Asia IP Awards 2018: Toasting the Winners

31 January 2019

Asia IP Awards 2018: Toasting the Winners

Forty-six firms from 19 Asia-Pacific jurisdictions took home trophies at the ninth annual Asia IP Awards, held November 16 at the Holiday Inn New Delhi International Airport in New Delhi.

The awards named top trademarks, patents and copyright practices as determined by in-house counsel from Asia, Europe and the Americas. More than 5,000 in-house counsel were polled by Asia IP magazine throughout the first part of 2018. The event also named international award winners in each of the practice areas. The complete list of winners follows this press release.

“There is a significant amount of high-level intellectual property work being done in Asia,” said Asia IPpublisher Darren Barton. “Each year, the competition to win an Asia IP Award becomes more and more competitive.”

Five different firms won multiple awards at the event, either in multiple practice areas or multiple jurisdictions. Global firm Baker McKenzie-affiliated firms won five awards on the evening, while Southeast Asia powerhouse Tilleke & Gibbins won four. Bird & Bird won for its global copyright work as well for its copyright work in Singapore as Bird & Bird ATMD. New Zealand’s Baldwins and Singapore-based Drew & Napier won two awards each.

“In-house counsel are turning to Asia- and Pacific-based law firms because they know that those firms are consistently doing high-quality work,” said Asia IP managing editor Gregory Glass. “We’re excited to be watching law firms doing such good work.”

Asia IP is a vital source of intelligence for IPowning companies active in Asia, and international law firms which want to keep ahead of the key issues. The magazine includes a range of in-depth features, news and analysis designed to meet the information needs of in-house counsel, senior business leaders and partners at Asian and international law firms.

The 2019 Asia IP Awards will be held in Taipei in November 2019.


The Winners

Australia Copyright

Sparke Helmore Lawyers, a full-service firm with more than 800 people working from nine offices across Australia, serving the needs of the technology, insurance, government, financial services, mining, construction and property sectors. John Tancevski, CEO of Community First Credit Union, calls Shannon Platt leader of “a formidable team” and says they are “highly experienced and passionate professionals prepared to take on difficult cases.” Tancevski says the firm is advising the credit union in a long-standing trademark dispute, and that it has provided expert guidance on the available options, process going forward and upcoming litigation challenges.

“Litigation should not be pursued lightly but if that option must be taken, I would want to be joined by the best available team,” he told Asia IP.


Australia Patents

Davies Collison Cave, the largest patent and trademark attorney firm in Australia, and is one of the country’s leading intellectual property law firms. The firm has been protecting and enforcing IP for more than a century. Its lawyers come from a broad range of science and technology backgrounds and have the technical and legal skills to understand innovations and to protect clients’ interests.

Miriam Zanker, a director in the firm’s litigation group in Sydney, is particularly noted for her intellectual property litigation work, which is predominantly in the areas of patent and trademark litigation. She has assisted in running complex litigation in the Federal Court and High Court of Australia, for Australian and international companies across a broad range of industries. Her experience also includes advising on patent and trademark enforcement strategies, brand protection and protection of confidential information.


Australia Trademarks

FB Rice was founded over 60 years ago, and is today one of Australia’s leading independent intellectual property firms. The firm is privately owned by the partners, does not have external shareholders or shares traded on the stock market, and does not have a law firm within its practice. “Intellectual property is our sole focus, which ensures the best possible development and protection for our clients’ intellectual property,” says Brett Lunn, the firm’s Sydney-based managing partner. The firm’s expertise encompasses biotechnology, chemistry, engineering, medical technology, pharmaceuticals, software and information technology and trademarks.

Lunn tells Asia IP that the firm remains focused on striving to be the leading IP firm in Australia. “The external recognition we have received, such as the Asia IP award, suggest we are on the right path,” he says. Looking forward, he expects clients – and lawyers – to struggle with the question as to what constitutes patentable subject matter in key jurisdictions, particularly in the US and Australia. He also hopes for increased harmonization in the IP world, but says that “in the current climate of threats of increased trade wars, I fear this may not happen.”


Cambodia Intellectual Property

Tilleke & Gibbins is a regional law firm in Southeast Asia, with headquarters in Bangkok and branches in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Jakarta, Vientiane, Phnom Penh, and Yangon. The firm’s Bangkok office is home to one of the best legal libraries in Thailand, as well as the Museum of Counterfeit Goods and Textile Collection.

“Our team at Tilleke & Gibbins is delighted to be recognized for our client service in these important areas,” said Darani Vachanavuttivong, co-managing partner and managing director, intellectual property, at Tilleke & Gibbins. “Clients are looking toward outside counsel for assistance with increasingly sophisticated advice on how to manage their IP portfolios across multiple jurisdictions, and our team will strive to meet these needs in the year ahead.”


