The Winners of the Asia IP 2021 Awards

17 January 2022

The Winners of the Asia IP 2021 Awards You have spoken. The verdict is in. And the winners are...

Australia Copyright Firm of the Year

Ashurst Australia’s intellectual property team provides a complete range of contentious and non-contentious specialist IP services. It has an excellent reputation for providing cutting-edge advice on strategic IP matters, acting for some of the world’s leading companies. The full- service firm has over 375 partners among 1,600 lawyers and staff in 25 offices throughout Australia and the Pacific region to provide corporate services in conjunction with IP support. The firm represents U.S.-based background music supplier Mood Media and Canada-based background music supplier Stingray in joint negotiations with music collecting society APRA AMCOS in relation to those companies’ background music service licence agreements. Together, Mood and Stingray’s respective Australian operations constitute a significant portion of the background music service sector in Australia. The firm successfully obtained authorization from the Australian regulator, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), to enable the companies to collectively negotiate with APRA AMCOS. It has also prepared submissions to the ACCC on behalf Mood Media in relation to APRA AMCOS’ application for reauthorization of its collective bargaining notification.

Australia Patent Firm of the Year

Davies Collison Cave was acquired by QANTM IP Limited in 2016 and is now part of the Australian Securities Exchange-listed company of over 370 employees across key offices in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Singapore. DCC continues to operate as an independent business with former partners retaining over 50 percent interest in QANTM and restructuring to enable increased investment in IT and other systems innovation and expansion into other jurisdictions. The firm acted for Virtus Health, a market- leading assisted reproductive services (ARS) provider in Australian and Ireland, which also has a growing presence in the UK, Denmark and Singapore. The matter involved Virtus Health transferring its IP and patent applications relating to the Ivy Al technology to Virtolife, an organization based in Sweden. The artificial intelligence technology will support elective single embryo transfer and is anticipated to help IVF practitioners rank the most viable embryos for selection and transfer. DCC played the central role of preparing patent applications in relation to the artificial intelligence. In support of the client’s negotiations we considered the search results and provided advice on the possibility of grant in various countries.

Australia Trademarks Firm of the Year

Baker McKenzie has offices in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, and maintains an impressive team of IP specialists backed up by an international network. The firm has been in the Australia market for more than 50 years, and works on some of the country’s most significant transactions and deals. The firm’s key IP contacts in Australia include Helen Macpherson, who has acted for a major Australian horticulture company on plant variety rights and trademark issues and for a multinational supermarket chain in trademark, passing off and consumer law matters, and Anne-Marie Allgrove, a Sydney-based lawyer who chairs the firm’s global IP, data and technology practice.

Bangladesh IP Firm of the Year

Advocates IP Law Alliance is the winner of Asia IP’s inaugural Bangladesh IP Firm of the Year award. Advocates IP Law Alliance is a leading IP firm in Dhaka that provides global clients the expertise required to protect their names, trademarks and patents. Delwar Hossain is the key contact of the firm. The firm has acted for some of the largest regional and global companies on IP matters, including well-known names such as Carlton & United Breweries, Gloria Jean’s Coffees, Paper Australia, Kmart Australia, H.J. Heinz, Visa International, Liz Claiborne, Kraft Foods and Novo Nordisk. The firm also does extensive work for IP law firms in other countries around the region, and around the world.

Brunei IP Firm of the Year

With four partners, four associates and one consultant, CCW Partnership is the winner of Asia IP’s inaugural Brunei IP Firm of the Year award. The firm was founded in 1980 and used to be known as Choo, Chan & Wong; today, it has a leading reputation in IP and other areas of commercial and civil disputes, including construction, banking, property and insurance. Partner On Hung Zheng is a key IP contact at the full-service law firm; he has appeared before the High Court and Court of Appeal of Brunei Darussalam.

Cambodia IP Firm of the Year

Pheng Thea is co-founder of Abacus IP, a full-service intellectual property agency in Phnom Penh. His practice involves the registration and maintenance of hundreds of trademarks, patents, industrial designs and other forms of IP. Co-founder David Haskel, of counsel Sreypeou Chaing and external advisor Tom Pearson are also key contacts. The firm has completed a successful enforcement programme on behalf of a global, US-based real estate firm for trademark infringement and unfair competition, and has filed dozens of patent filings for PCT national phase and validation of foreign patents in Cambodia. Over the past year, its trademark litigation work has involved several investigations, contentious licensing and mediation procedures before the Cambodian Department of Intellectual Property Rights. Its clients are primarily multinational corporations seeking to protect their rights in Cambodia. On the patent side, the firm primarily does validation and re-registration of foreign patents under cooperation agreements between the Cambodian and Chinese, Singaporean and European patent offices, as well as PCT national phase filings.

China International Copyright Firm of the Year

Baker McKenzie has offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong, and maintains an impressive team of IP specialists backed by an international network, including eight partners and 23 other qualified lawyers in Greater China. China and Hong Kong IP practice head Loke-Khoon Tan also co-leads the firm’s luxury and fashion industry practice, working extensively with global brands in major jurisdictions. China IP practice clients include LVMH, Ralph Lauren, Sony, Danone, Disney, Louis Vuitton, L’Oréal, Procter & Gamble, Starbucks and Volvo.

China International Patents Firm of the Year

Bird & Bird established its Hong Kong office in 1995, followed by Beijing in 2004 and Shanghai in 2008. The international firm entered into an association with local firm Lawjay Partners in 2009 to increase coverage in contentious IP matters in Chinese courts. The China and Hong Kong team is led by partner Matthew Laight, who has represented some of the world’s leading companies in a broad range of sectors including electronics, pharmaceuticals, communications, information technology, media, broadcasting, and food and beverage. The team filed 103 patent application in China, 25 more in Hong Kong and seven further in other jurisdictions. The firm has advised a global company on patentability searches, providing pre-filing advice, drafting patent applications and managing patent prosecution before patent offices in China. The work required deep technical background and covered many methods specific to the industry.

