2020 Asia IP Awards: And the winners are...

31 January 2021

2020 Asia IP Awards: And the winners are... In a truly unprecedented year for all, which IP firms stood out from the crowd?


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. Key members of the team are Lisa Ritson, Anita Cade, Kellech Smith, Stuart D’Aloisio and Nina Fitzgerald. Paul Jenkins, who is based in Sydney and London, is the firm’s global managing partner. The firm represented home builder Henley Arch in a copyright dispute with a homeowner who had located house plans on the internet, provided them to a builder, had a house constructed in accordance with the plans, and later sold that house for substantial profit. The court found that the homeowner was liable to pay Henley Arch lost profit damages, substantial additional damages, interest and legal costs.


Australia Patents 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 firm 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. Principal Marion Heathcote received INTA’s 2019 President’s Award. Jack Shan and Aaron Yates have been named principal while Edith Hamilton, an expert in complex patent opposition matters, has been named senior patent counsel. Key contacts are Stuart Green for trademarks; Craig Finlayson for corporate and commercial; and Scott Sonneman for patent work. The firm has acted for Acoustica, an Australian company which developed an environmentally friendly, low VOC acoustic barrier material for use in the building industry. The firm filed patent protection directed to the unique composition of the barrier material as well the process for producing the product. This resulted in granted patent rights in Europe, the US, China, Australia and New Zealand. The product is manufactured in Australia and has recently been licenced to a European manufacturer.

“We are delighted to be chosen as the Australian Patent Firm of the Year in the 2020 Asia IP Awards,” said David Webber, patent managing principal at the firm. “In a year like no other, we wish to acknowledge and thank all of our people for pivoting so smoothly while continuing to deliver timely, proactive and commercial advice to support our clients. Recognition such as this further cements our belief that our people are the core of our success. We also thank Asia IP for their acknowledgment of the work we do.”


Australia Trademarks Firm of the Year

Established in 1905, Macpherson Kelley is a full-service law firm with offices in Brisbane, Dandenong, Melbourne and Sydney. Its IP practice is strengthened by a team of award-winning lawyers who deliver services in the areas of licensing, application, counterfeit goods, confidential information and trade secrets, international protection, IP ownership consolidation and transfer, IP reviews and audits, plant breeders rights, IT advice and others.

“As one of Australia’s oldest law firms, dating back over 115 years to 1905, it’s a tremendous honour for Macpherson Kelley to be named Australian Trademarks Firm of the Year by our clients and Asia IP,” said Mark Metzeling, special counsel at the firm. “The Australian legal market is always highly competitive, so the award is an acknowledgement of the expertise and client focused service provided by our trademarks team.”


Cambodia IP Firm of the Year

Sok Siphana & Associates is the Phnom Penh member of the ZICO Law network. Managing partner Siphana Sok is a former Commerce Secretary of State (vice minister) in the Cambodian government, where he worked extensively on issues related to commercial and investment legal framework, trade promotion, trade policies, trade development and economic integration. Mealy Khieu and Leakena Chhim are key contacts.



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. 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 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 been assisting a significant patent pool in their licensing activities, including patent infringement actions in China, FRAND rate determinations in China and competition law actions in China.


China International Trademarks Firm of the Year

SIPS  helps clients in managing their IP portfolios, including registration, enforcement and licensing of trademark, copyright and patent. The firm also assists clients with investigations management, advice on supply chain integrity, trade secret protection, data privacy, retail and wholesale distribution, ecommerce, distribution and sourcing agreements, and regulatory matters relating to IT and other high-tech sectors. The firm’s expertise is mainly in the Greater China region, but members also assist clients with IP matters throughout Asia. Joe Simone and Dan Plane are key contacts for the firm's China practice. The firm files trademark applications in China and manages multiple litigation strategies at all levels of courts throughout the year on behalf of well-known multinational corporations from around the world.

“The partners of SIPS are delighted that SIPS has been awarded Asia IP’s prestigious China Trademarks Firm of the Year award for 2020,” the firm said in a statement. “The award is a testament to the dedication and skill of our team of 70+ professionals and support personnel based in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong.

“We are grateful to our incredible clients, who have entrusted SIPS to protect their IP rights throughout greater China, and who instruct the SIPS team to handle cutting-edge legal issues on a daily basis. The challenges faced by companies in China – including bad faith trademark registration, anti-counterfeiting and protection of IP rights online – are problems on a global scale, and require close coordination with top-tier counsel and investigators worldwide. We have worked hard to develop the infrastructure and resources needed to serve clients of all sizes doing business in China, and the China Trademarks Firm of the Year award is a wonderful recognition of these efforts. We are keenly aware that the award is the result of feedback from both SIPS clients as well as its peers and associates in other regions. We are very grateful for their continuing support and will continue striving to provide the best possible service,” the statement concluded.


Hong Kong Copyright Firm of the Year

Mayer Brown was established in 1863 in Hong Kong and has since expanded across Asia with offices in Shanghai and Beijing. Partner and head of the firm’s Asia IP & TMT group Gabriela Kennedy is also co-leader of Mayer Brown’s global IP practice and has extensive experience in technology and data protection issues in China and beyond.


Hong Kong Patents Firm of the Year

Baker McKenzie has offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong, 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.

“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.”


Hong Kong Trademarks Firm of the Year

Well-respected Ella Cheong and Alan Chiu head Hong Kong-based ELLALAN; Chiu is the firm’smanaging 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 handles both contentious and non-contentious trademark, copyright, domain name and trade name matters for the Alibaba Group in over 80 jurisdictions, except for mainland China, including developing new brands and project names with business units, handling the entire trademark application process (from clearance search, filing, responding to official actions, to registration), and managing Alibaba’s trademark portfolio and a portfolio of contentious trademark matters.