China Copyright

Hogan Lovells’ intellectual property group helps drive its clients’ business growth by protecting and leveraging ideas and innovations, brands and creative works. With almost 400 lawyers, specialists, and paralegals worldwide, the firm combines a strategic, global outlook with local knowledge and a keen understanding of the technological and business factors involved in this area of law. It also has one of the strongest networks in Asia, with offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Jakarta, Perth, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo and Ulaanbaatar. The firm’s Beijing office was established in 1992, and is home to more than 40 lawyers, including seven partners; its Shanghai office opened in 2003, and now hosts more than 35 lawyers, including five partners. In September 2016, it became one of only a few major international firms to enter into association in the China (Shanghai) Free Trade Zone, following approval by the Shanghai Municipal Justice Bureau.


China Patents

CCPIT Patent and Trademark Office is one of the largest full-service IP firms in China, handling thousands of patent applications and numerous patent litigation cases. In 2018, two foreignrelated IP litigation cases (one patent and one trademark) handled by the firm were selected as 50 typical cases of IPRs promulgated by the Supreme People’s Court of China. In addition, five well-known trademarks were recognized in the relevant judicial cases for its foreign clients in 2018. “All these reflect the firm’s experience and strength in foreign-related IP litigation and brand protection,” a spokesperson told Asia IP.

The firm says that the establishment of a national-level IP court within the Supreme People’s Court will play an important and positive role in strengthening the IP protection in China. “This important measure will enable patentees, especially foreign patentees, to protect their valuable patents more conveniently and effectively in China,” the spokesperson said.


China Trademarks

With offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong, Baker McKenzie represents many of the world’s famous brands. “With a long history working with Starbucks’ IP team, the Baker McKenzie team has a deep understanding of Starbucks’ business and products in relevant markets, particularly China, which enables it to provide proactive advice that makes business sense. More importantly, Baker McKenzie’s China team has an outstanding level of execution, which enables it to actually deliver the results that help satisfy the business needs,” says Yihong Ying, director and corporate counsel at Starbucks in Shanghai.

Ying says that just before Chinese New Year, when it was difficult to call for quick actions by enforcement authorities, a store blatantly copying Starbucks elements was identified in Nanjing. “Despite the challenges, the team successfully persuaded the authority to act by building an unfair competition case, organized raids which were timely conducted by the competent authority, and followed it through so that the case ended up with an impressive punishment decision against the copycat.”


Hong Kong Copyright

Mayer Brown’s Hong Kong office is home to one of the largest and longest-established law firms in Hong Kong. The firm has some 200 lawyers based in Hong Kong, providing clients with a full and integrated range of legal services. The firm is known for providing pragmatic and commercial legal advice to Chinese and Asian companies looking to grow locally, regionally and internationally, and for assisting clients in Europe, the Americas and the Middle East to invest in Asia.

“We are delighted to receive this recognition for our work in the copyright space,” said Gabriela Kennedy, head of the Mayer Brown Asia IP and TMT practice and co-head of the Mayer Brown global IP practice. “We represent many broadcasters in seminal litigation as well as in transactions involving new modes of delivery of content. We are grateful to them for the work they have entrusted to us over the years. We owe this recognition to the trust they have placed in our practice.”


Hong Kong Patents

Deacons is Hong Kong’s oldest independent full-service law firm. “Our experience with Deacons has been tremendous, right from the very start. The IP team have been able to communicate with us at a level which we can easily understand, and at every step of the way, they have treated us with their full attention and worked efficiently and professionally,” Adrian Tyte, CEO of Stroller Tech, said.

Annie Tsoi, co-head of the IP department and head of China IP practice group, said: “We are honoured to be awarded patent firm of the year for Hong Kong. It is always great to meet with other distinguished IP practitioners in Asia at the award ceremony.”


Hong Kong Trademarks

With offices in Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai, Baker McKenzie represents many of the world’s famous brands.

“Baker McKenzie’s in-depth expertise, global footprint, and impressive track record makes them our law firm of choice,” says Biji Sreedhar, director of clinical affairs and IP management at NISI (HK) in Hong Kong. “They not only understand our business, our complex technology, and our industry, but they also serve as our business advisors, helping us to navigate our legal issues, wherever in the world we may be. Their trademark and patent practices stand out in particular, with Ruby Chan, Isabella Liu, Abe Sun, and the rest of their excellent team offering pragmatic and commercial advice, timely responses and practical solutions across the full range of IP issues.”


