Firm Profile > Obhan & Associates > New Delhi, India

Obhan & Associates
N-94, Second Floor
Panchshila Park
NEW DELHI
110017
India

Intellectual property Tier 2

Obhan & Associates witnessed an increase on the patents side of its IP practice, with practice head Essenese Obhan handling patent prosecutions and oppositions for biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and engineering companies. FRAND licensing disputes in the telecoms sector are also being handled by the team. Trade mark oppositions, infringement and passing off disputes are handled for education, cycling, manufacturing and electronics companies; senior associate Taarika Pillai is a key name of this side. Commercial IP services are also provided, with expertise covering licensing transactions, collaboration deals and portfolio acquisitions.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

TATA Chemicals Ltd.

Agfa Group of Companies

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd.

STEER Group of Companies

Guangdong OPPO Mobile Telecommunications Corp., Ltd.

Pine Labs

G4S Security

The Doon School

Aditya Birla Group

Corporate and M&A Tier 5

Obhan & Associates assists with different facets of corporate and M&A law, including sale of business undertakings, joint ventures, foreign direct investment and regulatory compliance. The team also provides commercial contract support to in-house counsel, and corporate advisory services. Adv Ashima Obhan QC, who heads the practice, further has significant experience in private equity and venture capital deals.

Practice head(s):

Key clients

Homage Ventures LLP

Penguin Random House India Private Limited

Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC

Metaphor Tradelinks Private Limited

Kristal Advisors (Sg) Pte. Ltd.

Synergistic Financial Networks Private Limited (through its brand Mosambee)

Verity Knowledge Solutions Private Limited

Harappa Learning Private Limited

Fortress Press

The Financial Times Limited

Mountain Valley Springs India Private Limited (through its brand Forest Essentials)

Obhan & Associates (O&A) is a reputed, skilled and professionally managed law firm with years of experience in IP and corporate law. With a team of highly qualified and experienced legal professionals, O&A offers a one-stop solution in IP and corporate law. The firm stands out for its approach towards understanding the requirements of a client and providing unique solutions with quick turn-around time.

O&A has a pan-India presence with offices situated at New Delhi, Pune and Bangalore, and advises a number of domestic and international clientele including some of India’s leading business houses. The firm has a well-balanced domestic and international clientele and represents a cross-section of industries, including fast-moving consumer goods, mechanical engineering, hardware and electronics, pharmaceuticals, software, apparel, packaging and retail, process engineering, fashion brands, automobiles and parts, paints and chemicals, magazines and publications and textiles. O&A’s varied client base includes individual inventors, start-up’s, universities and national and international corporations. O&A represents some of India’s leading business houses.

The firm prides itself on the diversity in its workplace and is committed to building a happy, balanced and supportive work environment. The firm has been ranked as the Best Law firm for Women in India (Vahura Best Law Firms to Work Rankings, 2018).

O&A has regularly been recognised as a leading practice in India by a number of international legal publications, including Chambers Asia Pacific, Managing Intellectual Property, Asialaw Profiles and The Legal 500 Asia Pacific. The firm has been recognised for its contribution to one of the impactful and notable matters of the year by Benchmark Litigation Asia-Pacific for the year 2020. The firm’s corporate M&A and private equity practices have been ranked as a ‘Recognised Firm for India’ by IFLR 1000 30th Edition, as well AsiaLaw 2021 rankings for media and entertainment, pharma and life sciences and corporate M&A practices. O&A’s managing partner, Essenese Obhan, has been recognised as leading lawyer for IP by various publication including Chamber Asia. The India Business Law Journal in its definitive list of the country’s top 100 private practice lawyers for the year 2018 has ranked Ashima Obhan, the head of the firm’s corporate law and M&A practice, as one of the top 100 lawyers in India. Chambers and Partners recognized Ashima Obhan and ‘Highly Commended’ her in the category of Private Practice (Individual) Generational Inclusion Lawyer of the Year 2020.

