Sapna Palla


Sapna has spent over two decades representing clients in patent, trademark, copyright, trade secrets and complex commercial matters, including successfully litigating disputes in a range of jurisdictions. She also has extensive experience with alternative dispute resolution, including arbitration and mediation.
Sapna also counsels and represents a variety of U.S. and international clients regarding U.S. intellectual property by providing them with infringement, validity, enforceability, and clearance opinions and by advising them in licensing and antitrust matters. She has also conducted intellectual property due diligence investigations in connection with acquisitions and licensing deals. Sapna also counsels clients about patent law in Asia, including China and India. 
Sapna’s patent experience covers a broad array of technologies, including pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, medical devices, drug delivery systems, software, mechanical devices, batteries, and agrochemicals. Outside the patent area, she has represented clients in trademark, trade dress, and copyright litigation as well as in counseling clients on trademark and copyright registration, strategy, and licensing. Sapna has also handled a number of complex commercial disputes involving complex contractual matters in the oil, renewable energy, construction, and food services industries. 
Sapna was selected by the New York City Bar Association as their 2021 Diversity & Inclusion Champion Award winner for her commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. She has been honored by the City and State of New York (NY) as “one of the most influential Asian Americans in New York politics and policy” in 2020. She frequently writes and speaks on a range of topics, including developments in litigation, e-discovery, patent law, patent reform, intellectual property law in Asia, pharmaceuticals, biosimilars, biotechnology, and medical devices. Her programs have been presented by the Practicing Law Institute and WestLegal Ed, and she has been published and quoted in leading publications, including Practicing Law Institute, Forbes, ABA Litigation Journal, IP Law360, New York Law Journal, Corporate Counsel Connect, Pharmaceutical Patent Analyst, and Bloomberg/BNA. 
She is an adjunct professor at Pace University School of Law, addressing antitrust and patent topics. She clerked for the Honorable Judge Robert J. Hurley of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. 
Sapna is Immediate Past President of the Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY) and the co-founder of the AABANY Leadership Development Institute. She was previously on the Board of Directors at AABANY and served as co-chair of the Women’s Committee. Sapna is co chair of the Patent Litigation Committee of the American Bar Association. She is an inaugural member of Judge Janet Bond Arterton’s Intellectual Property American Inns of Court and is a member of the New York Intellectual Property Association and its Litigation and Legislative Action Committees. 
Sapna is committed to pro bono legal services. In 2008, she was honored by the Pennsylvania Capital Representative Project for extraordinary efforts on behalf of Pennsylvania’s death row inmates. In 2001, she received the Legal Aid Society award for Outstanding Pro Bono Representation. 
Sapna has lived and studied in both India and Tanzania. She is fluent in Hindi and Marathi and conversant in French.

Published Work

  • Author, “The Patent Eligibility Battle for Life Sciences Companies in a Changing Landscape,” The National Law Review, July 11, 2018
  • Co-author, “Legal Issues for High-Growth Technology Companies,” The National Law Review, May 2, 2018
  • Co-author, “How to Shift Your Litigation Strategies for the New IP Landscape,” The National Law Journal, July 17, 2017
  • Co-author, “Global IP Trends: A Guide to Recent International Considerations for Patent Rights,” September 1, 2016

Leadership Positions And Professional Affiliations

  • New York Intellectual Property Law Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Women in BIO – New York Steering Committee
  • ChIPS


  • Leading Life Sciences Lawyer, LMG Life Sciences, 2022
  • IAM Patent 1000, 2022



Registered Foreign Lawyer, England and Wales, 2024

Admitted: US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, 2006

Admitted: US District Court (Southern District of New York), 2005

Admitted: Bar of the State of New York, 2001


J.D., summa cum laude, Pace University School of Law, 1998

B.B.A., magna cum laude, Pace University, 1995

A&O Shearman was formed on May 1, 2024 by the combination of Shearman & Sterling LLP and Allen & Overy LLP and their respective affiliates (the legacy firms). Any matters referred to above may include matters undertaken by one or more of the legacy firms rather than A&O Shearman.