India Copyright

Singh & Singh, one of India’s leading law firms in the fields of IP litigation, information technology, TMT and related aspects. “The best part about Singh & Singh is that they are open to trying new things and thinking out of the box while not restricting their thought process to the already settled legal position,” said Harsh Aggarwal, deputy general manager of legal at Havells Sylvania Group. “Working with Sudeep Chatterjee is a delight as he very well understands the expectation of business/inhouse counsel from an external counsel.”

Aggarwal tells Asia IP that over the years, the firm has helped the company formulate and implement a long-term IP protection strategy through litigation in the areas of trademark, copyright and design. In 2018, the firm handled a matter for Havells in the Delhi High Court where the court acknowledged that Havells India has acquired distinctiveness in the unique designs of ceiling fans, while permanently restraining the defendants from passing off the company’s product designs/get up.


India Patents

Anand and Anandone of India’s top IP firms, with more than 200 professionals led by managing partner Pravin Anand. “Anand and Anand are the best IP lawyers of India,” Rajendra Misra, executive vice president and general counsel of the Indian Hotels Company, told Asia IP. “They have a formidable team of IP experts who take pains to ensure client-delight. Pravin Anand is the doyen of IP lawyers in India. Safir Anand has also made a name for himself as India’s leading IP lawyer. He is very creative and brimming with new ideas.”

Misra says the firm registered an image mark for the Taj Mahal Palace hotel in Mumbai under the Trademarks Act. “The hotel was the first building in India to secure a trademark, catapulting it in the league of other famous buildings across the world [such as] the Empire State Building, the Chrysler building and the Sydney Opera House that have been able to secure such an unusual registration.”


India Trademarks

RNA, Technology and IP Attorneysa full-service IP law firm with offices in Gurgaon and Chennai known for offering efficient and cost-effective solutions for protection, enforcement and commercialization of IP rights.

Ranjan Narula, managing partner at the firm, tells Asia IP that the most challenging part of enforcing intellectual property rights in India right now is enforcing rights in the digital space. “With a large number of traders selling counterfeit and infringing products through e-commerce portals, it has been a challenging task to make a significant impact while balancing the business priorities and financial risk,” he says.

Narula also hopes that the trademark office will soon start recognizing that well-known marks need broader protection “[and] thus start refusing applications by third parties seeking registration for well-known marks not only for identical but similar goods. This would help clients to deal with a lesser number of conflicts."


Indonesia Copyright

Tilleke & Gibbins, a regional law firm in Southeast Asia, with headquarters in Bangkok and branches in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Jakarta, Vientiane, Phnom Penh, and Yangon. The firm’s Bangkok office is home to one of the best legal libraries in Thailand, as well as the Museum of Counterfeit Goods and Textile Collection.

“Our team at Tilleke & Gibbins is delighted to be recognized for our client service in these important areas,” said Darani Vachanavuttivong, co-managing partner and managing director, intellectual property, at Tilleke & Gibbins. “Clients are looking toward outside counsel for assistance with increasingly sophisticated advice on how to manage their IP portfolios across multiple jurisdictions, and our team will strive to meet these needs in the year ahead.”


Indonesia Patents

Pacific Patent Multiglobal, with headquarters in Jakarta and a branch office in Surabaya, is in position to be placed on full alert against infringement both inside and outside Jakarta. President director Lanny Setiawan is a registered IP consultant with more than decades of experience in the area of cosmetology and cosmetics.

“We were glad our hard work has paid off and appreciated by becoming one of the winners,” said Fahmi Assegaf, a partner at Pacific Patent Multiglobal in Jakarta. “Surely our achievement and satisfaction will not stop at this point. We will continue to provide the best services to our client with our expertise, knowledge, experience, discipline, and teamwork. We believe this event will be useful in the future for IP consultant offices and clients who are seeking for services from reliable IP consultant offices.”


Indonesia Trademarks

Hadiputranto, Hadinoto & Partners, is the Indonesian member of Baker McKenzie. “Andrew Sims and Daru Lukiantono are our main contact points in Asia, and they along with their teams do an outstanding job for us,” says Kevin Klapprodt, chief legal counsel at Strider Sports International in the US state of South Dakota. “While delivering a very professional and high-level legal service, they let me know that they truly care. Their attention to detail and responsiveness to some of our most critical needs lets me know that they care as much about Strider’s mission and overall goals as we do!”

Klapprodt says that Strider is a global brand, and that Baker McKenzie has engineered a comprehensive global IP enforcement plan that spans from manufacturing to the ultimate consumer. “The Strider brand faces many challenges, and with the development of our global IP enforcement plan, I am confident that we are in a great position to tackle these hurdles.”