IP practice: O&A comprises professionals from diverse backgrounds, all of whom combine excellence in their areas of specialisation with a strong understanding of the Indian IP system. O&A’s IP team has skilled professionals experienced in prosecution and contentious proceedings before the various registries under the Intellectual Property Office, the Intellectual Property Appellate Board and courts all across the country. The IP team is qualified and has experience in the following technologies: mechanical, industrial, chemical, nanotechnology, biotech, electrical, electronics, software, telecoms and packaging. The IP team represents both domestic and international clients before the Trademark Office, the registrar of copyrights, the controller of designs, the Intellectual Property Appellate Board and the various courts in India.

Corporate law and M&A practice: O&A’s highly experienced corporate team provides a broad range of transactional and advisory services and prides itself on building personal relationships with its clients and providing a responsive, tailored service that will meet the specific needs of each of its clients.

The firm’s mergers and acquisitions team has experience and expertise in acting on complex, high-value, cross-border work as well as a range of smaller transactions. The firm advises on the full range of deal structures from public takeovers/ offers through to divestments, private transactions and demergers. O&A advise on structuring of investments, formation of Indian entities, joint ventures, asset purchases, acquisitions and divestments, due diligence and related regulatory approvals.

The firm has been actively advising its clients in the publishing industry on various aspects of Indian law such as author contracts, contracts granting options to buy film rights to certain books, licensing arrangements and more. The firm have been advising publishing houses on entry into the Indian market, the legal structure that best suits them as well as the periodic regulatory compliances that need to be undertaken. The team has been undertaking legal reviews of non-fiction manuscripts prior to their publication, and advising clients on the issues that may arise from the same such as defamation, sedition, hate speech, infringement of personality rights etc.

The firm represents its clients before various regulatory authorities such as the Foreign Investment Facilitation Portal (FIFP), National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Registrar of Companies (ROC), Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Securities & Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and other regulatory bodies.

Department Name Email Telephone
Intellectual Property Essenese Obhan email@obhans.com +91 11 40200200
Corporate Law Ashima Obhan ashima@obhans.com +91 11 40200200
Litigation Ashima Obhan ashima@obhans.com +91 11 40200200
Licensing Matters Ashima Obhan ashima@obhans.com +91 11 40200200
Photo Name Position Profile
Adv Aparna Kareer photo Adv Aparna Kareer Partner
Adv Essenese Obhan photo Adv Essenese Obhan Managing Partner
Adv Ashima Obhan photo Adv Ashima Obhan Partner
Adv Taarika Pillai  photo Adv Taarika Pillai Senior Associate
Adv Charul Yadav photo Adv Charul Yadav Partner
English
Fédération Internationale des Conseils en Propriété Intellectuelle (FICPI)
Asian Patent Attorneys Association (APAA)
International Trademarks Association (INTA)
German Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property (GRUR)
Association Internationale pour la Protection de la Propriété Intellectuelle (AIPPI)

CLIENT: Ms. Madhumita Rajan, Legal Head
COMPANY/FIRM: Penguin Random House India Private Limited
TESTIMONIAL: Penguin Random House India Pvt Ltd (PRHI) has had a long-standing association with Obhan & Associates, and we believe it is a skilled and professionally managed law firm with years of experience in IP and corporate law. PRHI has benefitted greatly from the firm’s team of qualified and experienced legal professionals. We have found Obhan and Associates very responsive and believe one of their key strengths is its ability to understand the client and its business and provide customised and unique solutions straddling multiple areas of law. We have in our experience found their advice to be well researched, incisive, and accurate.


CLIENT: Mr. Satish Padmanabhan, Joint Managing Director
COMPANY/FIRM: Steer Engineering Private Limited
TESTIMONIAL: STEER has known Obhan & Associates for over 12 years. Essenese Obhan is a knowledgeable, thoughtful attorney with whom we have had numerous technical discussions, including various IP matters that have been valuable to us. Over the years, we have come to appreciate his insights and inputs in building our patent portfolio. On our Corporate law needs, STEER is ably supported by the team led by Ashima. Every time we call on the Obhans, they are prompt and help resolve our legal challenges with utmost care and diligence. STEER considers Obhan & Associates to be highly trustworthy and ethical, and would not hesitate to contact Obhan & Associates on legal matters. STEER deeply appreciates the support and great service from Team Obhans and wishes Team Obhans the very best.