 China International Trademarks Firm of the Year

Swedish law firm AWA operates its Asia units out of AWA Asia in Hong Kong and AWA Asia’s wholly-owned Chinese IP consultancy, AWA IP (Beijing). Ai-Leen Lim serves as the chief executive officer and principal counsel of AWA Asia, and serves mainland Chinese, Hong Kong and international clients with a focus on brand management and social media matters. AWA IP (Beijing) is a licensed PRC trademark agency that is able to file and enforce trademarks directly in China before the Trademark Office and the administrative authorities. The firm provides a full- service offering including filing, prosecution, monitoring, watching, enforcement, dispute resolution and offers market-leading advice on China-specific IP strategies. The Beijing office is also a licensed trademark agency, enabling the firm to directly file China trademarks for its clients.

Hong Kong Copyright Firm of the Year

Well-respected Ella Cheong and Alan Chiu head Hong Kong- based ELLALAN; Chiu is the firm’s managing partner. The firm, which until June 2020 had been known as Ella Cheong & Alan Chiu, advises on IP enforcement, transactional and commercial IP and internet-related issues, as well as matters concerning entertainment and media, dispute resolution, commercial law and regulatory law. The firm has been involved in a long-running, landmark copyright licensing dispute before the Hong Kong Copyright Tribunal, in which it represented Hong Kong Karaoke Licensing Alliance Limited (HKKLA, representing multinational music labels such as Universal Music, Song Music and Warner Music) against Neway, Hong Kong’s largest karaoke chain. The Copyright Tribunal decided that the structure and the rates of HKKLA’s licensing scheme were reasonable and no variation was needed to HKKLA’s scheme. Accordingly, Neway was ordered to pay more than HK$100 million (US$12.8 million) as outstanding licence fees plus legal costs to HKKLA. The decision was the first-ever handed down by Hong Kong’s Copyright Tribunal. In particular, a firm representative says, the Copyright Tribunal went to “great length to consider what is a reasonable way to valuate and structure the subject licensing scheme.”

Hong Kong Trademarks Firm of the Year

Deacons’ IP practice remains one of the best among the city’s firms; partner Annie Tsoi and Charmaine Koo co-head the practice, while Catherine Zheng heads the patents and designs group. Patsy Lau is key contact for trademark work. The firm took over the Alipay trademark portfolio of Alipay in 2019; since then, the firm has assisted Alipay with various brand clearance and trademark registrations, including Alipay’s first virtual spokesperson character, “ALISA”. The firm is also advising PingAn China Group on two separate trademark (Proceedings in Court of Final Appeal) and passing off cases in Hong Kong. This includes acting for the client in the court action as well as in numerous related opposition proceedings between the parties. It is also assisting the client in combatting a portfolio of 40 shadow companies using the client’s trademarks and/or trade names in Hong Kong, including filing ‘too-like’ company name complaints, striking-off complaints and other proceedings.

Hong Kong Patents Firm of the Year

Baker McKenzie has offices in Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai, and maintains an impressive team of IP specialists backed up by an international network. China and Hong Kong IP practice head Loke-Khoon Tan also co-leads the firm’s luxury and fashion industry practice, working extensively with global brands in major jurisdictions. The firm has advised a multitude of global and regional clients in patent litigation and patent due diligence. “It is extremely gratifying to be selected as the leading Hong Kong Patents Firm of the Year once again,” says Isabella Liu, the Asia Pacific chair of Baker McKenzie’s IP and technology practice. “The spread of the categories in which we won is a testament to the strength of our IP practice across the region. We look forward to continually supporting our clients in all their IP strategies and objectives across the Asia Pacific region.”

India Copyright Firm of the Year

Beruar & Beruar’s practice areas include copyright, trademarks, patents, design, geographical indications, dispute resolution, corporate advisory, investigation and enforcement. Partner Rahul Beruar co-founded the law firm and heads its IP practice, and is extremely highly regarded for his expertise in civil and criminal copyright work. He successfully handled the UK anti-piracy campaign in India in the early 2000s, and has worked to protect the legal sales of the Harry Potter series of books in India. He has served a niche client base spanning in the publishing, software and apparel industries, for whom he has litigated and strategized enforcement actions.

India Patents Firm of the Year

IP powerhouse Remfry & Sagar is a go-to firm for multinationals in India. The firm has pioneered patent litigation in India’s post-TRIPS regime, advising, and acting on behalf of, leading international pharmaceutical companies on seminal matters including Section 3(d) of the Patents Act and the issue of compulsory licensing. More recently, telecom disputes involving Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory (FRAND) licensing agreements in Standard Essential Patents (SEPs) have been an area of focus. On the prosecution side, the firm files nearly 5,000 patent applications annually across a range of technology sectors, including chemistry, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, electrical, electronics, food, telecommunications and software. The firm is well- regarded for search and watch activities, and for both initiating and responding to opposition and revocation matters.

India Trademarks Firm of the Year

Anand and Anand is one of India’s top IP firms, housing more than 200 professionals led by managing partner Pravin Anand. Senior partners Safir Anand, Archana Shanker and MS Bharath are all excellent lawyers. Clients include Mars, Microsoft, Toyota, Louis Vuitton and Pioneer. Anand and Anand was also named the National IP Firm of the Year at the 2021 Asia IP India IP Awards. “Winning is not always about acknowledgment, but a definitive recognition of our understanding and leadership in the subtle nuances of law, more than what often meets the eye,” says Safir Anand, senior partner and head of trademarks at the firm. “Anand and Anand will continue to strive for excellence, strongly driven by our core principles and the hunger to innovate and lead. We thankfully accept this award on behalf of the entire invisible, but talented team, who behind the proverbial curtains, keeps the spirit of the legacy vibrant.”