Japan Copyright

Founded in 1902, Yuasa and Hara is one of the oldest and largest law firms in Japan. The firm is a pioneer in multidisciplinary practice, consisting of a legal division, a patent division, a trademark and design division and an accounting division. The firm boasts 19 lawyers, 61 patent attorneys, four certified public accountants, and one tax accountant.


Japan Patents

TMI Associates was established in 1990 with the aim to provide professional legal services meeting the increasingly complex and international demands of the legal marketplace. Since its establishment, the firm’s IP practice, including patents, utility models, designs, trademarks, and copyright, has been one of its main pillars of expertise.

“Access Partnership does public policy and educational work around issues impacting the technology sector,” said Laura Sallstrom, who leads the data policy and trust team at TMI client Access Partnership in Washington. “We focus almost exclusively on technology, so obviously, IP is very important to our clients. It is a fast moving and quickly changing area of industry. As a result, we look for lawyers who can think outside the box and match new technologies to old legal structures. Law firms that can go a step further and think about how a law may need to be changed in order to better support or manage current technology environments are most often our partners.”



Japan Trademarks

Based in Tokyo, Nakamura & Partners is an international patent and law firm which provides IP services inside and outside of Japan. It provides services for patents (including designs) and trademarks, and has a strong legal section and the administration group to support the firm. Outstanding practitioners include Kazuhiko Yoshida, Hiroshi Uesugi and Hiroyuki Itaki for trademark.

“Nakamura & Partners give us their opinions in a neutral position, considering [prior] judgments in the court,” says FujiFilm corporate vice president Shoei Imai. “They study Japanese case law on a daily basis, and provide that knowledge to clients openly.”


Macau Intellectual Property

RPmacau has been practicing exclusively in intellectual property law and related areas since 1996. It was formed at around the same time that Macau’s localized legislation for protection of marks was brought into effect and has accompanied the development of Macau’s IP systems since then. The firm maintains a boutique style which enables it to offer personalized and efficient service to its client portfolio from around the world. The firm boasts a deep understanding of the region’s legislation and conditions in order to maximize the value of your IP assets.


Malaysia Copyright

Founded in 2005, IP boutique Wong Jin Nee & Teo provides a wide-spectrum of IP and technology services, but is most renowned for its work in trademark application and litigation, as well as in brand protection and enforcement work. Name partners Jin Nee Wong and Bong Kwang Teo are recognized for their expertise in non-contentious matters and litigation, respectively. Despite its relative youth in the market, the firm has quickly moved to forefront of IP practices in Malaysia. The firm acted for Intel Corporation in the trademark infringement and passing-off claims it brought against Intel Ventures.


Malaysia Patents

Shearn Delamore & Co founded its patents practice five decades ago, and is now regarded to be one of the leading firms for the filing of patent applications and for patent infringement and invalidation actions in Malaysia.

“The IP team, in particular Indran Shanmuganathan, Jyeshta Mahendran and Yap Khai Jian, are lawyers who are accessible to their clients, provide sound and honest advice and are efficient in responding to requests and updating on progress. Their service is professional, timely and friendly,” says Shal Tharumalingam, senior manager, corporate affairs, at Nippon Paint (Malaysia) in Selangor. “They always keep their clients’ interests in the forefront.”

An in-house client based in the United Kingdom says the firm has worked for him on a patent infringement and validity case. “They have shown tenacity and courage in the face of challenging attacks, and have been a pleasure to work with,” he told Asia IP.


Myanmar Intellectual Property

U Myint Lwin Law Office, is one of the most reliable firms in Myanmar, with founder Myint Lwin providing consistent, high quality service. The firm, which was founded in 1994, works with domestic and international clients in obtaining and maintaining IP applications and trademark registrations. The firm is also engaged in areas of maritime law, litigation, foreign investment, joint ventures, corporate and commercial law, banking, finance and real estate.


New Zealand Copyright and Trademark

Baldwins Intellectual Property is an intellectual property firm with an associated law firm (Baldwins Law Limited) serving clients in New Zealand, Australia and throughout the world. “As a new company operating in a highly-competitive industry, in 2018 we worked closely with Baldwins to help us protect our biggest asset, our IP interests, for our multiple brands and trademarks in key cosmetic markets such as China,” says Janelle Priest, cofounder of organic and natural skincare products maker Creme Factory. “As a start-up and relatively new company, they work within our tight budget and we are happy with the results we are getting.”

Yaniv Gal, director of artificial intelligence at Ohmio, a maker of self-driving vehicles, said: “Baldwins helped us register a large amount of patents within a very short time – days – that were very important to register. Baldwin’s team worked with us day and night (and on the weekend) to meet our goals and make it happen. Their dedication for the job is exceptional.”


