Anita Varma

Partner, Boston, London


“The ‘talented’ Anita Varma is recognized by commentators for her representation of biotechnology sector clients.”
Chambers USA – Massachusetts, Intellectual Property 2016


Anita Varma is Chair of the White & Case's Global Intellectual Property Practice Group, based in Boston 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 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 received her JD from the Georgetown University Law Center, and received both her MS and BS in Chemistry from Jiwaji University. She also received her MS in Biochemistry from American University.

Bars and Courts
Massachusetts Bar
Maryland State Bar
New Jersey State Bar
US Patent and Trademark Office
Solicitor, England and Wales
Georgetown University Law Center
MS (Chemistry)
Jiwaji University
MS (Biochemistry)
American University
BS (Chemistry)
Jiwaji University


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.

Providing IP due diligence support to a biopharmaceutical company in connection with their US$500 million agreement with a global pharmaceutical company to jointly develop and commercialize a BACE inhibitor for Alzheimer's disease.*

Performed IP due diligence to support a multi-billion dollar transaction involving the acquisition of a publicly-traded company in the diabetes space.*

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 conducting due diligence on a portfolio covering a new formulation of an existing drug to structure a Supply and Manufacturing Agreement.*

Represented a venture capital company as lead IP counsel in a US$33.1 million financing round, the proceeds of which were intended to create clinical Proof-of-Concept data in patients.*

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.*

Represented a pharmaceutical company in conducting a world-wide pre-litigation assessment of their patent portfolios covering therapeutic products in clinical trials.*

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

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."

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

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

September 28, 2015: Global Pharma IP Forum, London

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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, (Co-author)

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

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, (Co-author)

Awards and Recognition

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

Named as one of the Top 250 Women in IP
Managing Intellectual Property, 2019

2018 Patent Strategy & Management Attorney of the Year–Massachusetts, LMG Life Sciences

World IP Review Leaders, 2017

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

Diversity & The Bar "Rainmaker", 2014

The Best Lawyers in America, 2014-2019

Managing IP – "IP Star", 2013-2014

Euromoney Legal Media Group's Top 250 Women in IP, 2013-2014

LMG Life Sciences: "Life Sciences Star", 2012-2013, 2016

IAM Patent 1000 – The World's Leading Patent Practitioners, 2012-2016