Sheja Ehtesham is an Intellectual Property attorney at ALG whose practice focuses on trademarks, service marks, trade dress, trade names, domain names, industrial designs, also copyrights and confidential information.
She has responsibility for the trademark and design portfolios of several multinationals and Fortune 500 companies across range of industries, including the pharmaceutical, hospitality, home appliances and media & entertainment. Described in 2020’s WTR 1000 rankings as “extremely responsive and pragmatic”, Sheja works with closely with clients to obtain, protect and enforce their trademarks and designs.
Sheja has experience in international portfolio management, including pre-filing clearances and availability searches, helping clients devise global filing strategies that align with their business requirements. Enforcing and defending intellectual property in oppositions, cancellations and appeals before the Trademark Office, the Designs Office, the Copyright Office, NIXI (National Internet Exchange of India), and the IPAB (Intellectual Property Appellate Board) are other areas of expertise. She has also successfully represented several domestic and international clients in domain name administrative proceedings under the INDRP and UDRP.
She advises clients in strategizing negotiations carried out with adversaries and on structuring successful and profitable settlements. She advises clients on intellectual property transactional issues and has experience in drafting, reviewing, and counseling clients on IP license and assignment agreements, franchising agreements, co-branding agreements, distributorship agreements, joint-venture agreements, strategic alliance projects, coexistence and consent agreements, and rights re-structuring agreements and activities.
She assists clients in devising effective enforcement strategies, which include conducting investigations, drafting and issuing Legal Notices, conducting raids with local officials, and registering IP rights with custom authorities. She has been involved in enforcement actions involving infringement and passing off, piracy, unauthorised use, falsification of trademarks, misappropriation of confidential information, breach of confidentiality, misrepresentation, unfair trade and anti-competitive practices, etc. She has experience in litigation pertaining to trademark infringement and passing off, trade name disputes, false advertising, trademark dilution, trademark debasement, domain name disputes and piracy of designs and copyrights. She assists and advises clients in lawsuit strategy and preparing for various activities at different stages of litigation.
She currently serves as Co-Chair of the INTA Bulletin Asia Pacific Subcommittee, and is also on INTA’s India Roundtable Project Team. She has previously served as an editor of The Trademark Reporter, the world’s only peer-reviewed, scholarly journal dedicated to trademark law and related topics internationally. In recognition of her contributions to trademark law and to the association, INTA did a volunteer spotlight article on Sheja in 2016.
She has been invited as a speaker and India expert at various national and international fora, and her articles frequently feature in the INTA Bulletin, and as part of International practice-oriented white papers and reports.
Licenses, Accreditations, Internships & Education
- Advocate, Bar Council of Karnataka
- Judicial Clerkship with Hon’ble Justice Mr. Aftab Alam, Supreme Court of India
- B.A. LL.B. (Hons.), National Academy of Legal Studies and Research (NALSAR), Hyderabad.
- Diploma in Advanced Intellectual Property Laws, Oklahoma University, USA
- Internship with Office of Technology Transfer, National Institutes of Health, Maryland USA
Recognition, Awards, Citations & Mentions
- Described as “extremely responsive and pragmatic” in World Trademark Review’s WTR 1000 rankings, 2020
- ‘India Managing Partner of the Year’ – Finalist, 2018, Asian Legal Business (ALB)
- ‘Most Influential Women in Trademark & Design Law’, 2018, AI’s 2018 Global Excellence Awards
- ‘Trademark & Design Lawyer of the Year in India’, 2018, ACQ Global Awards
- Interviewed by (International Trademark Association) INTA Bulletin as part of its Spotlight Series, 2016
Publications & Submissions
- ‘INDIA: Delhi High Court Rules Color Red for Shoe Soles Not a Trademark’, (International Trademark Association) INTA Bulletin, 2018
- India Chapter of Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO) White paper ‘Protection of Graphic Logo Trade Marks Around the World – Copyright or Trade Mark Enforcement? An International Survey of Twenty Countries’, 2017
- India Chapter of Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO) White paper ‘Shape Trademarks – An International Perspective’, 2015
- ‘Indian Affidavits of Use: A Tool for Effective Trademark Prosecution and Enforcement’, (International Trademark Association) INTA Bulletin Vol. 66 No.19, November 1, 2011 (with Andrew Price & Rebecca Liebowitz)
- ‘Case Comment on Brajnandan Sinha Versus Jyoti Narain (AIR 1956 SC 66)’, All India Reporter (AIR) 2010
- ‘Patents Patents Everywhere, No Revenue in Sight!’, SpicyIP.com, August 9, 2009
- ‘A Critical Analysis of the Indian Policy on Seeds – Bane or Boon?’, SpicyIP.com, August 3, 2009 (with Nirajan Mansingh)
- ‘Conflicting Interests in Drug Pricing: Innovation v. Social Needs’, 94(2) CURRENT SCIENCE 168, January 25, 2008 (with Nirajan Mansingh)
Speaking Engagements & Related Events
- Speaker on ‘Brand Protection and Enforcement Strategies’ in (Associated Chambers of Commerce of India) ASSOCHAM’s Conference on Building the Best Innovative India organised jointly with Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), Government of India, 2020
- Speaker on ‘Compulsory Licensing in the Age of COVID-19’ international webinar presented by The Women in IP Network, 2020
- Speaker on ‘Graphic Logo Marks – Intersections Between Copyright & Trademarks’ international chat channel presented by Intellectual Property Owners’ Association (IPO), 2019
- Speaker on ‘Trademarks & Counterfeits’ on invitation from Niti Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission and the Government of India’s CIPAM as part of Live Facebook Series, 2018
- Speaker on ‘Biologics and Pharmaceutical IP’ by special invitation to the BioAsia International Conference, 2018
- Moderated Table Topic on “Clearing Pharmaceutical Trademarks: Practical Insights”, (International Trademark Association) INTA Annual Meeting, 2015
- Invited by IPO (Intellectual Property Owners Association) as India-Expert and Panelist in Session on Shape Trademarks in IPO Annual Meeting, 2015
- Invited by IPO (Intellectual Property Owners Association) as India-Expert and Panelist in Session on Bad Faith Trademarks in IPO Annual Meeting, 2013
Boards, Committees, Trusts & Positions
- Serves as Chair of the International Trademark Association (INTA) Bulletin Asia Pacific Subcommittee, 2020 – 2021
- Served as Editor, The Trademark Reporter, published by INTA (International Trademark Association), 2016 – 2017
- Serves on India Roundtable Project Team of International Trademark Association (INTA) India Roundtable Project Team, 2020 – 2021
- Serves on the International Trademark Law & Practice Committee of the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO), 2020 – 2021
Affiliations, Memberships & Participations
- Member, Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA)
- Member, High Court of Delhi Bar Association (DHCBA)
- Member, India International Centre (IIC)
- Member, International Trademark Association (INTA)
- Member, MARQUES
- Member, International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property (AIPPI)
- Member, Pharmaceutical Trade Marks Group (PTMG)
- Member, Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO)