2020 China IP Awards: And the Winners Are....

07 May 2020

2020 China IP Awards: And the Winners Are....

Steadily improving protection of intellectual property rights has been a key element of China’s rise to become one of the world’s top economies. Foreign and domestic investment alike has risen as rights owners have become increasingly confident about their ability to protect their IP within China.

As protection has increased, rights owners have turned to China’s top intellectual property practices to enforce their rights. It was this dynamic environment in which Asia IP’s editorial team has launched our 2020 China IP Awards, designed to recognize and honour the top IP firms and practices, including winners in practice specialties (such as pharma, biotech and life sciences) and by region. We’ve also named a national IP Firm of the Year, and a national IP Boutique of the Year, both of which will be revealed below.

The decisions which follow were made by the Asia IP editorial teams, based on thousands of votes and recommendations received from in-house counsel, senior corporate executives and legal professionals from around the region and around the world, as well as submissions from law firms themselves.

To determine the winning firms, we carefully evaluated each firm’s most important cases, portfolios and other notable work throughout in the past year, in conjunction with the recommendations and comments we received.

We were pleasantly surprised by the quantity and quality of recommendations we received from those who know these IP practices the best. It is clear from the submissions we received that corporate counsel are keen observers of the firms doing work for them; they’re not afraid to praise those firms which do the best work – and they told us which firms aren’t deserving, too.

It is clear, too, that law firms are in a fierce competition with each other to make the case that they are best-situated to serve their clients well. The work firms in China do has improved by leaps and bounds in recent years, and while it once would have been an easy job for us to name the top firms in each practice area, the heightened competition has made it quite challenging now.

While firms in Beijing still command the majority of the intellectual property work in China, firms in other parts of the country are increasingly competitive with each other and with firms in Beijing. Thus, we included regional awards for firms in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, with Shanghai included as a nod to that region’s growing importance as a commercial and manufacturing hub, as well as its increasing strength in high-tech industries. Guangzhou and Shenzhen are notable for their inclusion in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area collection of cities, provinces and special administrative regions in the Pearl River Delta area.

And, finally, let us include a few housekeeping statements. Our first China IP Awards recognize only domestic Chinese law firms. International firms will continue to be honoured in our China International IP Awards as part of our annual Asia IP Awards ceremony. Detailing the achievements of every single winner in this feature is not possible, so it is important to say that each winning firm in each category carries the same weight and has earned the award equally. Winning firms are presented here by alphabetical order in each category, and not in any other fashion. And finally, Asia IP wishes to congratulate each of our winners!

 

IP Firm of the Year

The winner of our inaugural China IP Awards IP Firm of the Year is CCPIT Patent and Trademark Law Office. The Beijing-based firm is the oldest and one of the largest full-service IP law firms in China, and it continues to provide strong results in both litigation and prosecution work. The firm’s history dates all the way back to January 1957, when a trademark agency was established within the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, a non-governmental trade promotion organization, to represent foreign companies before Chinese authorities.

The agency was the sole trademark agency in China until the mid-1980s. The firm organized a patent agency in the early 1980s, when China began to establish its patent system. The patent agency was authorized as the first Chinese intellectual property law firm to have cross-border representation. In 1993, the two agencies merged to form the CCPIT Patent and Trademark Law Office. The firm is the recipient of many honours and awards, and was a clear winner in this category.

 

IP Boutique of the Year

The winner of our inaugural China IP Awards IP Boutique of the Year is Peksung Intellectual Property. The firm offers a full spectrum of premium intellectual property services that cover all facets of IP law, including patents, trademarks, designs, copyright, trade secrets, licensing, technology transfer, enforcement, anti-counterfeiting and others for domestic and overseas clients. The firm has a qualified staff of patent and trademark attorneys and highly trained administrative personnel who have many years of extensive practical experience in handling prosecution and litigation. Jiancheng Jiang, one of the founders of Peksung, is a vice president of the All-China Patent Agents Association. Jiang is a well-respected figure in China’s intellectual property circles, and was among the first professionals in the country, when he joined pioneering IP agency China Patent Agent (HK). He founded Peksung in 2003 in response to surging client demands and market dynamics. The firm has been among the country’s top boutiques ever since, boasting clients including Bayer, BASF, Allergan, POSCO and Porsche.

