Gaurav Bhalla

Gaurav Bhalla

Gaurav Bhalla

Partner

Practice Area

  • Technology
  • Intellectual Property
  • Data Protection
  • Online gaming
  • Virtual Digital Assets (Cryptocurrency and NFTs)
  • Media and Entertainment
  • Advertising
  • Telecom

Professional Experience

Gaurav is the Partner heading the Technology, Intellectual Property, Data Protection and Online gaming practice areas at Ahlawat & Associates. He regularly assists a wide variety of domestic and international clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies, multi-national corporations, start-ups, MSMEs, individuals, etc. Apart from advising clients on legal mandates, he is also regularly engaged in providing comments on intended legislations to the Government.

Within the domain of technology laws, Gaurav’s team is well versed with assisting clients on legal advisory and compliances under the Information Technology Act, 2000 [as well as the rules framed thereunder including the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021] as well as the directions framed by the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In).

He also has expertise over the prevalent data protection legislation in India. His team has been advising clients on the compliances under the Information Technology (Reasonable security practices and procedures and sensitive personal data or information) Rules, 2011 (as well as sectoral data protection compliances). His team is up to date with the provisions of the recently introduced Digital Personal Data Protection Act, 2023, and has also been advising clients as regards transitioning towards compliances contained in the same. His team regularly drafts and updates consent notices as well as privacy polices depending on the specific requirements of various online platforms.

His IP practice spreads across trademarks, copyrights, patents and industrial designs. Specifically, he assists clients with prosecution, oppositions, enforcement as well as litigation matters pertaining to various intellectual properties of his clients. He is also well versed with successfully initiating and defending domain name disputes before the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) as well as the NIXI (National Internet Exchange of India).

As regards online gaming, his team handles a variety of tasks including drafting of legal opinions on the legality of various online real money games. He also assists clients with observing compliances laid down under the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 for ‘online gaming intermediaries’. He also assists entities with appropriate drafting of the Terms and Conditions for their online gaming platforms to ensure compliance with the prevailing laws.

In the domain of virtual digital assets (including cryptocurrencies and NFTs), his team has been advising on legality and structuring of various businesses. His team has been instrumental in setting of multiple cryptocurrency platforms in India. He also assists clients in setting up a multi-jurisdictional structure for businesses involving virtual digital assets. Further, he has also been assisting clients with compliances as regards taxation, Prevention of Money Laundering (PMLA) as well as obtaining registration with the FIU-India.

He also has a robust advertisement law practice. He advises clients in various sectors as regards the requirements and compliances for (online and offline) advertisements for their products and services. He has been advising clients as regards compliances with the various guidelines published by the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) as well as by the Central Consumer Protection Authority. These guidelines include Guidelines for Influencer Advertising in India, Guidelines for advertising of Virtual Digital Assets and linked services, etc.

Professional Memberships

  • Member, International Amicus Committee, International Trademark Association (INTA)
  • Co-chair, Media and Entertainment Sub-committee, International Lawyers Network (ILN)
  • Member, Bar Council of India
  • Member, Bar Council of Delhi

Awards and Recognitions

  • Recognized as a Trademark Star 2024, IP Stars (Managing IP)
  • Recognized as a ‘𝐑𝐞𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐝𝐞𝐝 𝐋𝐚𝐰𝐲𝐞𝐫’ by the Legal 500 for Intellectual Property, 2024
  • Recognized in the list of Top IP Lawyer in India, 2023, Asian Legal Business (a Thompson Reuters publication)
  • Recognized as a Trademark Star 2023, IP Stars (Managing IP)
  • Recognized in the list of Top TMT/Fintech Lawyer in India, 2023, Asian Legal Business (a Thompson Reuters publication)
  • Recognized in the list of Top IP Lawyer in India, 2022, Asian Legal Business (a Thompson Reuters publication)
  • Recipient of the Tomorrow’s Leader Award, 2019, International Trademark Association (INTA)

Publications 

  • Understanding The Legal Landscape for Ed-Tech Startups In India: Challenges And Opportunities: Read here
  • Practice Note on Contract Execution (India), Practical Law, Thomson Reuters (March 1, 2024) Read here
  • The Risks of Noncompliance with India’s New Data Protection Law, INTA Bulletin (March 6, 2024) Read here
  • India publishes draft amendments to Patent Rules for public comments, JD Supra (September 21, 2023): Read here
  • Conundrum behind registrability of GUIs as industrial designs in India, JD Supra (August 5, 2023): Read here
  • Delhi High Court holds that personality rights of deceased persons are not heritable, JD Supra (July 25, 2023): Read here
  • Cryptocurrency: A Pandora’s Box, Legal500 (July 4, 2023): Read here
  • Regulation of online gaming in India: an analysis of the recent legal amendments introduced by the Indian government, Legal500 (June 19, 2023): Read here
  • Analysis of the guidelines published by the government for influencers and celebrities in respect of endorsements on social media platforms, Legal500 (February 8, 2023): Read here
  • Swiss federal agency successfully obtains relief in trademark issue before an Indian High Court, JD Supra (January 26, 2023): Read here
  • High Court of Delhi holds that acquired distinctiveness is necessary for obtaining registration of a shape mark, JD Supra (September 22, 2022): Read here
  • High Court of Delhi extends statutory deadline for filing a response to FER in European Union’s patent applications, JD Supra (July 6, 2022): Read here
  • The Blurred Line Between a Well-Known Trademark and a Reputed Trademark, Lexology (June 17, 2022): Read here
  • Karnataka High Court Quashes Ban on Online Games of Skill, Lexology (February 21, 2022): Read here
  • Sound Mark Registration Process in India, Lexology (February 7, 2022): Read here
  • The Most Googled Cryptocurrency Questions, Lexology (December 13, 2021): Read  here
  • ‘Purposeful Availment’ Required for Foreign Defendant, INTA Bulletin (December 8, 2021): Read here
  • Cryptocurrency Regulations in India, Lexology (November 29, 2021): Read here
  • Know your rights under the Indian Copyright laws, Lexology (September 28, 2021): Read here
  • Supreme Court Upholds Dream 11 As A Game Of Skill, Legal500 (August 10, 2021): Read here
  • Trade Dress Protection for Websites: Is It a Viable Solution, International Journal of Institutional & Industrial Research, Vol. 1, Issue 1, January-April, 2016.
  • Copyrightability of Video Games, International Journal of Recent Research Aspects, Vol. 3, Issue 4, December, 2016.
  • The interplay of the principle of ‘Permanent Sovereignty over Natural Resources’ with the doctrine of ‘Pacta Sunt Servanda’, Indian Journal of Legal Philosophy, Volume 2, Issue 2(1), April–June, 2014.
  • Reverse Discrimination: The Impact of Affirmative Action on High Caste, Journal of Legal Analysis and Research, Volume 1, Issue 2(1), April–June, 2014.

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