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Macau’s IP Experts

31 March 2023

Macau’s IP Experts

With tourism, particularly from mainland China, on the rebound after the pandemic, gaming revenue has surged in Macau. Gross gaming revenue reached 12.7 billion patacas (US$1.6 billion), according to data released by the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau this month. The result topped the median analyst estimate of a 205 percent year-on-year increase, and is the highest monthly takings since January 2020. 

Total visitation by mid-March was about 65,000 per day, Reuters reported, back to about 55 percent of 2019 levels, Morgan Stanley analysts led by Praveen Choudhary estimated in a note on March 26. Macau reported 1.6 million tourist visits in February, or a daily average of 57,000, which was about 45 percent of the 2019 levels. The city will release March visitation data later this month.  

Gaming is responsible for a substantial amount of income for many IP firms and IP practices in Macau. But even for those firms and practices that don’t rely on gaming, intellectual property itself is certain to play an important role in Macau’s future development in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area. “Macau [will become] a hub for commerce and trade that can facilitation relations between China and Portuguese-speaking countries,” Jiang Yi Sheng, chairman of ICBC (Macau) wrote in World Finance in July 2019. “This will help promote the region’s economic diversification while also creating a base that allows a diverse array of people to coexist. Macau can make a unique contribution to the Greater Bay Area’s transformation into a first-class region for trade and tourism.” 

The special administrative region (SAR) has a number of well-respected full-service law firms, and a growing cadre of IP specialists. In fact, 12 different firms are represented in our inaugural list of Macau’s IP Experts. 

Macau’s IP regime does have some interesting quirks, lawyers at MdME Lawyers note in “10 things you probably do not know about IP in Macau,” published on their website. Trademarks are published before examination, for example, and use of a trademark for less than six months can support a priority claim.  

Despite having its own patent registration system, Macau does not have a local examination office, due, the MdME lawyers say, to the relatively low number of patent application that are filed in Macau. Instead, there’s a protocol in place with China’s National Intellectual Property Adminstration (CNIPA) to conduct examination of Macau patents in mainland China by experienced professionals.  

And, perhaps not surprisingly, patents relating to gaming can be protected in Macau. As a special administrative region of China, the firm notes, Macau is relatively autonomous, and the only jurisdiction in China where gambling is allowed. “Mainland China-based examiners are sometimes called to examine such subject matter despite not being allowed registration in China,” they say. 

Three different firms landed two lawyers each on our list: DSL Lawyers (David S. Lopes and Carlos D. Simões), Manuela António Lawyers and Notaries (Tiago Assunção and Daniel da Silva e Melo) and RPmacau Intellectual Property Services (Alice Leong and Luís Reigadas). 

Most of the lawyers named to our list have multiple practice specialties. Many of them are litigators, while others concentrate on prosecution work or provide strategic advice.  

All of them have something in common: they are experts in their fields and, in one way or another, they provide extra value for their clients. They are Asia IP’s Macau IP Experts. – GREGORY GLASS 

Macau’s IP Experts is based solely on independent editorial research conducted by Asia IP. As part of this project, we turned to in-house counsel in Macau, Asia and elsewhere and around the world, as well as China-focused partners at international law firms, and asked them to nominate private-practice lawyers including foreign legal consultants, advisers and counsel.  

The final list reflects the nominations received combined with the input of editorial team at Asia IP, which has nearly 45 years of collective experience in researching and understanding Macau’s legal market. 

All private practice intellectual property lawyers in Macau were eligible for inclusion in the nominations process; there were no fees or any other requirements for inclusion in the process. 

The names of our 15 IP Experts are published here. Each IP Expert was given the opportunity to include their biography and contact details in print and on our website, for which a fee was charged. 

Law firms