CLIENT: Mr. Samrath Bedi, CEO and Co-Founder
COMPANY/FIRM: Mountain Valley Springs India Private Limited (Forest Essentials)
TESTIMONIAL: Obhan & Associates have, in the last 2 years, provided Forest Essentials with legal support and advice on the full spectrum of commercial needs including leases, contracts with its suppliers, distributors, employees, company law advice and HR policies. In these Covid times, they have provided astute advice on issues that impact our business. Ashima Obhan is a thorough professional, knowledgeable, experienced, and intuitively understands business concerns. The competent corporate practice team has handled our diverse legal requirements with expertise, and we highly recommend them.


CLIENT: Ms. Sudha Kannan, Head – Knowledge Centre & Patent Cell
COMPANY/FIRM: Aditya Birla Science & Technology Company Private Limited
TESTIMONIAL: I have been using Obhan & Associates’ services for about a decade now for my organization. I have found the services to be excellent in nature and prompt. The team is dedicated and very supportive in case of urgent matters and helping the scientists in patent related matters. Even during the last few difficult months, I have found the team to be always available and guiding us through in a resourceful manner. Best wishes to Obhan & Associates.


CLIENT: Mr. Ramesh Kumar Verma, Senior Manager – IPR
COMPANY/FIRM: Tata Chemicals Limited
TESTIMONIAL: Obhan & Associates is comprehensive and leads on the full range of IP services. They have been excellent in providing client specific solutions in the area of Chemistry, Biotechnology and Engineering. The key advantage of the team is the quality of work done and quick turn-around. Obhan & Associates has been instrumental in strategizing and supporting us in various FTO and infringement related challenges we encountered in the recent past. In nutshell you can blindly rely upon Obhan & Associates “opinion”.


 Gunning for the GodmanThe Firm advised and represented HarperCollins Publishers India Private Limited in vacating an ex-parte injunction order obtained against the book “Gunning for the Godman: The True Story Behind Asaram Bapu’s Conviction”. The injunction order was passed in relation to an application by the plaintiff, Sanchita Gupta (Shilpiwhich averred that the book contained defamatory statements. The Delhi High Court lifted the injunction order and permitted HarperCollins to publish the book along with a disclaimer. Sanchita filed an appeal against this vacation order, which was dismissed by the Supreme Court of India on November 6, 2020. 

 STEER Engineering Private Limited Vs. GlaxoSmithKlineThe matter commenced with a petition filed by Steer under Section 9 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 before the Delhi High court, seeking protection of its intellectual property rights, know-how and confidential information, involved in the transfer of Horlicks division of GSK to Unilever. After Steer was granted interim protection from the Delhi High Court, the matter was escalated to arbitration under the SIAC Rules wherein Steer claimed damages for breach of contract by GSK. Steer also filed an emergency arbitration application and was successful in obtaining an emergency arbitration award in its favour. Steer filed a suit against GSK companies before the Bangalore City Civil Court, seeking an injunction to protect Steer’s intellectual property rights and confidential information, that had been disclosed in a patent application filed by affiliates of SmithKline Beecham Limited. Steer also filed an intervention application before the NCLT to intervene in the merger application filed by GSK India on the grounds of statutory non-compliance by GSK entities. The Firm represented Steerfiled various pleadings on behalf of Steer and represented Steer in the eventual settlement. 

