Anita Varma

Partner, Boston, London


IAM Says: “Her ability to advise on a transatlantic – and worldwide – basis is second to none. [Anita Varma] is a gifted strategic counsellor with a sophisticated knowledge of the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.” “As a practitioner, she showcases impressive range and dexterity.”


Anita Varma is the immediate past Global Chair of the firm's IP practice and is based in the Firm's Boston office, with a dual practice in London. She is qualified to practice before the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the European Patent Office (EPO).

Anita provides strategic patent counseling to life sciences industry companies, guiding them through every stage of a product's life cycle. She works with clients in obtaining enforceable claims and supporting them in post-grant proceedings, as well as in developing and executing both offensive and defensive patent strategies. She also conducts strategic review of patent portfolios to identify strengths and weaknesses, and opportunities to minimize threats and maximize revenue.

As part of this strategic counseling, Anita regularly advises on patentability, validity and freedom to operate issues, provides pre-litigation assessments and opinions regarding patentability, conducts IP due diligence for strategic transactions, and advises on listing and delisting matters in the US Food & Drug Administration's Orange Book.

Clients also benefit from Anita's experience in navigating Biosimilar litigation strategies. She has skilled expertise among diverse life sciences subjects, including immunology, antibody therapeutics, RNAi therapeutics, small molecules, gene therapy, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, CRISPR, ocular products, biophotonics, messenger RNA therapeutics, protein therapeutics, and protein traps.

Anita is named one of the top lawyers in the United States for patent prosecution matters (Legal 500), and is viewed by competitors as "an extremely skilled attorney with both legal and business smarts" (LMG Life Sciences). Clients recognize her "talent…for her representation of biotechnology sector clients" and appreciate her "'business savvy' approach and her familiarity with the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries" and note that "the experience [of working with Anita] has been very positive" (independent survey by Chambers & Partners). 

Anita is a Trustee on the Board of the Foundation for Advancement of Diversity in IP Law.

Prior to joining White & Case, Anita was a partner at an international law firm.

Bars and Courts
New Jersey
US Patent and Trademark Office
Solicitor, England and Wales
US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
Georgetown University Law Center
MS (Chemistry)
Jiwaji University
MS (Biochemistry)
American University
BS (Chemistry)
Jiwaji University


Anita has extensive experience conducting competitive landscape studies relating to gene therapy delivery and manufacturing methods including use of viral vector and lipid nanoparticles.

Representing a leading genome editing company focused on developing curative therapeutics using CRISPR/Cas9 technology.  This company is revolutionizing medicine by harnessing the power of genome editing to develop potential cures for cancer, genetic disorders, viral infections, inflammatory disorders and many more. We provide advice in connection with intellectual property matters including strategic counseling, patent prosecution in connection with intellectual property primary relating to CRISPR technology.

Representing a biotechnology company that is precision medicines for a broad range of genetic disorders, including its lead program for Dravet syndrome, a type of epilepsy. This company treats severe genetic disorders using viral gene therapy approaches.  We provide a full range of intellectual property services for this client, including patent prosecution, competitive landscape analysis, licensing and freedom to operate analysis, trade secret guidance and diligence support.

Providing IP due diligence support to a diagnostic imaging products manufacturer in their $520M acquisition of oncology-focused pharmaceutical company that provides medicines and artificial intelligence aiming to find and treat cancer. 

Providing IP due diligence support to a Scandinavian private equity firm in an acquisition of a Swedish life sciences company that has developed a unique technology for human biomarker discovery. 

Represented a pharmaceutical company to conduct freedom to operate studies on at least 100 drug products to be marketed in emerging markets such as Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Malaysia, South Africa, etc. We considered patent assessments and any available regulatory exclusivities to determine the extent and duration of patent and regulatory coverage.*

Provided IP due diligence support to a pharmaceutical company in connection with a US$1.15 billion acquisition of a company developing inhalable therapeutics and a US$420 million exclusive licensing arrangement with a company developing messenger RNA therapeutics.*

Represented a private equity client in their bid to acquire a large European specialty pharmaceutical company. This included reviewing the target company's worldwide portfolio of about 1,500 patents, analyzing seven ongoing Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) litigations and conducting a competitive patent landscape analysis.*

Represented a pharmaceutical company in the worldwide prosecution of their clinical candidates. This included the development of a patent portfolio for several different polypeptide ligand traps, as well as methods of using those compounds to treat various diseases.*

*Matters prior to joining White & Case. 

Speaking Engagements

Panelist, The 5th Annual International IP Summit Presented by Boston College Law School and Ropes & Gray LLP, October 13, 2022: "Panel Discussion: IP Protections – Have We Gone Too Far?"

Panelist, American Conference Institute Paragraph IV Disputes Master Symposium, Chicago, September 21-22, 2022: "60 Minutes on Patents, Politics and Policy: An Analysis of Proposed Hatch- Waxman Reform Measures."

Panelist, American Conference Institute 20th Advanced Summit on Life Sciences Patents – International Think Tank, New York City, June 1-2, 2022: "Masterfully Coordinating Global Patent Portfolios."

Panelist, Life Sciences Patent Network North America 2022, Boston, May 11-12, 2022: "Effective Use of Patent Term Extensions."

Panelist, Webinar Presented by the United States Patent & Trademark Office Midwest Regional Office, December 14, 2021: “Discussions on Diversity in Innovation.”