Indonesia Copyright Firm of the Year

Jakarta-based AMR Partnership is led by founding partner and principal Amalia Rosseno, one of Indonesia’s top practitioners. The firm’s copyright work is well-regarded, and includes prosecution of copyright registration at the Indonesian IP office, copyright clearance, providing legal opinions on copyright infringement, drafting and renewing copyright licensing and assignment contracts, and copyright litigation in commercial, civil and criminal courts. Rosseno brings particular expertise in litigation and negotiation.

Indonesia Patents Firm of the Year

HHP Law Firm, formerly known as Hadiputranto, Hadinoto & Partners, is the Indonesian member firm of Baker McKenzie. Its IP team helps international clients with cease-and-desist campaigns, anti-counterfeiting raids, infringer investigations and other related matters. The IP team is led by partner Daru Lukiantono. The firm performs patent portfolio management in Indonesia for an Asian conglomerate, including general patent advisory work, advisory on postponement of patent implementation, new national filings as well as attending patent annuities management at the Directorate of Patents in Indonesia. Portfolio management work has become more important considering the changes of policies and regulation in relation to patent prosecution in Indonesia, a firm representative says. “The Directorate of Patent has started to request patent owners to inform them on the status of their patent implementation in Indonesia that is required by law. In case patent implementation is not possible at the moment, patent owners are required to submit official request for postponement with acceptable reasons. We have been advising the best strategic commercial reason for submission of this request for postponement.”

Indonesia Trademarks Firm of the Year

Managing partner Justisiari Perdana Kusumah and partner Risti Wulansari lead K&K Advocates, a boutique firm specializing in IP matters with particular strength in copyright, patent and trademark registration and enforcement. The firm is regularly sought by multinational clients and foreign governments. It also acts for or is involved with bodies responsible for developing IP and technology laws. The firm handles trademark prosecution work for a variety of clients, both local and multinational clients, covering different types of matters, from simple filings, monitoring to handling contentious matters. The firm has been advising an international consumer products company on its portfolio in Indonesia, by filing numerous trademark applications, including filing a criminal claim against the infringers to initiate raid actions, and in assisting the client in filing a customs recordation to the Indonesian Customs Office. The firm successfully represented a global apparel company in filing a cancellation claim at the Indonesian Commercial Court against a third party’s trademark. It also assisted the client against an appellate review for the Supreme Court decision filed by the defendant, which was also decided in the client’s favour.

Japan Copyright Firm of the Year

Founded in 2003, Kotto Dori Law Office for the Arts is located in Tokyo and is highly sought after for its work in art and entertainment law. The firm has represented clients in areas of publishing, audio-visual, stage drama, music and game. Its principal practice is divided between advice on domestic and international contracts, dispute resolution and copyright-related issues. Kensaku Fukui is extensively published on copyright matters; his publication An Introduction to Copyright for 18-Year-Olds has recently been reprinted for the seventh time. Members of the firm are often sought for commentary on a wide range of arts-related matters; they have recently been quoted on unauthorized NFT sales, Twitter and moral rights, digital avatars of deceased historical figures, and the future of performing arts digital archives.

Japan Trademarks Firm of the Year

Nakamura & Partners in Tokyo is an international patent and law firm which provides IP services inside and outside of the country. It provides services for patents (including designs) and trademarks, and has a strong legal section and the administration group to support the firm. The firm files some 1,300 trademark applications each year; it is currently advising a client in a case seeking revocation of a trial decision of the Japan Patent Office. The firm successfully represented Toho in a case filed by Taguchi Industrial Co., in which the JPO accepted its motion for invalidation of Taguchi’s registered trademark “Guzzilla” on the grounds that the registered trademark is likely to cause confusion with goods or services connected to Toho’s business when used for its designated goods in Class 7 (construction machines and instruments, etc.), because Toho’s business is diversified and such goods of the Guzzilla trademark include goods with relevance to Toho’s business.

Japan Patents Firm of the Year

One of the largest Japanese IP firms and founded in 1965, Aoyama & Partners has its main office in Osaka, with a branch in Tokyo. Its patent attorneys are also scientists, engineers, pharmacologists and chemists who provide strategic counselling, prosecutions and litigations for domestic and international patent, design, trademark and other IP related matters. Since its inception, the firm has filed more than 155,000 patent applications in Japan, about 60 percent of them for domestic clients and 40 percent for foreign clients, and more than 125,000 patent applications, including those under PCT, in some 145 other jurisdictions. The firm works in all technical areas, including life sciences, chemistry and materials science, electronics and IT, and mechanical engineering.
Laos IP Firm of the Year

Regional firm Kenfox IP & Law Office is the winner of the inaugural Asia IP Laos IP Firm of the Year Award.The firm’s Vientiane office handles a large variety of IP matters, including patents and petty patents, industrial designs, trademarks, copyrights, geographical indications and other related matters such as customs recordals, enforcement, trade secrets and trademark cancellations. Many of its lawyers have worked at governmental ministries in the country, providing clients with important knowledge and insight about governmental operations.
Macau IP Firm of the Year

The team at BN Intellectual Property Services encompasses a wide range of services, in particular the registration and protection of trademarks, patents and industrial designs rights. The firm also provides legal support in the area of advertising and consumer law, and in the area of consumer law, it provides assistance in regards to the sector of food and beverages, in consumption conflicts, and e-commerce. Managing partner Bruno Nunes, who handles IP, gaming and corporate and commercial work, has also been involved in international sporting competitions – the Asian Indoor Games and the East Asian Games – held in Macau. The firm works closely with its sister firm, BN Lawyers.

