Spice Route Legal is a technology, media and telecommunications (TMT), intellectual property and data-focused firm. It was established in 2016 and has offices in Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi and Kochi. The litigation, dispute resolution and risk mitigation practice of the full-service firm experienced robust growth in the past year and it now accounts for 20% of the firm’s total revenue. The team provides the full range of transactional and non-transactional legal services to clients within its industry verticals and has rapidly risen in prominence as a technology player in the market. It offers specialist litigation and pre-litigation services for all things TMT and IP, and for employment law, corporate governance and shareholder disputes. The firm recently was boosted by the joining of life sciences and patent disputes specialist, Adithya Jayaraj from K&S Partners.
The key figures within the team for disputes are partners Mathew Chacko and Praveen Raju.
In a recent matter that highlights the firm’s cross-jurisdictional expertise in niche spaces, the team is assisting Singapore-based healthcare company Esco Micro on a joint venture agreement dispute with its Indian entity, Esco Biotech. The matter spans claims of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duties by a director, intellectual property infringement, and a claim of oppression and mismanagement.
In another noteworthy case, the firm continues to represent plaintiff Milaap, a crowdfunding platform, against internet giant Google. Milaap claimed that Google was using its adwords search to direct its traffic to a competitor, Impact Guru. The Spice Route team, led by Chacko, sought the first-of-its-kind injunction against Google and Impact Guru from passing off the mark ‘Milaap’ by using it in its web address and keywords.
The firm is also working with Indian company Neogen Chemicals, defending it in a trademark infringement suit filed by US-based Neogen Corporation. The latter claimed its company had a significant trans-border reputation within India and that the client was passing off the trademark as its own. Spice Route claimed that the Indian entity had a much wider market presence and therefore there were no grounds for passing off the Neogen mark in India. The outcome of this matter would act as a significant precedent in determining the geographical limitations of trademark usage and lay down the criterion for what can actually be stated as ‘passing off’ a trademark.
Other key clients are Axio Biosolutions, Cattleya Technosys, SimpliFI Softech India, SunEdison Energy India and Teaxpress.