 

Practice Area Awards

Trademark Firms of the Year

The winners of our inaugural China IP Awards Trademark Firms of the Year are, in alphabetical order:

Advance China IP Law Office is regularly one of the top trademark filers in the country, filing more than 22,000 trademark applications in China in 2018. The firm boasts a boutique IP litigation practice of more than 30 litigators, assisted by a group of former Re-Examination Board examiners and technical experts and a strong in-house investigation team. The firm was founded in 1999 by partners who were among the earliest practitioners of IP in China, including founder and managing partner Jie Hu. Hu, who leads the firm from Guangzhou, has more than 20 years of experience working in IP, including many years working as an in-house IP counsel at a leading high-tech company.

CCPIT Patent and Trademark Law Office is the oldest and one of the largest full-service IP law firms in China, and it continues to provide strong results in litigation and prosecution. The firm has 292 patent and trademark attorneys, with 76 qualified attorneys-at-law. The firm has been on the cutting edge of technology, with its trademark team taking part in the first “cloud-hearing” held remotely over the internet in the Beijing IP Court in February 2020, and then again taking part in the first remote video hearing of a retrial case held by the Supreme People’s Court on April 8. The retrial case is a non-use cancellation dispute, which involves considerable evidence. The Supreme People’s Court applied a remote video hearing system called Zhi Yun for the first time, and conducted activities such as court investigation and court debate according to the country’s laws. The China Trademark Association named the firm an Outstanding Trademark Agency in 2019.

King & Wood Mallesons is a global law firm headquartered in China, making it eligible for domestic China awards. More than a third of its 4,000 lawyers are based in China. Late last year, the Guangdong People’s Higher Court ruled in favour of KWM client Bulgari on the trademark infringement and unfair competition civil suit between Bulgari and Hunan Taskin Investment Co., recognizing the former’s BVLGARI 宝格丽 mark a well-known trademark, and consequently holding the defendant’s use of “宝格丽 (Bvlgari in Chinese characters)” and “宝格丽公寓 (Bvlgari Residential Building in Chinese characters)” in a prominent manner on commercial properties the defendant developed and on the promotional materials thereof constitute infringement against Bulgari’s aforementioned trademark registration. The ruling also required Taskin to compensate Bulgari for damages and costs. The ruling carries tremendous significance, showcasing the principle of “to recognize as needed” by China’s trademark law concerning well-known trademarks.

Unitalen has a significant practice in all areas of trademarks, including domestic and foreign trademark prosecution, trademark clearance and other counseling issues, licensing and enforcement of trademark, domain name rights, and litigation. The firm says that more than 1,000 clients rely upon it to handle trademark prosecution matters before the Chinese Trademark Office and abroad. The firm won a case before the Beijing IP Court and Beijing Higher People’s Court for its client Lafite against Beijing Lafayette Castle Hotel Co., which on its self-operated website, claims to be “a melting spot of wine culture, French architecture, sculpture and garden art; and an ideal venue for large-scale performance event, cocktail party, exhibition, high-end conference and Chinese or Western style wedding.” Lafayette Castle had applied for registration of a large number of “LAFFITTE”, “拉斐特” and “拉斐特城堡 CHATEAU LAFFITTE” marks in Class 43 “Residential (Hotels Homestay)” since 2007, which are copies, imitations and translations of the “Lafite” and “拉菲” trademarks owned by Lafite. The courts held that the “Lafite” trademark is famous enough to be recognized as “well-known” for wine products prior to the filing date of the disputed mark, May 17, 2007. Through many years of commercial business activities, Lafite, in reality, has established a strong connection between “拉菲” and “Lafite” and that the relevant public in China refers to “Lafite” as “拉菲”. The courts ruled that use of the trademark on the designated “buffet cafeterias, restaurants, residences (hotels, boarding houses), cocktail reception services, bars” and other services is misleading to the public, and that the trademarks were declared invalid.