New Zealand Patents

IP specialist AJ Park has one of the best practices in New Zealand for both contentious and non-contentious work. With 15 partners and 67 associates working in offices in Wellington and Auckland, the firm offers expertise in biotechnology, electronics, nanotechnology, chemical, mechanical, IT and business.

“[The firm has lawyers] who have been willing to try and understand our business, what our objectives are, what our risks are, and have been proactive in identifying potential opportunities,” said Doug Hill, managing director of Springfree New Zealand. “They make a fairly complex matrix of IP issues and their administration relatively simple for us.”


Pakistan Copyright

Vellani & Vellani was established in 1937 under the name of Wali Mohammad Vellani & Co. It also incorporates the practice formerly carried on in the firm name of Fatehali W. Vellani & Co. The full-service firm provides legal services including consultancy services for corporate and other clients in IP and other areas, including finance, taxation, mergers and acquisitions, divestments, syndicated loans, incorporation of companies and joint ventures.

The firm’s trademarks practice serves clients in every phase of the adoption and protection of trademarks and certification marks, including the carrying out of searches at the Trade Marks Registry for clearance and determining registrability of the mark, the preparation of trademark applications and the representation of the client through every step of the process leading to the grant of registration. It also provides a full range of legal services in trademark infringements, including litigation services.


Pakistan Patents

Founded in 1948 in Karachi by the late Sheikh Fazal Ellahi, Sheikh Brothers is an IP boutique providing services covering all aspects of IP including patents, trademarks, trade secrets, copyright, unfair competition, licensing, franchising, technology transfer, litigation and enforcement.

Receiving the award, Sheikh Brothers’ managing partner Sultan Ahmad Sheikh said: “I felt immense pride and honour that my firm has been selected as the trademark firm of the year for Pakistan by Asia IP. We have been in business for more than seven decades now. Our firm has always strived to provide quality service to our clients at competitive rates. This award reflects the confidence our clients have in our services as well as the goodwill that we have earned in market. We will continue to protect interests of our clients and will also strive to further the cause of intellectual property rights in Pakistan.”


Philippines Copyright

The IP lawyers at Cruz Marcelo & Tenefrancia are best known for their ability to provide excellent and effective legal services covering the full spectrum of IP practice, says an in-house lawyer in Asia. The firm’s IP practice runs the gamut, including prosecution, commercialization, registration of technology transfer agreements, IP due diligence and creating anti-piracy programmes.

“Max’s Group, Inc. (MGI) has been working with CMT (particularly the engagement team headed by Divina Pedron) on international trademark registration and franchising matters for over a year now. During such time, we have become quite reliant on the responsiveness, capability, and network of CMT with regard to the resolution of trademark protection issues that relate to MGI’s franchising activities outside the Philippines,” says Carmen-Rose A. Basallo, general counsel for the Max’s Group. “It is always a pleasure working with Atty. Pedron because of her excellent work ethic, her ability to communicate her opinion and recommendation clearly, and her congenial personality.”


Philippines Patents

SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan is one of the Philippines’ largest law firms, as is its IP law practice, both in terms of client base and range of services offered. “Our experience working with SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan has been excellent,” said a partner at an Australian law firm. “We value the service provided by SyCip in the Philippines. We enjoy working with Enrique Manuel, Vida Panganiban-Alindogan and their Manila-based team.”

“We are honoured to have been chosen,” said Enrique T. Manuel, head of the firm’s intellectual property department. “That our work is again being recognized for the sixth straight year is truly appreciated. Our firm is fully aware of the value of the intellectual property rights of our clients and thus constantly endeavors to continue providing responsive and creative support in the management of our clients’ respective IP portfolio.”


Philippines Trademarks

The intellectual property department at Angara Abello Concepcion Regala & Cruz represents local and international clients in all aspects of IP rights protection. The practice is at the country’s forefront in the fight against counterfeiting, piracy and unfair competition, and in protecting legitimate holders of trademarks, patents and copyrights. It has successfully prosecuted criminal, civil and administrative cases for trademark infringement and unfair competition on behalf of owners of wellknown marks.

“We have had good experiences with this law firm,” said Vincent Stauffer, an in-house attorney at a European trade group. “They have been working on complex opposition matters for us in the Philippines. I definitively recommend them.”


Singapore Copyright

The global IP team at Bird & Bird features more than 300 specialist IP lawyers, and is known for providing top contentious and non-contentious work. “We are constantly challenged to deliver effective legal solutions in a dynamically-evolving and innovation-driven marketplace,” the firm said in a statement. “Innovation is relentless, but so is our pursuit of being ahead of the curve. So, this is a challenge that we relish and thrive on as a firm; and one that we are well-placed to meet given our synergies within the Bird & Bird network internationally.”