Malaysia Copyright Firm of the Year

Established in 1962 and 1986, respectively, Chooi & Company and Cheang & Ariff were mid-sized law firms that have grown to become respected and recognized for their dispute resolution practice and corporate and financial services practice. Now as Chooi & Company + Cheang & Ariff, the firm offers a full range of legal services that focuses on corporate and commercial litigation, criminal law and public interest disputes. The firm is noted for its media and entertainment work, including content licensing, production, and acquisition and distribution deals, including mobile apps, games, music, television programming and content distributed over the internet. The firm handles copyright and other IP portfolio matters for clients, mainly MNCs and publicly listed companies from Malaysia, Japan, South Korea, the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany, China, Hong Kong, France, Canada, Scotland and Brazil, among others.

Malaysia Patents Firm of the Year

Full-service firm Shearn Delamore & Co’s IP practice is led by Karen Abraham, with its IP team providing professional services for more than 40 years and being widely recognized as one of the leading firms for patent filing, patent infringement and invalidation actions in Malaysia. The firm was involved in a case before the High Court in 2021 in which the court set out and clarified a number of novel issues, including the extent and applicability of the doctrine of res judicata and issue estoppel in a remitted trial, the interpretation of Type 1 and Type 2 patent claims, the construction of the inventive concept of a patent and the applicability of a purposive construction in determining it, and that, in a case where the invention is technical in nature and transcends more than one area, the Person Skilled in the Art could consist of a team of experts.

Malaysia Trademarks Firm of the Year

IP and technology boutique Wong Jin Nee & Teo provides a wide-spectrum of IP and technology law services and is renowned for its work in trademark application, litigation, as well as brand protection and enforcement work. Partners Jin Nee Wong and Bong Kwang Teo are recognized for their expertise in handling both litigation and non-contentious matters that extend to integrated IP services including portfolio management and exploitation both locally and abroad.
 Myanmar IP Firm of the Year

A boutique full-service law firm specializing in IP laws, Biz Law Consult Myanmar was put up by a group of established lawyers trained in Myanmar and regional laws. Its key IP contact is founder and CEO Minn Tayzar Nyunt Tin, who has extensive experience advising in IP laws and corporate and commercial laws. His specific practice includes trademark protection and an extensive experience in trademark infringement and counterfeit cases in Myanmar, being a certified professional certificate in Transnational Crimes and IP Crimes Investigator. Min Tayza’s name is sometimes transliterated as Min Tayza; he has been heavily involved in writing Myanmar’s new IP laws. Clients include Johnson Suisse, Mitsubishi Electric, AgriFirst, Grand Royal, Hershey and Xi Mang Chinfon.

New Zealand Copyright Firm of the Year

AJ Park houses a leading IP practice for both contentious and non-contentious works, further boosted by its acquisition of Baldwins in October 2020. Paul Johns is a key contact for copyright matters; he has recently written about the New Zealand National Library’s donation of 600,000 books from its overseas published collection to the Internet Archive, a free-to-use, U.S.-based digital repository of books, movies, games and music. The New Zealand National Library’s donation was to be digitized and become part of the online collection, but the National Library recently ceased its donation after receiving a wave of criticism over copyright issues. “From the information I have seen, it is not clear to me how the National Library considers the proposed copying to be lawful,” Johns said. “New models have already emerged for the sale and ‘lending’ of eBooks. I expect copyright law to develop to protect the economic interests of those profiting from those models while preserving tradition exemptions for legitimate libraries and archives,” he said. “How the Internet Archive, and digitization in general, fit into that is yet to be seen.”

New Zealand Patents Firm of the Year

Dentons and Kensington Swan in New Zealand have combined to form Dentons Kensington Swan, and the combination is already paying benefits to clients. With new offices in Auckland and Wellington, Dentons can now connect clients to a team of more than 100 lawyers in New Zealand who can meet the needs of clients across a wide range of industries. Partner and key contact Jenni Rutter has advised a global food product company on a strategic pathway to market in New Zealand in the face of a competitor’s portfolio and patents and trademarks, and has advised businesses in the artificial turf, construction and food and beverage sectors on patent freedom to operate issues.
New Zealand Trademarks Firm of the Year

General practice law firm Buddle Findlay offers both contentious and non-contentious IP work with an emphasis on trademarks and copyright matters; it has offered trademark registration and portfolio management services since the 1940s. The trademark team files not only in New Zealand and Australia, but also in a number of Pacific island nations. The firm also handles patent advisory, dispute resolution and litigation work, and carries out anti-counterfeiting actions as well as provides transactional support to IP owners. Partner John Glengarry, a specialist intellectual property lawyer with extensive experience both in New Zealand and overseas, heads up the trademark team and co-leads the IP practice. British American Tobacco, Yahoo!, Colgate-Palmolive, Suntory, Random House/Doubleday, the Freightways Group, Saint Clair Family Estate Wines, the Bank of New Zealand, the Auckland City Council and singer Robbie Williams are counted among the firm’s clients.