Wanhuida Intellectual Property is a leading IP service provider in China with two main legal entities, Wanhuida IP Agency and Wanhuida Law Firm, and offices across the country. The firm is home to some 450 employees, including some 100 IP lawyers specialized in IP litigation and enforcement work and 90 trademark attorneys. Over the years, the firm’s lawyers have accumulatively litigated over thousands of IP cases in courts all over China and filed hundreds of thousands of trademark registrations. In 2019, Wanhuida Intellectual Property represented Discovery Communications, the registrant of the trademarks “Discovery” and “探索” (the Chinese translation of Discovery) in Class 41 against Zhongshan Discovery Outdoors Products (Zhongshan Discovery), which was using the trademarks “Discovery Active”, “探索” (Discovery) and “探索户外” (the Chinese translation of “Discovery Outdoors”) on outdoors products, and that the company had opened an online store called “DISCOVERY探索户外官方旗舰店” (the official flagship store of Discovery Outdoors) on JD.com’s website. Discovery filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against Zhongshan Discovery and JD before the Beijing Intellectual Property Court; the court ordered Zhongshan Discovery to pay damages of Rmb3 million (US$425,000) and that JD be held jointly and severally liable. The decision was upheld by the Beijing High Court on appeal.

 

Patent Firms of the Year

The winners of our inaugural China IP Awards Patent Firms of the Year are, in alphabetical order:

AFD China Intellectual Property Law Office is a full-service IP firm which is ranked a top tier firm by the Beijing IP Office, has been a top 10 PCT filer in China since 2009 (and has been top 20 in the world since 2011), and has three times been named a leading agency by the Beijing Patent Attorneys Association with the recognition of providing comprehensive, spot-on and one-stop services. In January, under the joint initiative of Beijing Intellectual Property Protection Association and Beijing Patent Attorneys Association, the Capital Intellectual Property Development Association for the Belt and Road Initiative was launched, with AFD one of the first members of the association. The association will implement the national and capital intellectual property strategy to further enhance the internationalization of intellectual property in Beijing. The association will devote itself to the formulation and operation of a platform for international communications on intellectual property; carry out training on international laws and practices to enhance members' knowledge and service capabilities; promote international intellectual property and technology exchanges, organize and participate in international seminars, exhibitions, trade and other activities.

CCPIT Patent and Trademark Law Office is the oldest and one of the largest full-service IP law firms in China, and it continues to provide strong results in litigation and prosecution. The firm has 292 patent and trademark attorneys, with 76 qualified attorneys-at-law. The firm represented Canon in a patent infringement case which was, in 2019, selected as one of the Top 50 Typical Cases of the Supreme People’s Court, in which the lawsuit was listed as the seventh case. In the case, the defendant believed that regarding a patent for invention, the term “manufacturing” in the sense of the Chinese patent law refers to making or forming a product that covers all the technical features of the patent. The defendant alleged that it had not manufactured the alleged infringing toner cartridge, and the alleged infringing toner cartridge of the present case was sold after being purchased from an outsider. Accordingly, the defendant should not be liable for compensation since there was a legitimate source. After submitting proof and observations, the plaintiff, was fully supported by the Shanghai Intellectual Property Court, which held that, although the alleged infringing toner cartridge came from an outsider, the defendant determined a model of the product and packaged the product to form a final product for sale. Moreover, it was drafted on the external package of the product that the defendant was the manufacturer of the product, which indicated that the defendant declared itself as the manufacturer to the public. Further, as the division of labour in modern business is gradually refined, the term “manufacturing” does not simply mean the production activities of making or forming a product that covers all the technical features of the patent. It is also a very common business practice to purpose a product produced by others and finally declare itself as the manufacturer to the public. In the present case, considering a new behavioral model brought about by business development, the court conceptually clarified the term “manufacturing” in the sense of the Chinese patent law, which helped to protect the patent right in a fair and reasonable way.