The statement continued: “It has been particularly satisfying this year for us to witness more and more of our local and Asian-based clients internationalizing and establishing their market presence on the global stage. We are privileged to journhey alongside them. We are committed to delivering best-in-class services with uncompromising standards, as we too embrace innovation to face new challenges and demands in the digital age.”


Singapore Trademarks and Patents

Full-service commercial firm Drew & Napier is regarded as one of the “Big Four” law firms in Singapore. Being the largest IP practice in the country, the firm has expertise across the range of contentious and non-contentious IP work, and represents a broad selection of renowned clients from across industries. “Drew & Napier consistently delivers first class work,” says Theresa Low, general counsel at the Sentosa Development Corporation. “They have solid teams who are dedicated and passionate about what they do and are savvy in providing strategic legal advice. It was truly a pleasure working with Tony Yeo and his IP litigation team in 2018, knowing that they will always protect their client’s interests. I couldn’t have asked for a better team.”

Lim Siau Wen, a director at the firm, said: “We receive a large volume of work from our clients, and the perennial challenge has been to stay on top of the game and to deliver quality with efficiency. We are thrilled to receive validation from our clients and the industry through these awards.”


South Korea Copyright

Cho & Partners was established in July of 2002 by Tae-Yeon Cho and Ik-Hyun Seo. Both were senior members of a large IP firm in South Korea before deciding to create a new firm that would be more focused and responsive to the needs and demands of their sophisticated clients.

The firm began with a strong base of primarily large multi-national companies, and has continued to expand successfully in this direction. The firm represents among the largest and most recognized companies in various business sectors, such as: software and computer technology, general retailing, fashion and luxury goods, energy, etc. Notwithstanding the firm’s relatively recent establishment, the firm is already acknowledged as being among the top intellectual property practices in South Korea. Its founding members have been recognized by various legal publications as among the leading intellectual property attorneys in Korea.


South Korea Patents

Although South Korea was not immune to the challenges of the global IP enforcement slowdown in 2018, the Lee & Ko IP team managed to find opportunities and important litigation successes on behalf of its clients, especially in the pharmaceutical, gaming, and biotechnology sectors by setting new precedents. Its IP trial lawyers achieved preliminary injunctions from both a plaintiff’s and defendant’s perspective at the Seoul District Court.

“The IP team at Lee & Ko is very diligent and always passionate for the client,” says Atsuko Fujita, general manager of the technical department, display materials division, JNC Corporation in Tokyo. “The team proposed an effective plan and an aggressive strategy to maintain our advantageous position in the market.”

The IP team believes that the Korean legal community has made great strides in recent years to foster innovation and enhance local enforcement practice, including the most recent changes to damages laws making treble damages available for willful infringement, , says Un Ho Kim, a partner at Lee & Ko.


South Korea Trademarks

As the largest full-service IP practice in South Korea, Kim & Chang boasts a team of over 250 attorneys, and more than 600 patent engineers, trademark paralegals and support staff.

“I have worked with Kim & Chang – specifically, Alex Cho – for more than 10 years and have come to expect the highest level of professionalism from the firm,” says Terry Kiel, senior trademark administrator at Activision in Santa Monica, California. “The extraordinary quality of their research and assessment of our IP challenges in Korea are reflected in their detailed and thoughtful communications, which consistently present the issues, explain the challenges, and lay out all the possible options for action. Their success in achieving positive results on behalf of our company has been unparalleled.”


Hideki Sanatake, deputy group executive in the corporate IP and legal headquarters at Canon, told Asia IP that Kim & Chang represented Canon to protect its IP against infringers in the area of printer consumables, which is one of Canon’s major revenue sources. “Canon is always satisfied with Kim & Chang’s expertise and communication abilities, as well as their cost sensitiveness.”


Sri Lanka Copyright

Founded in 1841 in Colombo, FJ&G de Saram covers all areas of corporate and commercial law with a particular strength in IP. Many Fortune 500 companies are clients of the firm. Partner Jayathri Kulatilleke is noted for IP work.


Sri Lanka Patents

John Wilson Partners offers its clients responsive professional and fast turn around times for all types of IP filings. The firm has invested considerable time and money over the years to develop in-house custom docketing software, which facilitates the efficient handling of the firm’s clients’ large portfolios of trademarks.

“The most challenging thing in IP for our firm in 2018, as was the case in previous years, too, was the delay in registration of trademarks by the National Intellectual Property Office,” says John Wilson, the firm’s managing partner. “Although the NIPO has become more efficient when compared to the situation in previous years, delays still persist, and this is largely due to the lack of staff and resources.”

Meanwhile, Wilson says, the continued increase in trademark filing instructions received from foreign clients was a highlight for the firm.

