Swathi Sukumar

Year called






Swathi Sukumar is an intellectual property lawyer, based in New Delhi, India. She studied law first at NALSAR University of Law, India, and then at Columbia Law School, graduating with an LLM with Honors.

Swathi has dealt with a wide variety of intellectual property disputes before various courts and tribunals in India.

Prominent among these was a case brought by publishers against a University in India, seeking to prevent photocopying of materials for use in the course of instruction. Swathi represented a group of scholars and academics against the publishers, seeking the right to photocopy academic material for teaching purposes, in light of the specific exceptions under the Copyright Act. The case resulted in landmark concurring judgments of the Delhi High Court on the interpretation of the “education exception” in the Copyright Act.

Swathi has also represented authors and composers before the Supreme Court of India in a multi-stakeholder dispute surrounding a claim for public performance royalties. In 2017, she was counsel in the first case in India involving the exclusion of plants and life forms from patentability, and in the first case involving infringement of standard essential patents, pertaining to video technology.

In 2011, she co-founded iProbono India, which provides pro bono legal assistance to individuals and civil society organizations in India, through its network of lawyers.  As of July 2017, iProbono India had provided legal assistance to over 30 children who have suffered sexual abuse. iProbono also assists other vulnerable groups in securing access to justice.

Swathi is a court-appointed mediator for trademark matters. She was recently given the “India-Deals of the Year” award by the India Business Law Journal for her work on technology licensing, alongwith a Singapore law firm.

Swathi is the co-author of the India Chapter, Global Patent Litigation Handbook, published by Mathew Bender & Co. in 2008. She is also the Co-author of the India Chapter in the Patent Litigation Reference Series, published by European Lawyer Ltd in 2007.