For nearly two decades, Sheila Swaroop has served as a passionate advocate and formidable litigator representing businesses of all sizes, ranging from small, fast-growing companies to major, established brands and market leaders. Her industry experience and technological know-how is extensive, and includes life sciences, pharmaceuticals, medical and dental devices, and consumer goods. A registered patent attorney, Sheila advises on pre-litigation strategy and enforcement, as well as the litigation of disputes through trial and appeal in district court, the International Trade Commission (ITC) and the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB).
Regardless of the size or complexity of the dispute, Sheila’s dedication to devising the right approach to problem-solving, either on attack or defense, has resulted in a favorable track record of success both in and out of court. Sheila understands how the court system works as both a litigator and having previously worked for a judge. She is personally committed to “the win,” and feels a sense of ownership in achieving the right result for her clients.
Tenacious and responsive, Sheila makes a point of knowing the facts and details of every claim in order to create an advantage for her clients. Because she has served as both plaintiff’s and defendant’s counsel, Sheila offers a holistic point of view when identifying the strengths and weaknesses of a case and then presenting the most effective argument. Because her client’s business objectives ultimately drive the litigation strategy, Sheila is reasonable, and her approach to advocacy and negotiation supports the settlement process if and when appropriate.
Sheila’s litigation skills are demonstrated by her tangible experience before the International Trade Commission (ITC). When representing the patent owner, Sheila was able to block an infringing competitor’s products from entering the U.S. for her client, one of the world’s largest dental implant manufacturers. On defense, Sheila helped to obtain dismissal of an ITC case prior to trial on behalf of a medical device client. Sheila’s ability to manage complex litigation issues on an expedited time frame are supported by her first-hand knowledge of the unique rules, regulations and procedural aspects of the ITC.
Sheila is a founding member and current President of the Howard T. Markey Intellectual Property Inn of Court. In addition, she previously served as a member of the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference, a board member of the Orange County chapter of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers, and a former President of the South Asian Bar Association of Southern California.
- Law clerk to the Honorable Saundra Brown Armstrong, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, 1999-2000
- Judicial extern to the Honorable Gary L. Taylor, U.S. District Court, Central District of California, 1997
- Recognized as a "World IP Leader" by World Intellectual Property Review (WIPR) (2023)
- Named one of "The World's Leading Patent Professionals" for Litigation in the Patent 1000 guide by Intellectual Asset Management (IAM) magazine (2023). In the 2023 guide, Sheila was described as "an experienced and accomplished litigator. She advocates clearly, concisely, objectively and effectively, and has an excellent knowledge of the law and litigation strategy. Sheila is calm under pressure and applies an open, collaborative and pragmatic approach to her work."
- Recognized by The Legal 500 "United States" for Patent Litigation (2023)
- Selected by peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® for her work in intellectual property litigation (2018 - 2022, 2024) and patent litigation (2023 - 2024)
- Recipient of the “2023 Asian Leadership Award” by Profiles in Diversity Journal®
- Selected for inclusion in the 2017 - 2021 "Southern California Super Lawyers" lists for her work in intellectual property litigation by Super Lawyers magazine
- Named a 2018, 2022 and 2023 "Life Science Star" for Patent Litigation in the Legal Media Group's (LMG) "LMG Life Sciences" Guide
- Named to the Daily Journal's list of 2017 "Top IP Lawyers in California"
- Named one of the "Top Women Attorneys in Southern California" by Super Lawyers from 2012 to 2015
- Consistently named as one of Southern California's "Rising Stars" in intellectual property law in yearly surveys of her peers published by the Los Angeles magazine and Super Lawyers magazine (2005-2016)
Sheila Swaroop and Jonathan Bachand, Issue Preclusion at the ITC: New Developments for Trademark-Based Claims, Knobbe Martens Firm Alert (August 2019)
Sheila Swaroop and Jonathan Bachand, "Four New Rules at the ITC That Patent Litigators Need to Know," Knobbe Martens Litigation Blog (June 2018)
Sheila Swaroop and Kaitlin Heinen, "Recent Trends in ANDA Litigation," Pharmaphorum (December 2016).
"Intellectual Property Issues Under the Trans-Pacific Partnership," Orange County Business Journal (November 2015) and Biosimilar Development (December 2015).
"Boundaries of BPCIA Patent Exchange Get Tested in Court," The Recorder (May 2015).
Sheila Swaroop and Carol Pitzel Cruz, “Patent Licensing Considerations for Biologics under the BPCIA,” Journal of Commercial Biotechnology, Vol. 19, No. 3 (July 2013).
John Sganga and Sheila Swaroop, Intercompany Agreements: Don't Forget Your IP Rights and Obligations, Orange County Business Journal (June 2011).
Himanshu Singh and Sheila Swaroop, "Forest Group and Solo Cup: Recent Developments in Patent Marking Litigation," NASABA IP Newsletter, Vol. 2, Issue 1 (June 2010).
Milan Kapadia and Sheila Swaroop, "Accelerated Examination and the PTO: A New Avenue for Quicker Patent Grants," NASABA IP Newsletter, Vol. 2, Issue 1 (June 2010).
"Overcoming Infringement Claims for Off-Label Use Patents: Recent Guidance from the Federal Circuit," BNA Pharmaceutical Law & Industry Report, Vol. 1, No. 22 (June 13, 2003).
The Surprising Uses of Prior Settlement Negotiations Under FRE 408. Association of Business Trial Lawyers Report (May 2002).
Speeches & Seminars
Panelist, "Latest Business Initiatives and Their Legal Implications," ACI Women Leaders in Life Sciences Law, Boston, MA (July 2018).
Panelist, "Retaining Women in the Workplace," ACI Women Leaders in Life Sciences Law, Boston, MA (July 2017).
Panelist, "Examining the ITC as an Alternative Forum in an ANDA Challenge", ACI Paragraph IV Disputes, New York, NY (April 2017).
Panelist, "BPCIA Litigation: Latest Developments for 2015 and Beyond," The Knowledge Group Live Webcast (September 2015).
Panelist, "Incorporating Inter-Partes Review and New USPTO Procedures Into Branded and Biosimilar Litigation Strategies," ACI Biosimilars Conference, New York, NY (June 2015).
Panelist, "Preparing for Biosimilars: Key Points for Participating in the U.S. Regulatory Framework," Knobbe Martens Webinar Series (July 2013).
Panelist, "Exploring Opportunities to Strengthen Your Patent Portfolio Through Licensing," ACI Biosimilars Conference, New York, NY (June 2013).
Panelist, “Preparing Your Medical Device Portfolio For Litigation,” ACI Medical Device Conference, Chicago, IL (March 2013).
Panelist, "Timing is Everything: A Checklist to Ensure Preparedness for Litigation," ACI Biosimilars Conference (May 2012).
Sheila Swaroop and Carol Pitzel Cruz. Preparing for Litigation Under the Biosimilars Act. IP Impact - Seattle 2012: Innovative Intellectual Property Litigation Strategies. Seattle, WA (February 29, 2012).
Panelist at Berkeley Center for Law and Technology Conference on Improving the USPTO-District Court Interface (June 2011).
International Perspective on Trade Secrets. North American South Asian Bar Association National Conference. Los Angeles, CA (June 2011).
John Sganga, Jacqueline Collins, and Sheila Swaroop. The Impact of Corporate Structures on IP Enforcement. Seminar for California State Bar In-House IP Counsels Committee (March 2011).