Wilson notes that IP protection would be easier for clients if the NIPO would make the database accessible online and the enablement of online trademark availability searches. “This is likely to happen this year as per a recent newsletter from the NIPO,” he says.


Sri Lanka Trademarks

Founded a century ago, Julius & Creasy is one of the oldest civil law firms in Sri Lanka. Its IP group advises on a broad range of matters in relation to fields as diverse as biotechnology, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, computers, software, media and entertainment. “Julius & Creasy has the ability to provide expert advice on complex legal matters swiftly,” says Migara Perera, senior manager – security and administration at GSK. “They advised us on the options available for enforcement and by making presentations at workshops organized for the GSK staff, and provided us assistance with an IP infringement issue of an iconic brand.”

Anomi Wanigasekera, a partner at the firm, says that the intellectual property business is challenging, where one must create strong client relationships while ensuring profitable growth of the firm. “Our expertise in patent advice and drafting helped us to acquire new local clients,” says Wanigasekera. “Resultantly, in the year 2018, there was an increase in the volume of patent applications filed by the firm on behalf of local clients.”


Taiwan Copyright

Tsar & Tsai is a full-service law firm founded in 1965 by Ruchin Tsar and Paul C Tsai in Taipei. The firm has considerable experience and expertise on IP matters, including the protection of trade secrets. It is also noted for its experience in assisting its clients to take anticounterfeiting measures, prosecute infringement claims and defend against infringement allegations. It also actively participates in efforts to effect changes in the law for increased protection of intellectual property and enforcement measures.


Taiwan Patents

Over its more than 60 years, Tai E International Patent & Law Office has developed into a major IP law firm in Taiwan. Today, the firm has more than 250 professionals and staff, serving clients from every corner of the world. Tai E regularly ranks first level for the number of patents and trademarks granted in Taiwan. In addition to IP prosecution and litigation, the firm is frequently involved in governmental IP consultation and policies.

“We understand the importance of client relationship management and are devoted to continue to guarantee and maximize client satisfaction by providing high quality service to exactly match our clients’ needs and requests,” says managing partner Fred Yen. “Tai E’s IP marketing activities and IP knowledge management are undergoing constant refinement. Moreover, we are honored to continually have been voted by overseas peers and clients as one of best IP law firms in Taiwan and earned a reputation by consistently ranking at the top in terms of issued patents and trademarks obtained for our clients.”


Taiwan Trademarks

Lee and Li is one of the largest firms in Taiwan and offers a full range of services. Its trademark team offers all services relating to acquisition, maintenance, dispute and exploitation of trademark rights. Based in Taipei with branch offices in Hsinchu, Taichung and southern Taiwan, the firm has formed alliances with Leaven IPR Agency in Beijing to develop the mainland China market. It also has a Japan practice group to deal with Japanese IP matters.

“We really appreciated Asia IP’s great efforts in conducting the IP surveys and evaluations for Asia IP awards for all of the jurisdictions, and are pleased to win trademark firm of the year for Taiwan for several years,” said Ruey-Sen Tsai, a partner at the firm in Taipei. “As the IP practice is getting competitive, we should and will do much better than before so as to keep our service more professional.”


Thailand Copyright

Established in 1947, Domnern Somgiat & Boonma is a specialized intellectual property law firm. which currently handles about 12.5 percent of all trademark applications filed in Thailand and half of the patent applications filed by foreign companies.

Rutorn Nopakun says the highlight of 2018 for the firm was the successful handling of an important court case involving the trademark Jia Duo Bao in the Intellectual Property and International Trade Court and the Specialized Court of Appeals. DS&B represented the owner of the trademark, whose applications for registration of the trademark were arbitrarily rejected by the Department of Intellectual Property (DIP).

Nopakun says that improvement of the DIP’s examination of patent and trademark applications would make IP protection immensely easier for IP owners. “Presently, the examination is very much arbitrary, slow and sometimes not in line with the patent and trademark laws,” he says. “IP owners have to spend too much time, money and energy trying to secure patent and trademark protection in Thailand.”


Thailand Patents

Tilleke & Gibbins is a regional law firm in Southeast Asia, with headquarters in Bangkok and branches in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Jakarta, Vientiane, Phnom Penh, and Yangon. The firm’s Bangkok office is home to one of the best legal libraries in Thailand, as well as the Museum of Counterfeit Goods and Textile Collection.

“Given the Thai government’s amendments to both the Trademark Act, our team at Tilleke & Gibbins is delighted to be recognized for our client service in this important area,” said Darani Vachanavuttivong, co-managing partner and managing director, intellectual property, at Tilleke & Gibbins. “Clients are looking toward outside counsel for assistance with increasingly sophisticated advice on how to manage their IP portfolios across multiple jurisdictions, and our team will strive to meet these needs in the year ahead.”


