Sunita K Sreedharan’s SKS Law Associates redefines the tenets of Intellectual Property services across India and beyond
In today’s disruptive business environment, the word ‘innovation’ serves as an anchor that helps businesses sail through breakneck competition. To ink their name with success, businesses need to gain competitive edge. They work rigorously to innovate and create; and, this makes way for the development of intellectual assets to their credit. Businesses rely upon these assets to a great extent for achieving assured success. These IP assets aid them in maintaining consistent quality as well as market products and services to consumers towards fulfilling their expectations and nurture a long term relationship with them. Hence, it holds utmost significance for businesses to take care of their intellectual property. As businesses predominantly invest in Research & Development nowadays, they need to protect the manufacturing secrets or other useful information for sustenance. In line with that, they must be well aware about the intellectual property system and its laws; also, they need toleverage it effectively as a business strategy.
SKS Law Associates emerges as one of the most influential names in the panorama of Intellectual Property services in India. This professional firm is a home to expert lawyers and patent agents and offers integrated services in the area of intellectual property law to Indian and foreign clients. These attorneys bring with thema rich background in chemistry, plant sciences, biotechnology, electronics and telecommunications. This empowers the team with the adroitness and the expertise to tackle matters concerning specialized fields such as pharmaceuticals, phytotherapeutics, agri-chemicals, plant breeding and crop genetics, medical technologies, alternate energy systems, electronincs, telecommunications, robotics and artificial intelligence and many more.
SKS’ exclusive portfolio covers a broad spectrum of specialized services including contentious and non-contentious work relating to patents, trademarks, copyright, industrial designs, geographical indications and plant variety protection. In addition, the firm also advises on licensing & technology transfer, protection of trade secrets and biodiversity related issues. Some services such as IP Audits and Competitive Intelligence (CI) are offered to specific clientele. SKS’ law practice is enabled with customised file management software which ensures efficient and high quality prosecution, litigation and licensing services in the area of patent, design, copyright, trademark and geographical indications.
The proficiency and skillfulness of SKS’ team have been entrusted not only by a large number of corporate entities but also by public authorities. With its peerless legal and scientific acumen, the team stands tall among the rest of the players in the market. It boasts a rich clientele that encompasses clients from all over India as well as international clients.Some of its corporate clients are Stryker Instruments, Stryker Global Technology Center, MSD Welcome Trust Hillemen Laboratories Pvt. Ltd., Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham. Sunita K Sreedharan has been the Advisor to the Chairperson of Plant Variety Authority worked for the Ministry of Environment and has conducted trainings for the Department of Industrial Policy &Promotion. It has been closely involved in the policy work relating to the protection of traditional knowledge and takes the credit of drafting a law as a member of a core team.
SKS started its journey in 2007 with the sole vision of assisting businesses with the creation of intellectual property and its effective management in the prevailing and evolving Indian & international IP regime. The firm is based in Delhi. It was established by Ms. Sunita K Sreedharan, a seasoned lawyer and a patent agent whose entire experience involves practicing in the High Courts and the Intellectual Property Offices in India. She earned her LL.B. From the School of Law, Cochin University of Science & Technology, Kerala where she was awarded Gold Medal for topping the exams and late went on to earn her LL.M from the George Washington University Law School, Washington DC, USA where she was awarded the Thomas Buergenthal Scholarship.
With her insightful vision, she could identify the gaps prevailing in the IP services landscape in India. She found that most of the practices in India are directed to either the filing or prosecution of IP, or litigation… She realized that there was a strong need to focus on another aspect of IP management which involves taking a portfolio of IP assets and creating economic benefits through portfolio management; integration of IP into business strategy and maximizing the value of IP. This realization stimulated the spirit of entrepreneurship in her and paved way for the inception of SKS Law Associates.
SKS’ robust portfolio is developed to address clients’ specific needs and it aims to serve as a backbone to the clients’ business by helping them create, maintain and optimize their IPR Portfolio as per their business perspective. Here’s a glimpse of the key highlights of the service portfolio:
- Advisory services – advisory services on all forms of intellectual property and the applications; can be engaged on a nominal retainership or on case to case basis; advisory services are offered for issues listed below:
- File one or more application for patent or any other intellectual property such as trademarks, copyrights, industrial designs, geographical indications, plant variety, semiconductor layout applications etc.