 CreditEnable TransactionCreditEnable, named as one of the ‘Most Influential Financial Technology Companies’ is a global, AI driven SME credit marketplace. The Firm represented Aditya Ghosh on his investment in CreditEnable as well as his entry as a member of Credit Enable’s Global Advisory Board. The transaction involved the issuance of equity shares of CreditEnable to Mr. Aditya Ghosh as well as provision of consultancy services by Aditya Ghosh to help ramp up the activities of CreditEnable, especially in India. The Firm helped structure the proposed investment and reviewed the definitive agreements involved 

 Speciality – Homage Ventures LLP TransactionThe Firm represented Homage in relation to the incorporation of an overseas Joint Venture (JV) with Speciality Hospitality UK Limited. Homage and Speciality incorporated Caterland Hospitality Limited to establish and operate an Indian restaurant in London. Speciality is a wholly owned subsidiary of Speciality Restaurants Limited (India), that owns and operates multiple chains like  Mainland China, Oh! Calcutta, Sigree. The scope of work involved drafting, negotiating and finalizing the joint venture agreement, advising on applicable Indian law, and liaising with a UK Law firm to understand English law requirements.  

 Application for Restoration of Patent: The Firm successfully represented Rubicon Research Pty Ltd. (Patentee) to restore their patent that that lapsed due the negligence of previous patent agents. Patentee failed to pay the renewal fee in time for patent no. 202639 due to the negligence of its earlier agents on record nor did it file an application for restoration of the patent within the time period of 18 months available.. The patent hence lapsed. Our Firm filed an application at the Indian Patent Office for restoration of patent, which was rejected by the Indian Patent Office. Upon appeal at the IPAB, our appeal against the order was accepted and the Patent is now restored. This case has set of precedent for allowing restoration of a patent, which lapsed due to attorney’s negligence, even after the time period of 18 months. 

 Trademark Enforcement- G4S Plc. and G4S India: The Firm represents G4S Plc. a world renowned security services company, in advising them on their portfolio and weeding out potential infringers. The Firm has been successful in enforcing the well-established brand names owned by G4S Plc. Third parties adopt deceptively similar trademarks to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill accrued over the years . The Firm has been successful in identifying and taking civil action, via trademark infringement suits as well as oppositions, against parties attempting to dilute G4S Plc.’s trademarks and ensuring they do not ride on the hard-earned reputation and goodwill. 


Obhan & Associates strongly believes in diversity in the team and recognizes the efficacy and strength inherent in a more diverse team. The firm has actively promoted hiring of women employees and the team has always had at least 50% women employees. Obhan & Associates not only believes in hiring women but also ensures that they reach their full potential, which is indicative from the fact that 3 out of 4 partners at the firm are women. We have flexible work policies for all our employees, not just women, that include work from home options and options to work on specific projects for a defined period. Consequently, the Firm was awarded with the Best Law Firm for Women in 2018, award by the Vahura – Best Law Firms to Work Rankings 2018.

In addition to their focus on gender equality, Obhan & Associates and its partners, especially Essenese Obhan, periodically dedicate time and resources on pro bono matters. The firm has provided legal aid to those with a meagre sources of income and has also taken initiative to work with students from IIT, Delhi including drafting and filing their trademark and patent applications as well as drafting and negotiating the commercial agreements that they propose to enter into with third parties. Furthermore, the firm is the lead sponsor for a patent drafting course (FICPI-SEAD course) and encourages knowledge building, training exercises as well as sessions for individual inventors and start-ups through its Think Wings Initiative. Obhan & Associates has also taken an initiative in promoting local art/artists as a recognition of their value addition to the society.

Obhan & Associates is led by open-minded leaders, Ms. Ashima Obhan in particular. She ensures her team’s success and to keep the motivation alive, she provides flexible work policies to the team concerning working hours, office timings, etc. She has been promoting the culture of working from home in cases of a family crisis or health issues. She has encouraged female team members to have flexible hours, in order to sync work schedules with childcare responsibilities, without compromising on work quality.

Obhan & Associates has always been committed to an inclusive and diverse workplace. The firm remains committed to recruiting and supporting diverse candidates and promoting diversity.