Thailand Trademarks

Satyapon and Partners is a fullservice intellectual property law firm offering services in all areas of IP law, including application and prosecution of patents, trademarks and designs, as well as IP searches, assignment, licensing, franchising, recordation, renewal, investigation, litigation and enforcement. The firm was founded by Satyapon Sachdecha, a George Washington Law School graduate, in 1995. The firm has a strong team of patent agents, technical associates and translators in all fields of technology.


Vietnam Copyright

The intellectual property team at Baker McKenzie in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City has played an instrumental role in helping both local and multinational clients realize the value of their IP portfolio. It also drafted the country’s first intellectual property law and continues to work towards improving IP protection and enforcement in the Vietnam market. Locally, the international firm is represented before the National Office of Intellectual Property of Vietnam, courts and authorities by BMVN International, a fully-licensed law firm and IP agent.

Partners Quach Minh Tri and Tran Man Hung are optimistic about the future of intellectual property in Vietnam, thanks to the country’s ratification of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership in 2018. “This will not only entail positive amendments of Vietnamese IP law, but also encourage local authorities to improve their work quality,” the lawyers said in a joint statement to Asia IP. They remain hopeful that Vietnam will one day soon establish specialized IP courts.


Vietnam Patents

Tilleke & Gibbins is a regional law firm in Southeast Asia, with headquarters in Bangkok and branches in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Jakarta, Vientiane, Phnom Penh, and Yangon. The firm’s Bangkok office is home to one of the best legal libraries in Thailand, as well as the Museum of Counterfeit Goods and Textile Collection.

“Our team at Tilleke & Gibbins is delighted to be recognized for our client service in these important areas,” said Darani Vachanavuttivong, co-managing partner and managing director, intellectual property, at Tilleke & Gibbins. “Clients are looking toward outside counsel for assistance with increasingly sophisticated advice on how to manage their IP portfolios across multiple jurisdictions, and our team will strive to meet these needs in the year ahead.”


Vietnam Trademarks

Founded in 1991, IP firm Pham & Associates provides one of the best all-round IP services in the country from offices in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Danang and Hai Phong. The firm’s respectable work in patent prosecution, licensing and enforcement has attracted international clientele including Honda, BMW and Johnson & Johnson.

Khuong Pham’s “responsiveness and business savviness” stands out among others, says Rebecca Ho, a senior IP lawyer with Microsoft, particularly as he provides “education outreach on copyright protection to corporations, large and small.” Ho says that the firm was particularly successful in being able to make the target audience understand the importance of IP protection, in line with Vietnam’s progress as a player on the world stage.


International Copyright

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. For patents, its team of experts offer a complete advisory and dispute resolution service including patentability and patent filing strategies, R&D and license and know-how agreements and other commercial transactions, IP audits and due diligence, patent enforcement, litigation and dispute resolution advice on related rights such as SPCs.

“Bird and Bird is a great law firm and I’m very happy that they’ve won this award,” says Emi Zhao, principal counsel at Riot Games. “I’ve been working with Hank Leung and Alex Norman and they’ve been amazing. They are very quickly responsive to all the challenging works and have deep insights into the game industry. The communication is flawless and they’ve been very helpful to guide us through the Asia market. I wholeheartedly recommend Bird and Bird as a trusted law firm to help clients with their IP strategy in Asia.”


International Patents

For over 125 years, Spruson & Ferguson has been offering a wide range of specialist services for the protection, commercialization, enforcement and management of all types of IP in Australia, New Zealand and countries in the South Pacific region, including Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Tuvalu, Kiribati, Vanuatu, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Tonga. In the 1990s, the firm opened offices in Singapore and Malaysia; its recent expansion into greater China, Indonesia and Thailand has made it a formidable regional firm.

“We were honoured to be named as Asia IP’s international patent firm of the year. This award is a wonderful acknowledgement of the high-quality IP services that we continue to deliver to our clients,” a firm spokesperson said.


International Trademarks

Baker McKenzie serves Asia through its offices in Australia, China, Jakarta, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Singapore, Taipei, Bangkok 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.

“It is extremely gratifying to be named the leading international trademark firm of the year. The spread of the categories in which we won is a testament to the strength of our IP practice across the region,” said Say Sujintaya, head of Baker McKenzie’s Asia Pacific intellectual property practice. “We would like to thank Asia IP for this recognition, and also to our clients for entrusting us with their most complex IP matters. We look forward to continually supporting our clients in all their IP strategies and objectives across the Asia Pacific region.”

Law firms

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