Pakistan Copyright Firm of the Year

Founded in 1972, Ali & Associates is an internationally- recognized law firm specializing in IP, media and IT. The firm is led by senior partner Syed Auqil Ali Shah and managing partner Karimullah Adeni. The team is well- known for enforcement and litigation work, and has represented domestic and foreign clients in the cosmetic, chemical, textile, oil and gas, pharmaceutical, machinery, electronic, automobile and agriculture sectors. The firm has domestic offices in Karachi and Lahore, and foreign offices in Kabul and the Washington area

Pakistan Patents Firm of the Year

Founded by Abdur Bharucha in 1948, Bharucha & Co is one of the oldest firms for patent and trademark prosecution work in Karachi. The firm collaborates with an IP-focused investigation agency, so time-restricted projects can be handled swiftly. Abdul Aziz, a partner at the firm since 1964, heads its patent department, emphasizing patent prosecution and litigation.
Pakistan Trademarks Firm of the Year

One of the fastest growing law firms in the region, Lahore- based ALIPA (Abeed Legal & IP Attorneys) provides IP services covering trademarks, designs, copyrights, patents, and domain names. These include filing, registration, renewal, opposition, licensing, assignments, post registration procedures, opinions and counseling, prosecution, due diligence and litigation. The firm, which has several regional offices, delivers these solutions to startups and Fortune 500 companies alike, fueled by its lawyers’ outstanding technical and litigation expertise. This team is led by founder and managing partner Muhammad Abeed Atif who specializes in corporate matters, IP laws and technology laws.
Philippines Copyright Firm of the Year

Led by senior partner Patricia AO Bunye, Cruz Marcelo & Tenefrancia’s services include prosecution of applications for the registration of trademarks and patents and applications for issuance of copyright deposit; protection of business models, trade secrets and undisclosed information; IP commercialization; handling administrative, civil and criminal cases; dispute settlement; mediation involving IPRs; and anti-piracy programs and intellectual property enforcement cases. Among others, the firm handles IP matters for the Department of Science and Technology-Technology Application and Promotion Institute and the Asian Institute of Management. Cruz Marcelo & Tenefrancia likewise represents the heirs and estate of National Artist for Theater and Literature Rolando S. Tinio for IP audit, contracts review and protection of his works through copyright deposit among others. Senior partner Susan Villanueva is a key IP contact.

Philippines Patents Firm of the Year

The Hechanova Group Hechanova & Co. and Hechanova Bugay Vilchez & Andaya-Racadio – is based in Manila, where the former firm focuses on prosecution matters and the latter on litigation work. The patents department of Hechanova & Co. is led by its president, Editha R. Hechanova, and its director, Brenda P. Rivera, and is supported by senior manager Chrissie Ann L. Barredo, and a team of patent specialists and paralegals who specialize in chemical and non-chemical technologies. In 2019, the firm was the Philippines’ No. 1 patent filer with 806 patent applications filed; in 2020, it filed 767 patent applications, the bulk of them invention patents but also including utility models and industrial designs. The firm filed 761 of its 2020 applications for clients outside the Philippines. In the past 12 months, the firm has filed applications for such companies as Alibaba Group Holdings, Incyte, and Angel Playing Cards.

“Despite Covid-19, we have continued to file responses to formality and substantive examination reports and to attend to office actions in relation to patent applications under our firm’s care,” Editha Hechanova said. “We were able to do so with our staff working at home, and at the office, and with the IPOPHL allowing online filings.” Going forward, she said, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) are stepping up in training researchers and inventors at state universities. Because of this, we have been commissioned to do freedom to operate searches, prior art searches, patent drafting and preparing patent applications.”

 Philippines Trademarks Firm of the Year

Founded by a young group of IP professionals headed by Mario C. Cerilles, Jr. and Harry Gwynn Omar M. Fernan, who are both adept in sciences, Cerilles & Fernan Intellectual Property Law (CFIP Law) is a boutique law firm located in Makati that is primarily engaged in the local and international protection of IP rights. It specializes in filing PCT applications in the Philippines and coordinating national phase entry in other countries.
Singapore Copyright Firm of the Year

Established in 2006, Amica Law is a specialist intellectual property and technology practice with patent and trademark practitioners, attorneys and associates. The firm is sought after for its work in media and entertainment law, including copyright issues, merchandising, ticketing, sponsorship, advertising and publishing. The firm has advised clients in a diverse group of industries, including entertainment, cosmetics, chemicals and petroleum, telecommunications, information technology, food and beverage, hospitality and consumer products. Results- oriented director Wilson Wong in particular has handled print and online publishing contracts; artiste, recording, production and performance contracts; event promotion and ticketing contracts; and venue-hiring agreements.

Singapore Patents Firm of the Year

Bird & Bird ATMD opened in Singapore in 2009 and has since represented high-profile clients, including major Singapore-based companies and regional conglomerates, as well as well-known MNCs; it also advises local companies on overseas patent-filing strategies, including the utilization of PPHs and IP office fast-track initiatives. The firm acted for Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd/ Drug Houses of Australia in a High Court suit brought by Millennium Pharmaceuticals for prospective patent infringement. The firm was successful in striking out part of the claim in respect of prospective infringement and delaying Millennium Pharmaceuticals’ application for an interlocutory injunction against its client in the first successful case of striking out under Singapore’s Health Product Registration Act (HPRA). On the prosecution side, the firm has two patent attorneys and four paralegals handling prosecution work; it has more than 1,800 active cases, excluding annuity cases.
Singapore Trademarks Firm of the Year

Allen & Gledhill provides advice on both contentious and non-contentious matters including prosecuting, enforcing and defending IPRs worldwide. Partner Stanley Lai heads the IP department. The firm manages the Singapore and worldwide trademark prosecution portfolio for large national/multinational corporations based in Singapore and overseas, including CapitaLand Limited, Frasers Property, Keppel Land Hospitality Management, Great Eastern Life, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation, Singapore Post, Goh Joo Hin, Great Eastern, Star Cruise Shell Brands International, Herbalife International, Mattel, Sharp and Turner Broadcasting System. The firm advised Combe International, the proprietor of the Vagisil trademark in Singapore. The counter-party was the proprietor of the Vagisan trademark in Singapore. Both marks were registered for similar goods such as toiletries and pharmaceutical products. The firm successfully invalidated the Vagisan registration on the basis that there is a likelihood of confusion arising from the similarity of the respective marks and goods, and on the basis of passing off. The firm notes that the decision is significant as the Registry found an above-average similarity between the marks, and a resulting likelihood of confusion, notwithstanding that the prefix “vagi” was considered to be of weak distinctive character. The proprietor of the Vagisan trademark filed an appeal to the High Court; judgement was reserved.
South Korea Copyright Firm of the Year