King & Wood Mallesons is a global law firm headquartered in China, making it eligible for domestic China awards. More than a third of its 4,000 lawyers are based in China. The firm is regularly among the top filers of patent applications in China, and has been aggressively increasing its IP litigation team in China and elsewhere. The firm represented Safe-run Machinery (Suzhou) in a patent infringement case important for directing precedent for the requests for declaratory judgment on non-infringement of intellectual property. In July 2019, the Intellectual Property Tribunal of the Supreme People’s Court issued its final ruling on the declaratory judgment of non-infringement regarding a case filed by VMI and Cooper Tyre (Kunshan) against Safe-run. The tribunal ruled that Safe-run did not infringe on the patents of the plaintiffs, dismissed the appeal of the plaintiffs, and upheld the decision of the court of first instance to dismiss the case. This case was the first declaratory judgment on non-infringement heard by the Intellectual Property Tribunal of the Supreme People’s Court since it was established in 2019. The court provided explicit guidance for application of laws and elaborated, “whether the request for settlement of patent infringement dispute constituted a warning of infringement in the sense of patent law,” and “whether the request for confirmation of non-infringement was beyond the request for settlement of patent infringement dispute in question.”

Liu, Shen & Associates is noted for its work in patent prosecution, and is recommended by clients for smooth interactions in terms of workflow management and expertise. The firm is also a registered law firm, and serves its clients in all phases of intellectual property: acquisition of the rights, transfer and/or licensing of the rights, investment with the rights, enforcement and protection of the rights, and related litigation and administrative proceedings. Most partners have been leading practitioners in the area for more than two decades, and the majority of the professionals have advanced degrees. The firm currently has 41 partners, 180 patent attorneys, 79 attorneys at law (most of whom are also qualified as patent attorneys), and 11 trademark agents.

NTD Intellectual Property Attorneys, established in 1987 under the name NTD Patent and Trademark Agency Limited, was one of the first four Chinese law firms to provide legal services in the area of intellectual property for both international and domestic clients. The firm reported in late 2019 that it had the lowest patent rejection rate among major IP agencies in 2019. The firm also noted that it was listed in the Top 3 Chinese patent agencies representing PCT Applications entering the Chinese National Phase in 2018, with 5,108 PCT patent applications entering the national phase from foreign clients.

 

Copyright Firms of the Year

The winners of our inaugural China IP Awards Copyright Firms of the Year are, in alphabetical order:

Co-effort Law Firm has provided litigation support to many of the world’s leading companies in the areas of online games, computer software, chemicals, pharmaceutical, IT, coating, media and e-commerce. The Shanghai-based firm has one of the top IP practices in that city; led by co-founder Minjian You, more than 60 IP professionals have handled more than 10,000 IP cases, including many “firsts.” Among those firsts was the first online game case in China, a copyright infringement case between Shenzhou Aomei and CGA.

East & Concord Partners has a legal team with extensive experience which has successfully rendered legal services to domestic and foreign clients. The firm has aided numerous enterprises in acquiring their copyright, trademarks, logos, and patents for effective protection. The firm has built upon its copyright fame, which it earned by obtaining the special power of attorney for copyright protection of all music works for the closing ceremony of 2008 Beijing Olympics. In addition to handling straightforward infringement disputes, the firm also designs implementation schemes for centralized copyright trading operations for large cultural enterprise groups. It has also represented a number of influential clients in computer software and internet areas.

JunZeJun Law Offices has nine intellectual property partners. The IP practice comprises a number of specialist practitioners who have both significant government employment experience and significant litigation experience. The firm makes the list partly on the strength of its clientele, which include the Business Software Alliance, Dyson, Adidas and Ferrero.

Lifang & Partners is noted for its strong litigation department. The IP litigation team, which is led by partner Bin Zhang, handles copyright, trademark, patent and technical contract disputes; the firm also provides non-contentious IP services, including due diligence, licensing, transactions and registration of IP rights. Partner Yongsheng Wu’s copyright practice includes acting for a leading US-based software company in software copyright infringement action against a number of internet infringers, PC malls, 3C stores, and PC manufacturers before a number of Chinese courts.

Tee & Howe Intellectual Property Attorneys, founded in 1995, is a comprehensive IP firm licensed by China Patent Office primarily focusing on foreign IP service. The firm’s practice covers all aspects of intellectual property laws and encompasses all phases of administrative and judicial services such as pursuing and maintaining IP rights and licensing matters. The firm has more than 200 employees, including around 80 patent attorneys and 30 patent engineers, 10 trademark attorneys and five attorneys-at-law. Partner Jie Zhang is director of the trademark and copyright department; he has more than 20 years of experience.