Panelist, The 4th Annual International IP Summit Presented by Boston College Law School and Ropes & Gray LLP, October 15, 2021: "Roundtable Discussion: Business Considerations and Best Practices."

Speaker, Webinar presented by White & Case LLP, April 29, 2021: "Global Pharmaceuticals: New Horizons in a Post-COVID World."

Conference Chair, Life Sciences Patent Network Europe 2019, London, November 21-22, 2019: "Protecting Innovation in a Changing Landscape."

Speaker, Life Sciences Patent Network Europe 2019, London, November 21-22, 2019: "Global Patent Protection: Market Status and Outlook. Recent Case Law Round-up and Policy Direction from Americas, Europe and Asia."

Speaker, The Knowledge Group Webcast, April 3, 2019: "The Interplay of IP and Antitrust: What You Should Know in 2019 LIVE Webcast."

Speaker, The Knowledge Group Webcast, July 26, 2018: "The Warner-Lambert v. Actavis at The Supreme Court: Potential Implications on the Patent Infringement."

Speaker, The Knowledge Group Webcast, May 17, 2018: "The Remarkable 2017 Actavis Decision and Its Implications."

Panel Moderator, American Conference Institute 16th Advanced Summit on Life Sciences Patents Conference, New York City, February 21-22, 2018: "Around the World in 30 Months: Developing a Robust International Portfolio."

Panelist, American Conference Institute 16th Advanced Summit on Life Sciences Patents Conference, New York City, February 21-22, 2018: "Living Large: Filing and Protecting Big Portfolios while Avoiding Double-Patenting Issues."

Life Sciences Patent Network Europe, London, December 6th, 2017: "Patents & Pharma: An Ever-Changing Global Landscape."

Panel Chair, Boston Bar Association 2nd Annual Life Sciences Conference, Boston, October 3rd, 2017: "Freedom-to-Operate"

Life Sciences Patent Network North America, Boston, June 1st, 2017: "Global Patent Enforceability: Status and Outlook."

Panelist, Pharma and IP Legal Summit Conference, New Jersey, December 7, 2016: "US and Global Regulations."

Panelist, American Conference Institute's 7th Annual Summit on Biosimilars, New York, June 13, 2016: "Mapping Out the BPCIA Process: A Cheat Sheet on Navigating the Biosimilars Pathway."

Global Pharma IP Forum, London, September 28, 2015.

Goldman Sachs, March 18, 2014: "10,000 Small Businesses."

MIP European Patent Reform Forum, Munich, September 19, 2013: "Consultation panel: Feedback and ideas regarding draft proposals for rules of procedure."

ACI, New York, NY, March 1, 2013 : "Conducting Thorough and Effective Due Diligence Analysis for Life Sciences M&A and Strategic Alliances."

Bloomberg/BNA Webinar, August 16th, 2012: "Changing Patent Challenges at the PTO: The Final AIA Countdown."

C5's 8th International Forum on Freedom to Operate, May 18-19th, 2011: "The Impact of US Case Law Developments on FTO Analysis."

NACUA 2010 Annual Conference, November 12th, 2010: "Patent Eligibility Following Bilski."

Panelist, Boston Bar Association and Boston Patent Law Association, April 29, 2010: "The Biosimilar Regulatory Pathway: Statutory Framework & IP Implications."

American Conference Institute's 7th National Conference on Life Sciences IP Due Diligence, January 20-21, 2010: "Freedom-to-Operate."

ACI Biotech Patent Conference, October 1st, 2009: "Master Class on Drafting Successful Patent Applications for Biotechnology Related Inventions." 


Co-author, "The deadly side effect of the COVID-19 IP waiver on trade secrets" The Pharma Letter (July 2021)

Co-author, "European Patent Practice for U.S. Attorneys, 2017 Supplement" Bloomberg BNA (October 2017)

Co-author, "European Patent Filing Strategies in the Age of Brexit," Bloomberg BNA World IP Report (November 2016)

Co-author, "European Patent Practice for U.S. Attorneys," Bloomberg BNA (March 2016)

Co-author, "United States," Patent Transactions in the Life Sciences (October 2014)

Featured, "Q&A With Ropes & Gray's Anita Varma," Law360 (August 7, 2013)

Co-author, "On the verge of the UPC," Intellectual Property Magazine (March 2013)

Co-author, "The debate is over: The rules are set, but the players are moving. Ropes & Gray reviews the unitary patent and the Unified Patent Court," The Patent Lawyer (January/February 2013) 

Awards and Recognition

Euromoney's Women in Business Law Expert Guide – Recognized as a leading practitioner in the Life sciences/Patents field, 2019 – 2020

Managing Intellectual Property, IP Stars 
Named as one of the Patent Stars for (2013-2014, 2020 - 2022) 

IAM Strategy 300 – The World's Leading Patent Professionals (2012-2022)

IAM Patent 1000 – The World's Leading Patent Professionals (2012-2022) 

Named as one of the Top 250 Women in IP 2017 - 2022

Massachusetts, LMG Life Sciences
2018 Patent Strategy & Management

Attorney of the Year 
World IP Review Leaders (2017) 

Leading Lawyer, Chambers USA, Intellectual Property – Massachusetts (2015-2016, 2022) 

Diversity & The Bar "Rainmaker" (2014) 

The Best Lawyers in America (2014-2019, 2023)

LMG Life Sciences: "Life Sciences Star" (2012-2013, 2016-2019)