Lee & Ko is a full-service law firm headquartered in Seoul. The IP team comprises former judges specializing in IP laws at the Supreme Court and Patent Court, as well as former KIPO examiners. The firm is noted for its work with copyright-related businesses, particularly digital copyright works such as computer programs, games and databases, and civil and criminal litigation involving such digital copyrights. “As our industry is transformed by a cutting- edge technology, there has been increasing attention to issues regarding computer programs,” the firm said. “On that note, our team of experts have a robust understanding of technology and industry based on the technical expertise in computer program and unrivaled experience in addressing such issues. We provide high-quality legal services not only in matters relating to copyright of computer programs but also in all matters involving program licensing, defect of program, implementation of system integration agreement, ownership and IP of developed programs, cloud computing, licensing of open source, big data, AI computing, cryptocurrency, and blockchain.” Among its work, the firm has undertaken copyright infringement cases involving software code for a semiconductor manufacturing machine, a computer program case involving fonts, the appearance of a online shopping mall, the offering of cloud service as SaaS and the offering of cloud personal video recorder services with smart TVs.
South Korea Patents Firm of the Year

Based in Seoul and headed by Jay (Young-June) Yang, Kim & Chang’s IP practice is the largest in the country, with more than 300 professionals, including IP litigators, patent attorneys, and foreign IP attorneys, as well as over 550 patent engineers, trademark paralegals, and support staff. “We are honoured to have been selected as the South Korea Patents Firm of the Year by Asia IP,” says Jay (Young-June) Yang, who heads the firm’s IP group. “Kim & Chang’s IP group strives to provide the highest quality legal service in Korea, and to offer client-oriented solutions based on our deep legal knowledge and expertise. We believe this award reflects our IP group’s concerted effort and commitment to continuously improving our service to our clients, and to providing creative solutions to problems while maintaining a focus on client value. We sincerely appreciate this wonderful honour and will continue to strive for excellence.”
South Korea Trademarks Firm of the Year

Cho & Partners is a favourite among luxury fashion and high-end retail brands; it also has top clients in the electronics industry. Tae-Yeon Cho is one of Asia’s leading IP lawyers, and Ik-Hyun Seo is experienced in both American and Korean IP litigation and prosecution work. Attorney-at-law Yoon-Kyung Anne Kim, is recommended for negotiating and drafting licensing, franchising, joint venture and distribution agreements as well as overseeing the development of internet and e-commerce initiatives.
Sri Lanka Copyright Firm of the Year

Century-old civil law firm Julius & Creasy offers advice on enforcement, management and transactional matters pertaining to IP law. The firm has acted for several Fortune 500 companies and has acted as Sri Lanka correspondent of several trademark and patent attorney firms in Europe, the US and Asia. Key IP practitioners include J.M. Swaminathan and Anomi Wanigasekera. The firm represented Maharaja Entertainments against Independent Television Network in a copyright matter. Maharaja holds the exclusive territorial license in respect of the film Asterix: The Secret of the Magic Potion for commercial exploitation in Sri Lanka. This action was instituted against a television channel based in Sri Lanka for wrongfully, unlawfully and without authorization from our clients, broadcasting the said film in Sri Lanka in violation of the firm’s client’s copyright and related rights. It also represented MTV and has issued a Letter of Demand against the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation, which is a state-owned television channel, for wrongfully, illegally and without authorization broadcasting the Sinhala film Kaliyugaya, to which MTV is the worldwide exclusive commercial and non-commercial rights holder.

Sri Lanka Patents Firm of the Year

DL&F De Saram was founded in Colombo in 1901 by Richard Francis De Saram. Manjula Sirimane and Prabash De Saram are key practitioners to register patents, trademarks, industrial designs and copyright, as well as to advise on infringement and litigation.

Sri Lanka Trademarks Firm of the Year

John Wilson Partners offers clients responsive, professional and fast turnaround for all types of IP filings. Managing proprietor John Wilson has invested considerable resources over the years to develop in- house custom docketing software, which facilitates efficient handling of large client portfolios, applications and renewals. Among its top IP practitioners are Sameendra Perera for trademark, patent and copyright; John Wilson for patent and copyright; and Benazir Hassan for trademark. “John Wilson Partners is proud and delighted to have been recognized as the winner of Asia IP’s Sri Lanka Trademarks Firm of the Year award,” says John Wilson. “This award reflects the dedication and hard work of our IP team and I would like to thank the team for that. Thank you also to all our clients and those who have provided feedback to Asia IP. Your support is our success.”

Taiwan Copyright Firm of the Year

Chen & Lin is noted for its general business advice in Taiwan, including a top intellectual property practice, as well as providing advice in corporate, securities,finance and business litigation. It represented a large Taiwanese listed company to negotiate with a famous beverage company over the second company’s copyright infringement of beverage packaging, after which the infringer agreed to change its beverage packaging. It also represented an international consumer goods company to protect their shampoo-related products’ copyrighted packages, after which the infringer also agreed to change their infringing product packages. The firm’s clients include a wide variety of clients including a world-class semiconductor foundry company, several multinational corporations and many major national and international players in high tech and information industry involved in patent, copyright, trademark and trade secret license or infringement, telecommunication, depositary receipt or convertible bond issuance, joint venture, mergers and acquisition, trade practices, syndicated loan arrangement and environment protection.