 

Enforcement Firms of the Year

The winners of our inaugural China IP Awards Enforcement Firms of the Year are, in alphabetical order:

CCPIT Patent and Trademark Law Office is noted for the work it does in the enforcement realm, both through administrative enforcement and litigation. relating to patents, trademarks, copyrights, domain names, trade secrets, trade dress, unfair competition and other intellectual property-related matters. Key enforcement practitioners include Zhongqi Zhou, who has successfully represented many major corporations, especially foreign and domestic chemical companies and pharmaceutical companies, in patent prosecution and litigation, and Hao Ma, whose practice focuses on patent prosecution, reexamination, invalidation and appeal, litigation and licensing. He has extensively counseled domestic and international clients on other IP issues such as copyright, technology import and export, and border enforcement. He has considerable experience in handling patent litigation and patent invalidation cases.

Chang Tsi & Partners counts intellectual property as a core area of focus, including administrative protection for intellectual property rights. The firm has extensive practical experience and provides high quality, efficient, and professional market monitoring, business surveys, administrative investigations, customs registration and IPR administrative protection service. The firm won a second instance ruling in the Jianfa v. Michael Kors case trademark infringement case, wherein all the claims by Shantou Chenghai Jianfa Handbag Craft Factory were rejected after Jianfa had filed an application to register a trademark similar to the Michael Kors logo. Before filing its lawsuit, Jianfa planned an elaborate series of actions, including filing an invalidation proceeding against the Michael Kors registration, aiming to acquire sales revenue related to use of the MK mark. Jianfa also carried out administrative strikes and filed civil actions against small-scale distributers selling MK-branded products, and obtained an administrative penalty decision and civil judgment, so as to support its allegations that the MK trademark infringed its registered mark. After a lengthy and difficult trial, the Michael Kors prevailed when, in June 2019, the Zhejiang High People’s Court issued a final judgment rejecting all the claims by Jianfa.

HongFangLaw, based in Shanghai, works with networked entities including a law firm (mainly for litigation matters), an IP consulting firm (mainly for contentious solutions) and an IP consulting company (mainly for non-contentious practices). In April, one of the firm’s cases was named one of the Quality Brands Protection Committee of China’s Model Cases Bridging Administrative and Judicial IP enforcement. The case, involving counterfeiting registered trademarks, producing and selling fake or inferior products by Fu, et al., was undertaken for the 3M Company. On February 3, 2020, the Wanshang Public Security Bureau assisted police forces in Anhui and Guangdong provinces in simultaneous enforcement activities, which the firm says “crushed multiple manufacturers and wholesalers” on seven sites for production, warehousing, and sale (two for production) of counterfeit 3M respirators, capturing eight individuals and seizing over 200,000 masks and 40 tons of raw materials with equipment and molds. The total value exceeded Rmb5.2 million (US$730,000). “The case has been filed and is under investigation. The illegal amount has met the threshold to establish a criminal case. In addition to the infringement of 3M Company’s intellectual property rights, the disruption caused to the control and prevention of [the Covid-19 coronavirus] constitutes aggravated circumstances. Currently, the people’s procuratorate has initiated the examination for prosecution.”

JunZeJun Law Offices has nine intellectual property partners. The IP practice comprises a number of specialist practitioners who have both significant government employment experience and significant litigation experience. The firm makes the list partly on the strength of its clientele, which include the Business Software Alliance, Dyson, Adidas and Ferrero.

Unitalen has a significant practice in all areas of trademarks, including domestic and foreign trademark prosecution, trademark clearance and other counseling issues, licensing and enforcement of trademark, domain name rights, and litigation. The firm says that more than 1,000 clients rely upon it to handle trademark prosecution matters before the Chinese Trademark Office and abroad.

 

IP Litigation Firms of the Year

The winners of our inaugural China IP Awards Enforcement Firms of the Year are, in alphabetical order:

 

CCPIT Patent and Trademark Law Office is noted for its work in many of the country’s most important intellectual property cases; its efforts have contributed greatly to the development of intellectual property jurisprudence in China. Of particular note, the firm represented Canon in a patent infringement case which was, in 2019, selected as one of the Top 50 Typical Cases of the Supreme People’s Court and which ultimately led to the court conceptually clarifying the term “manufacturing” in the sense of the Chinese patent law, which helped to protect the company’s patent right in a fair and reasonable way.