1) Gunning for the Godman: The Firm advised and represented HarperCollins Publishers India Private Limited in vacating an ex-parte injunction order obtained against the book “Gunning for the Godman: The True Story Behind Asaram Bapu’s Conviction”. The injunction order was passed in relation to an application by the plaintiff, Sanchita Gupta (Shilpi) which averred that the book contained defamatory statements. The Delhi High Court lifted the injunction order and permitted HarperCollins to publish the book along with a disclaimer. Sanchita filed an appeal against this vacation order, which was dismissed by the Supreme Court of India on November 6, 2020.

2) STEER Engineering Private Limited Vs. GlaxoSmithKline: The matter commenced with a petition filed by Steer under Section 9 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 before the Delhi High court, seeking protection of its intellectual property rights, know-how and confidential information, involved in the transfer of Horlicks division of GSK to Unilever. After Steer was granted interim protection from the Delhi High Court, the matter was escalated to arbitration under the SIAC Rules wherein Steer claimed damages for breach of contract by GSK. Steer also filed an emergency arbitration application and was successful in obtaining an emergency arbitration award in its favour. Steer filed a suit against GSK companies before the Bangalore City Civil Court, seeking an injunction to protect Steer’s intellectual property rights and confidential information, that had been disclosed in a patent application filed by affiliates of SmithKline Beecham Limited. Steer also filed an intervention application before the NCLT to intervene in the merger application filed by GSK India on the grounds of statutory non-compliance by GSK entities. The Firm represented Steer, filed various pleadings on behalf of Steer and represented Steer in the eventual settlement.

3) CreditEnable Transaction:  CreditEnable, named as one of the ‘Most Influential Financial Technology Companies’ is a global, AI driven SME credit marketplace. The Firm represented Aditya Ghosh on his investment in CreditEnable as well as his entry as a member of Credit Enable’s Global Advisory Board. The transaction involved the issuance of equity shares of CreditEnable to Mr. Aditya Ghosh as well as provision of consultancy services by Aditya Ghosh to help ramp up the activities of CreditEnable, especially in India. The Firm helped structure the proposed investment and reviewed the definitive agreements involved.

4)   Speciality – Homage Ventures LLP Transaction: The Firm represented Homage in relation to the incorporation of an overseas Joint Venture (JV) with Speciality Hospitality UK Limited. Homage and Speciality incorporated Caterland Hospitality Limited to establish and operate an Indian restaurant in London. Speciality is a wholly owned subsidiary of Speciality Restaurants Limited (India), that owns and operates multiple chains like Mainland China, Oh! Calcutta, Sigree. The scope of work involved drafting, negotiating and finalizing the joint venture agreement, advising on applicable Indian law, and liaising with a UK Law firm to understand English law requirements.

5) Application for Restoration of Patent: The Firm successfully represented Rubicon Research Pty Ltd. (Patentee) to restore their patent that that lapsed due the negligence of previous patent agents. Patentee failed to pay the renewal fee in time for patent no. 202639 due to the negligence of its earlier agents on record nor did it file an application for restoration of the patent within the time period of 18 months available.. The patent hence lapsed. Our Firm filed an application at the Indian Patent Office for restoration of patent, which was rejected by the Indian Patent Office. Upon appeal at the IPAB, our appeal against the order was accepted and the Patent is now restored. This case has set of precedent for allowing restoration of a patent, which lapsed due to attorney’s negligence, even after the time period of 18 months.

6) Trademark Enforcement- G4S Plc. and G4S India: The Firm represents G4S Plc. a world renowned security services company, in advising them on their portfolio and weeding out potential infringers. The Firm has been successful in enforcing the well-established brand names owned by G4S Plc. Third parties adopt deceptively similar trademarks to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill accrued over the years . The Firm has been successful in identifying and taking civil action, via trademark infringement suits as well as oppositions, against parties attempting to dilute G4S Plc.’s trademarks and ensuring they do not ride on the hard-earned reputation and goodwill.