Taiwan Patents Firm of the Year

Taipei-based Tsai, Lee & Chen is particularly well- known for its work with high-tech patents. The firm has seen extensive growth in recent years, especially in its domestic patent department. The firm manages more than 30,000 patents and 18,000 trademarks worldwide; it filed more than 4,700 patent applications from domestic clients last year, and nearly 2,500 from international clients. On the litigation side, the team defended Gogoro, an innovative vehicle enterprise also renowned for building a battery swapping network partnering wirth other electric scooter brands. Stone Energy Technology, another company engaged in developing novel electrical power storage systems, accused Gogoro of infringing two Taiwan patents of inventions: “anti-counterfeiting battery pack and its authentication system thereof” and “battery pack.” Stone Energy claimed damages reached at least NT$350 million (US$12.55 million). After pending for less than 18 months, the IP Court rendered a decision in May 2021, rejecting all of the plaintiff’s. At the same time, the court did not find Stone Energy’s patent claims reading on Gogoro’s batteries; therefore, Stone Energy’s patents were not infringed. As the patents not infringed, the court did not further investigate or review the validity of patents, the damages claim, injunction requests, etc.

Taiwan Trademarks Firm of the Year

With headquarters in Taipei and branch offices in Hsinchu, Taichung and southern Taiwan, Lee and Li is a key player in Taiwan. The firm has formed an alliance with Leaven IPR Agency in Beijing to develop the mainland China market. The firm handles new trademark applications for registration, renewal application, change of applicant’s/ registrant’s name or other application/registration particulars, assignment recordation, license or sublicense recordation, etc. In a trademark opposition administrative litigation, Apple, Inc. v. Ora, Inc., which involved Apple’s logo and Ora’s fruit device, the firm represented Apple Ora filed a trademark application for its fruit device in Taiwan, which was granted registration. Ora also filed the same trademark logo for trademark registration in other countries, including in the United States. As Apple considers the fruit device to be confusingly similar to Apple’s own apple device, Apple then filed an opposition against the fruit device trademark with Taiwan’s IP office. The IPO took the view that Ora’ fruit device is an orange, which was not similar to the apple device trademark, and then rejected Apple’s opposition. Apple then filed an administrative appeal with the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) but failed. The firm then represented Apple further, filing an administrative litigation with the Intellectual Property Court, which not only cancelled the decisions of the IPO and the MOEA, but also ordered the IPO to cancel Ora’s fruit device registration, held in its decision that Apple’s apple device should be deemed famous trademark in Taiwan. Apple may now be able to cite the IP Court’s opinion to have more protection against other trademark use in different fields under the Fair Trade Act.

Thailand Copyright Firm of the Year

The Legal is a boutique law firm in Bangkok founded by experienced lawyers from several renowned law firms in Thailand. The firm provides legal services to clients from individuals to juristic entities and local to multinational companies, as well as government authorities. The full-service firm’s IP practice is helmed by Panisa Suwanmatajarn, who is also the firm’s managing partner. She has a dozen years of experience in intellectual property, corporate and commercial and information technology fields. She was senior associate at Siam Premier International Law Office and a partner at RWT International Law Office. She has been involved with inbound and outbound trademark prosecutions, intellectual property infringement, contracts related to intellectual property such as licensing agreements, franchise agreements, and outsourcing agreements. The firm is currently advising a client on whether a mobile application in regard to the issuing of gemstone certificates is copyrightable and protectable in our jurisdiction and overseas; it has also been asked to provide training on the topic of neighboring rights to the university students. “We are pleased to have been named Thailand Copyright Firm of the Year by our clients and the readers of Asia IP,” said managing partner Panisa Suwanmatajarn. “The legal market in Thailand is always competitive, so the award is a true honour for our team and the hard work they do each day.”


Thailand Patents Firm of the Year 

Tilleke & Gibbins is a leading regional full-service law firm with an outstanding IP team led by Darani Vachanavuttivong and Alan Adcock. The firm acted on behalf of a client before the IP&IT Court and obtained a very favourable settlement just prior to the rendering of judgment in what has been widely regarded as the largest and most complex patent infringement case in Thai history. In this multijurisdictional case, the firm not only secured a rare Anton Piller order to seize infringing goods, which enabled it to successfully prove infringement, but also formulated extensive strategies for protecting the validity of its client’s patent. The firm also represented a highly regarded Japanese automotive and motorcycle manufacturer in several related design patent infringement matters. This culminated in a civil suit filed with Thailand’s Central Intellectual Property and International Trade Court against the infringers, in which the firm secured a resounding victory. In its landmark ruling, the court awarded the client the largest civil lawsuit compensation amount to date for a design patent infringement case in Thailand at B68.65 million (US$2.11 million) plus interest and fees. The firm’s prosecution practice handles patent and trademark searches, registration, recordal, annuity, opposition, cancellation, watches, infringement assessment, freedom to operate analyses, validity assessments and license agreements.

Thailand Trademarks Firm of the Year

Satyapon & Partners was founded by Satyapon Sachdecha in 1995 and practices IP law exclusively. Sachdecha is a skilled lawyer who was president of the Intellectual Property Association of Thailand from 2009 to 2019 and is a lecturer of IP law at both Dhurakij Pundit University and Thammasat University. The firm has registered more than 28,000 trademarks in Thailand alone. Its in-house investigations and enforcement team executes more raids each year than any other firm in Thailand, working closely with the Royal Thai Police, Customs and the Department of Special Investigations (DSI). The firm has been responsible for the removal of over US$100 million in infringing goods (retail value) from the marketplace in Thailand and neighbouring jurisdictions; it has conducted more than 2,000 customs seizures, 16,000 police raids and now averages more than 1,200 raids per year, which is almost five raids per working day. The firm has shuttered more than 50 factories, closed down more than 500 retail locations and taken down more than 1,000 websites and social media selling channels. “We are absolutely thrilled to become a three-time winner of the prestigious Asia IP Thailand Trademarks Firm of the Year award,” says Sachdecha. “Our heartiest congratulations to all the other great firms around Asia who took home an award this year for their hard work, well-deserved all around.”

