Attorneys (ITMA) and the International Trademark Association etc.
- Services include trademark searches, application filing, drafting, prosecution, registration, oppositions, assignment records etc.
- Here is the link to their website: https://www.candcip.com
De Penning & De Penning
- This firm is known for trademark prosecution; the case management system helps to cut costs and helps to work efficiently. Established in 1856, it is one of the oldest IP law firms in India. This firm is involved in all aspects of intellectual property.
- The firm provides its services not only in India but across the world. Trademark application filing, searches, opposition, prosecution and registration; a multitude of services are provided by the firm.
- Here is the link to their website: http://www.depenning.com/intellectual_trade.htm
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