Fangda Partners is a full-service firm with a strong litigation practice, including intellectual property litigation. Gordon Gao is a standout litigator, known for his work in complex patent litigation, large-scale high technology trade secret disputes, trademark and copyright disputes and anti-monopoly cases concerning IP rights. He is consistently highly-ranked for his work, and has advised clients in more than 10 cases on appeal to the Supreme Court on trade secret and patent infringement issues.

King & Wood Mallesons is a global law firm headquartered in China known for its strong litigation team. Late last year, the Guangdong People’s Higher Court ruled in favour of KWM client Bulgari on the trademark infringement and unfair competition civil suit between Bulgari and Hunan Taskin Investment Co., recognizing the former’s BVLGARI 宝格丽 mark a well-known trademark, and consequently holding the defendant’s use of “宝格丽 (Bvlgari in Chinese characters)” and “宝格丽公寓 (Bvlgari Residential Building in Chinese characters)” in a prominent manner on commercial properties the defendant developed and on the promotional materials thereof constitute infringement against Bulgari’s aforementioned trademark registration. The ruling also required Taskin to compensate Bulgari for damages and costs. The ruling carries tremendous significance, showcasing the principle of “to recognize as needed” by China’s trademark law concerning well-known trademarks.

Liu, Shen & Associates is noted for its work in patent prosecution, and is recommended by clients for smooth interactions in terms of workflow management and expertise. The firm is also a registered law firm, and serves its clients in all phases of intellectual property: acquisition of the rights, transfer and/or licensing of the rights, investment with the rights, enforcement and protection of the rights, and related litigation and administrative proceedings. Most partners have been leading practitioners in the area for more than two decades, and the majority of the professionals have advanced degrees. The firm currently has 41 partners, 180 patent attorneys, 79 attorneys at law (most of whom are also qualified as patent attorneys), and 11 trademark agents.

Unitalen has a significant practice in all areas of trademarks, including domestic and foreign trademark prosecution, trademark clearance and other counseling issues, licensing and enforcement of trademark, domain name rights, and litigation. The firm says that more than 1,000 clients rely upon it to handle trademark prosecution matters before the Chinese Trademark Office and abroad. The firm won a case before the Beijing IP Court and Beijing Higher People’s Court for its client Lafite against Beijing Lafayette Castle Hotel Co., which on its self-operated website, claims to be “a melting spot of wine culture, French architecture, sculpture and garden art; and an ideal venue for large-scale performance event, cocktail party, exhibition, high-end conference and Chinese or Western style wedding.” The courts ruled that use of the trademark on the designated “buffet cafeterias, restaurants, residences (hotels, boarding houses), cocktail reception services, bars” and other services is misleading to the public, and that the trademarks were declared invalid.

Specialization Awards

Licensing & Franchising Firms of the Year

The winners of our inaugural China IP Awards Licensing & Franchising Firms of the Year are, in alphabetical order:

  • CCPIT Patent and Trademark Law Office
  • Fangda Partners
  • Hylands Law Firm
  • King & Wood Mallesons
  • NTD Intellectual Property

 

Hylands Law Firm, a large-scale commercial law firm, has 18 offices nationwide, including an IP agency. The firm has some 400 partners and counsel, and nearly 1,000 lawyers and professionals. Last year, the firm assisted Beijing Wiseasy Technology Co. as that company invested and set up Wiseasy International (Belarus) Co in the China-Belarus Industrial Park. Hylands provided a full range of legal services for this project, including suggestions for selection of investment destination, project site visit and survey, communication and negotiation with relevant Chinese and Belarusian departments and institutions on product origin and identification of self-produced products, and the drafting, review and revision of project documents, etc. Wiseasy Belarus will develop and produce smart electronic terminal products represented by smart POS machines in China-Belarus Industrial Park for sale and provide after-sales services. At the same time, Wiseasy Belarus also provides development of mobile payment system and related services.