- Proceed for litigation
- Enter new jurisdiction with a given form of intellectual property
- Protection of trade dress, trade secrets and confidential information
- Biodiversity related issues under the Biological Diversity Act etc.
- Prosecution – a team of trained patent agents, analysts and lawyers with subject matter expertise capable of handling a wide range of technology;major services includeprior art searches, patentability opinion as well as drafting, filing and prosecution of applications in India and abroad.
- IP Management and Licensing – assistance is provided in negotiating and drafting Technology Transfer / Licence / Assignment (IP acquisition) agreements of IP portfolios; services for freedom to operate searches, legal opinion, and due diligence on IP matters pre acquisition
- Litigation – in High Courts of Delhi, Mumbai, Himachal Pradesh, Allahabad and Madras, Arbitration, IPAB, and at the Intellectual Property Offices before the Controller of Patents and Designs, Registrar of Trade Marks, Registrar of Copyrights, Registrar GI and before the National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) and State Biodiversity Boards (SBBs). The first and only case on Business Method patent application was successfully fought by Ms. Sreedharan at the Patent Office, then at the Madras High Court and finally at the IPAB.
For its extraordinary capabilities and excellent performance, SKS has been recommended by globally reputed law journals namely LEGAL 500, Indian Lawyer 250 and IAM Patent 1000 for many consecutive years since its incorporation. Also, it has been shining as a star in ‘Managing Intellectual Property World IP survey rankings since 2012. SKS won Corporate INTL GLOBAL AWARDS for the year 2010 and the firm was enlisted as one of the IBLJ Top 50 Indian Law Firms in 2013. SKS is also the recipient of the ‘MEDCON 2016 Healthcare Legal Consultants Of The Year’ Award.
The Inspiration behind the Success
Sunita K Sreedharan, Founder& CEO of SKS Law Associates, is a seasoned law professional and a dignitary. She represents clients before the Patent Office, High Courts, IPAB, and National Biodiversity Authority and in Arbitration. She has many successful cases to her credit and is well-known for the first and only business method litigation before the Patent Office, Madras High Court and the IPAB.
She has been a WIPO resource person for the Training the Trainer Programme on IP Asset Management by Entrepreneurs, Micro-enterprises & SMEs.
Sunita has been a ‘Temporary Advisor’ to the World Health Organization on a number of matters including the examination of health related legislations of India pertaining to the effective implementation of International Health Regulations 2005. The study was presented at the WHO – South East Asian Regional Conference at Yangon, Myanmar in April 2013. Besides she has advised the Royal Government of Bhutan on the implementation of International Health Regulations. In 2014-15, Sunita prepared the Draft National Health Law for the Ministry of Health, the Royal Government of Bhutan.
She was also commissioned by the WHO to examine how international and national covenants and legislations impact access to bio-resources and/ or traditional knowledge/ traditional medicine and protection of bio-resources under the PPV& FR Act and Patents Act for bio-resources-based medicines and medicine research.
A well known author for a number of articles, Sunita’s article in Express Pharma on “Section 3(d): Speedbreaker or safety net for Indian pharma?” was made compulsory reading in LLM Programme of the University of North Carolina School of Law for a number of years. Her book “An Introduction to Intellectual Asset Management” adorns a number of libraries and is recommended reading for LLM Student in a number of Law Schools. More recently she appeared as a Panel member on National Television panel discussions on the National IPR Policy accessible at : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AdolSBbnURc
She was the Legal Advisor to the first Chairperson of the Plant Variety Authority and was empanelled on the Central Technology Management Committee of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR). She has been involved in the drafting of the Rules on the Management of Traditional Knowledge under the Biological Diversity laws for the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India. Also, her name is listed in Marquis Who’s Who. Nominated as “IP Woman of the Year 2008” at Brussels, Sunita has been recently honored as one among the ‘Top 100 Powerful Women in Law’.