Vietnam Copyright Firm of the Year

Established in 2001, Hanoi-based Ageless IP Attorneys & Consultants handles the full-range of IP services, from registration, prosecution, transactional services to litigation and enforcement of IP rights. The strong team has advised for domestic and international corporations such as GM, Daewoo, Hyundai, Honda, Lenovo, Lotte and Schneider Electric. The firm is one of the five largest IP firms in the country in terms of the number of patent and trademark applications filed. The firm advises Musidor, which owns and monitors IP rights in connection with the Rolling Stones, including the band’s famous tongue and lips logo, which is protected both as a copyrighted work under the Berne Convention and as a trademarked logo in more than 50 countries, which did not include Vietnam at the time of opposition. The firm found the tongue and lips logo had been used in an application by the Hanoi Rocks Hostel, where the logo was used in place of the “o” in the word rocks. The firm filed an opposition to the NOIP against the adverse trademark, arguing both that logo was protected under the Berne Convention and as a famous trademark. The difficulties here are that, in Vietnam, trademark and copyrights matters are managed by two different Authorities (NOIP and Copyright Office of Vietnam), as a result, the legal practice lacks the coordination between these two authorities; and there are provisions in trademark regulations that address conflict issues between trademark and copyright, however, these provisions are unclear and unlikely to apply. In many cases, the citation of copyright in opposition against adverse trademark was refused by the NOIP of Vietnam.

The firm pursued the argument that the client’s trademark and copyright are similar and widely used respectively from the evidence provided by the client. The NOIP of Vietnam accepted the firm’s argument on copyright and issued a Notice of Provisional Refusal and later a Decision of Refusal over the adverse trademark due to it being confusingly similar to the the tongue and lips logo.

Vietnam Patents Firm of the Year

Pham & Associates provides one of the best all-round IP services in the country from offices in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang and Hai Phong. Its respected work in patent prosecution and enforcement has attracted international clientele including Honda, BMW and Johnson & Johnson. According to the statistics of NOIP regarding patent prosecution, the number of patent applications filed through Pham & Associates annually accounts for about 13-15 percent of the total number of applications filed in Vietnam; the firm is always in Top 3 largest filers in the country. The firm advised Mplus Hanoi in a patent infringement suit brought by South Korean manufacturer Jahwa Electronics for damages on the gorund that Mplus violated patents for “a linear vibration generating apparatus used in handheld terminals” and “a linear vibration generating apparatus.” These above two inventions are used by Jahwa for mobile phones. Jahwa asked the court to force Mplus to stop the infringement, to compensate for damages and attorneys’ fees and to apologize publicly in several newspapers for three consecutive editions. Pham & Associates regarded the allegations as unfounded, and negotiated a settlement with the plaintiff, which withdrew its lawsuit in both Vietnam and South Korea.

Vietnam Trademarks Firm of the Year

Global IP consultancy Rouse Legal Vietnam has been providing IP prosecution and enforcement services in Vietnam since 1993. From offices in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, it has served multinationals including Adidas, Coca-Cola and Hermes. Through its association with Sao Bac Dau IP, the firm has handled a range of administrative actions against infringers in Vietnam. The firm is noted for its work in trademarks, information technology, telecommunications, commercial transactions, e-commerce, cybersecurity and data privacy. The firm advised a manufacturing company in a fight against an adverse company using the client’s trade name and trademark, along with the word Vietnam. The adverse party, which was not the client’s Vietnam subsidiary, used the client’s trademarks blatantly on its business materials, signboard and Facebook accounts. The adverse party was not cooperative and refused to voluntarily cease the infringement. The firm assisted its client to (1) initiate a civil litigation against the adverse party to put an end to the infringement; and (2) report the adverse party’s business suspension to the Tax Department and the Business Registry, aiming to revoke its business registration as an additional measure. In January 2021, it successfully won the lawsuit against the adverse party. The court determined that the adverse party’s acts constituted trademark and trade name infringements and accepted all of the firm’s claims, including: (i) the adverse party must immediately change its company name, (ii) the adverse party must not use the client’s trademarks in any means of business, and (iii) the Business Registry is requested to change the adverse party’s company name.

Asia-Pacific Copyright Firm of the Year

Through the 2015 merger between Dentons and Dacheng Law Offices, the global law firm has the best coverage in mainland China of any of its peers: more than 45 offices in the PRC, plus another in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. The firm also has Asia Pacific offices in Baku, Muscat, Port Moresby, Auckland, Wellington, Yangon, Ulaanbaatar, Kuala Lumpur, Nur- Sultan, Almaty, Amman, Jakarta, Doha, Jeddah, Riyadh, Singapore, Seoul, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Tashkent and in five cities across Australia.

Asia-Pacific Patents Firm of the Year

After establishing its footprint in Asia-Pacific nearly 20 years ago, international commercial firm Bird & Bird’s Asia network comprises offices located in Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore and Sydney, with a team of over 140 lawyers and legal professionals. It also has teams advising on matters throughout ASEAN, Japan, South Korea and India.

Asia-Pacific Trademarks Firm of the Year

Baker McKenzie serves Asia through its offices in Australia, China, Jakarta, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Singapore, Seoul, Taipei, Bangkok, Yangon, Almaty, Doha, Jeddah, Riyadh, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Vietnam. The firm boasts the largest IP brand management practice in the world, overseeing some of the world’s biggest portfolios for more than 200 multinational companies.

Law firms

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