 

Technology, Media & Telecoms Firms of the Year

The winners of our inaugural China IP Awards Licensing & Franchising Firms of the Year are, in alphabetical order:

  • Advance China IP Law Office
  • Co-effort Law Firm
  • Fangda Partners
  • King & Wood Mallesons
  • Lifang & Partners

 

Pharma, Biotech & Life Sciences Firms of the Year

The winners of our inaugural China IP Awards Licensing & Franchising Firms of the Year are, in alphabetical order:

 

An, Tian, Zhang & Partners was founded in 1999 and focuses on intellectual property work, including prosecution and litigation work. It has in recent years done an increasing amount of work for Japanese clients in the pharmaceuticals sector, in part due to its top-notch investigations team, which is noted for its work in patent disputes and trials. The firm’s litigators have experience before virtually all of China’s most important courts, and its lawyers are said to understand how litigation fits into clients’ business plans. The firm’s evidence collection team also comes well-recommended by clients, and has experience with combating trademark and patent infringement taking place at professional exhibitions.

The patent practice at JunHe plays an important role in the firm’s IP practice, and is known for its successful work in maximizing the commercial value of patents and in acquiring, using and maintaining their patent rights. The patent team works extremely well with the firm’s other practice teams, including mergers and acquisitions, capital markets and dispute resolution, to offer comprehensive legal services. Earlier this year, the firm helped its client I-Mab Biopharma launch on the NASDAQ, issuing some 7.4 million American Depositary Shares to raise more than US$104 million. I-Mab is an aggressive, innovative biopharmaceutical company based in China and having presence globally, whose products have entered the clinical stage. The Company focuses on major unmet treatment needs in the field of oncology and autoimmune diseases, and on developing innovative biopharmaceuticals with highly differentiated characteristics.

 

Regional Firms of the Year

The winners of our inaugural regional China IP Awards Firms of the Year are, in alphabetical order by city:

 

Borsam Intellectual Property is a veteran intellectual property firm based in Shenzhen, with additional offices in Xiamen, Fuzhou and Hong Kong. The firm is particularly noted for its work with rising small and medium enterprises across all of their IP needs. The firm has around 60 staff members, including patent attorneys, trademark attorney and professionals practicing particularly in the biological, electronic, mechanical, chemical, arts and telegraphic communication sectors, and works with both domestic and international clients. The firm’s core practice is in the protection of patents and prosecution of infringement across China, including Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau. The firm’s founding members are litigators Ming Zhang and Zhizheng Lin and trademark expert Dong Lin.

Founded as the Jiangmen Patent Office in 1987, the firm was privatized in 2001 to become Jiaquan IP Law. The firm assists clients in developing, acquiring and enforcing intellectual property rights in China, with expertise in prosecution, litigation, and invalidation of trademarks, copyrights, and patents. Headquartered in Guangzhou, and with other offices in Shenzhen, Foshan, Shunde, Zhuhai, Zhongshan, Dongguan, and Jiangmen, Jiaquan works with clients across a wide range of technologies, including biotechnology, chemistry, pharmacology, electronics, communications, computer software and hardware, microfabrication, optics, new energy, material science, automation, and industrial design. Xinxue Yu is recommended.

 

Rising Stars of the Year

The winners of our inaugural China IP Awards Rising Stars of the Year are, in alphabetical order:

 

IP March, formerly named Co-Talent Intellectual Property Firm, was established in March 2016. The firm is quickly rising through the ranks on the strength of its partners, each of whom has specialized in intellectual property work for more than a decade. Managing partner Stephen Yang has been a patent attorney since 1997 and has worked for some of the country’s top firms, including China Patent Agent (HK) and Peksung Intellectual Property, as well as spending more than five years as an in-house patent specialist in Toronto. The firm is noted for taking a client service-friendly approach and is expected to continuing its rise under Yang’s leadership.

Jadong IP Law Firm was founded in 2014 by Yunze Lian, who has nearly four decades of experience in intellectual property law in China. Lian, who also founded the patent and trademark group at Hylands Law Firm and IP investigation company ABIDA, believes that  “the best services derive from an intense specialization of services. The more specialized we are, the better services we will provide to our clients. Quality is guaranteed by specialization.” Lian is recognized as an IP expert by the international brand owners he represents, numerous IP publishers and by the IP community in general. Other partners at the firm include Dong Wang, Rebecca Liu, Xiangjing Luo and Lin Jia.


Law firms

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