Obhan & Associates > New Delhi, India > Firm Profile

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

Intellectual property Tier 2

Essenese Obhan, who is the managing partner of Obhan & Associates, is a also a patent attorney with a mechanical engineering degree. He has particular expertise in the areas of technology, software, telecoms, agriculture/plant varieties, and pharmaceuticals. His work ranges from patent prosecution to disputes and litigation in a range of tribunals and courts. Aparna Kareer heads the patent filing and prosecution work and has a focus on biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and nanotechnology, and patent attorney Charul Yadav's expertise includes life sciences and biodiversity; she routinely assists clients with the protection of their global patent portfolios. Taarika Pillai has broad trade mark experience ranging from trade mark portfolio management to infringement and passing off actions, often part of the team acting for well-known brand owners. The firm is notable for being made up of 50% or more women and on corporate responsibility; it provides a range of pro bono advice, promotes local artists and donates computers to assist underprivileged children to take online classes.

Practice head(s):

Key clients

TATA Chemicals

AGFA Group of Companies

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries

Steer Group of Companies

Pine Labs

Aditya Birla Group of companies

G4S Plc. And G4S Security Solutions (India) Pvt. Ltd.

The Doon School

OnePlus Technology (Shenzhen) Co. Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Representing Pine Labs in a patent infringement suit in the FinTech space before the Bangalore High Court and was able to successfully modify an ex-parte ad-interim injunction in the matter.
  • Representing G4S Plc., a leading security services company, before the High Court of Delhi in various disputes with third party infringers.
  • Advised TechSmith Corporation in challenging the infringement claims and validity of Mr. Srikrishna Talluri’s patent but also filed a counterclaim in the matter seeking revocation of Mr. Talluri’s patent.

India > Corporate and M&A Tier 5

Obhan & Associates‘s extensive network of IP and data protection experts lends itself to corporate and commercial activity in publishing, media and other IP-rich sectors. Furthermore, practice head Ashima Obhan advises on joint ventures, M&A, strategic investments and contract negotiations for clients in the industrial, manufacturing, FMCG and financial services.

Practice head(s):

Key clients

Buzil-WerkWagnerGmbh& Co. Kg

Steer Engineering Private Limited

Homage Ventures LLP

HarperCollins Publishers India Private Limited

Mountain Valley Springs India Private Limited (Forest Essentials)

SMEC (India) Private Limited

The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) South

Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC

New Era Industries

Euler Motors Private Limited

Indian Energy Exchange Limited

Penguin Random House India Limited

SITAC Group

ARC Craft Exports Private Limited

Synergystic Financial Network Private Limited

Oktober 6 Insight Private Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for STEER in a transaction where it provided an exit to its investors, Vistra ITCL (India) Limited.
  • Acted for HarperCollins and was successful in vacating an injunction that restrained the sale of the book Gunning for the Godman, an account of the capture of Asaram Bapu.
  • Advised Buzilin on its sale of its 40% (forty percent) stake in Buzil-Rossari to Rossari.

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. The firm has a well-balanced domestic and international clientele and represents a cross-section of industries. O&A’s varied client base includes leading business houses, individual inventors, start-up’s, universities and national and international corporations.

The firm prides itself on the diversity in its workplace and is committed to building a happy and supportive work environment. The firm has been ranked as the Best Law firm for Women in India by Vahura.

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. The firm has in 2020 been recognised by Benchmark Litigation Asia-Pacific for its contribution to one of the most impactful and notable matters. The firm’s corporate practice has have been ranked in the category of ‘Recognised Firm for India’ by IFLR 1000 31st Edition. The AsiaLaw 2022 rankings also recognize the media & entertainment, pharma & life sciences, intellectual property and corporate M&A practices of the firm. 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 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. Asian Legal Business recognized Ashima Obhan as one of India’s top TMT / Fintech Lawyers.

IP practice: O&A comprises of 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 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 clients before the patent office, trademark office, the registrar of copyrights, the controller of designs and the various courts in India.

Members of the firm periodically dedicate time and resources on pro bono matters. The firm is a lead sponsor for a patent drafting course (SEAD) and encourages knowledge building and training exercises. O&A has been investing and conducting industry specific workshops and sessions for individual inventors and start-ups, apprising them of the various nuances of gaining IP rights, etc. The firm has also been working with students from IIT, Delhi and drafting and filing their trademark and patent applications as well as drafting and negotiating the commercial agreements that they propose to enter with third parties.

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 advises 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 team has been undertaking legal reviews of nonfiction 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.

DepartmentNameEmailTelephone
Intellectual Property Essenese Obhanemail@obhans.com+91 11 40200200
Corporate Law Ashima Obhanashima@obhans.com+91 11 40200200
Litigation Ashima Obhanashima@obhans.com+91 11 40200200
Licensing Matters Ashima Obhanashima@obhans.com+91 11 40200200
PhotoNamePositionProfile
Ms Aparna Kareer photo Ms Aparna KareerPartner; Patent, Design, Plant Variety Protection and Biological Diversity
Mr Essenese Obhan photo Mr Essenese ObhanManaging Partner; Patent, Trademark, Copyright, Design, Plant Variety Protection and Litigation 
Ms Ashima Obhan photo Ms Ashima ObhanSenior Partner, Corporate Law and M&A
Ms Vrinda Patodia  photo Ms Vrinda Patodia Partner
Ms Taarika Pillai  photo Ms Taarika Pillai Partner; Trademarks & Copyrights 
Ms Charul Yadav photo Ms Charul YadavPartner; Patent and Plant Variety Protection and Biological Diversity
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: 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.