“Year 2020 was a challenging year,” said Alan Chiu. “Yet we have come out stronger and better, thanks to our unique position as a specialist IP firm with a solid and diversified client base and our colleagues for their strong commitment to client service excellence. We are delighted to be the winner of Hong Kong Trademark Firm of the Year at the Asia IP Awards. This is an important recognition of the breadth and depth of our team’s capability and a true reflection of the volume and complexity of both inbound and outbound trademark work handled by us. We will continue to play an instrumental role in assisting our IP clients to navigate the uncharted waters ahead.”


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 2020 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. “Getting awarded for the Indian trademark firm of the year, the coveted Asia IP Award, gives us the strength to take on challenges with fervour. 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.”


India Patents Firm of the Year

LexOrbis is amongst the fastest growing top tier IP firms in India with over 100 attorneys at its offices in New Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai. The firm’s patent team comprising of over 60 patent attorneys is one of the top firms for writing new patent cases for inventions originating from India and elsewhere. The team has written more than 1,500 new patent applications for filing with the IPO, WIPO, USPTO and EPO and prosecutes more than 3,500 patent applications a year. The firm represents a large number of global technology companies in the areas of ICT, emerging technologies, automobile, pharmaceuticals and life sciences. The firm also represents India’s leading public-sector energy companies, public-funded institutions, laboratories, universities and incubators. The firm has equally robust teams of attorneys in its trademark, copyright, design and IP litigation and enforcement practice groups.

“A big thanks to all our clients and colleagues for reposing trust in us,” said Manisha Singh, founder partner at the firm. “The year 2020 brought many challenges at almost all fronts but thanks to innovations, emerging technologies and resilience of our people, we turned the challenges to opportunities. It’s a proud moment to be awarded India Patent Firm of the Year, and thanks to Team Asia IP for this recognition.”


India Copyright Firm of the Year

Ranjan Narula leads RNA, Technology & IP Attorneys from its Gurugram base. The firm recently acted for Puma in seeking a permanent injunction restraining infringement of trademark, passing off, damages, delivery up before the Delhi High Court against Pasco Sports, which was engaged in manufacturing and marketing footwear and filed several trademark applications for registration of deceptively similar marks and owned the domain name www.pamasports.com. The court granted an ex parte interim injunction and appointed a local commissioner to visit the defendant’s premises, where 350 pairs of infringing sports shoes and 35 bags bearing the PAMA mark were seized. Pasco has since changed its mark to ZAMA. The firm won multiple awards at the 2020 Asia IP India Awards, including Enforcement Firm of the Year and, was runner-up for the New Delhi and NCR Firm of the Year.


Indonesia Copyright Firm of the Year

Managing partner Justisiari Perdana Kusumah and partner Risti Wulansari as well as senior associate Siti Mariam Nabila lead K&K Advocates, a boutique firm specializing in IP matters with particular strength in copyright, patent and trademark registration and enforcement. Named Asia IP copyright firm of the year for Indonesia in 2019, 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 is assisting and advising Telekomunikasi Indonesia (Telkom) in filing copyright applications for computer programs of the government’s Peduli Lindungi surveillance app, which aims to trace and track suspected patients as well as confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Indonesia. It also advises PT Aplikasi Karya Anak Bangsa (GOJEK) in maintaining its IP portfolio, including actively monitoring the status of the client’s copyright registration and/or application, and actively filing new copyright applications, as well as handling advisory works for their copyright matters.


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. Another key practitioner is Wiku Anindito for trademark and copyright.

“It is extremely gratifying to be selected as the leading Indonesia 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.”


Indonesia Trademarks Firm of the Year

Acemark is a boutique firm established in 1999, focusing on IP both domestically and internationally. Clients range from multinational corporations to small and medium enterprises across industries. Professionals have backgrounds of chemistry, biology, pharmaceuticals, electronics and mechanical engineering. The firm files around 1,600 applications each year, more than a thousand of which are outside of Indonesia.


Japan Copyright Firm of the Year

Led by managing partners Kenji Sugimura and Koji Sugimura, Sugimura & Partners is an IP specialist firm which represents both Japanese and international clients pursuing patent, design, and trademark protection in Japan. Its clientele ranges from single inventors and startups to well established academic institutions and multinational corporations from all sectors of the global economy. Top practitioners include Tetsuo Tsukanaka, Yuko Muramatsu, Kenichi Nakayama and Osamu Suzuki. The firm has handled infringement cases for multiple international brands.


Japan Patents 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. Outstanding practitioners include managing partner Hiroyuki Itaki as well as partners Kazuhiko Yoshida and Hiroshi Uesugi. The firm files some 2,600 patent applications each year; it is currently advising a client in a case seeking revocation of a trial decision of the Japan Patent Office.

“We are very honoured to be recognized by Asia IP as the Japan Patents Firm of the Year,” says Akira Watanabe, an attorney at law and patent attorney at the firm. “We are most grateful for our clients for providing us with the opportunities to work with them even during these difficult Covid-19 conditions. We will continue to strive to acquire and protect our clients’ rights and provide the highest quality of services possible.”


Japan Trademarks Firm of the Year

Yoshiyuki Inaba, Mitsuko Miyagawa and Toyotaka Abe are key practitioners at TMI Associates. Clients range from venture businesses to well-established high-tech companies. It also liaises with government agencies and has increasingly had opportunities to advise on policy. Besides copyright services, it also handles patent, utility model, design, trademark, trade secret, unfair competition, action plan, antitrust as well as licensing matters. The firm files approximately 2,500 trademark applications each year; it is acting on trademark matters for 20th Century Fox and the GSK Group.

“TMI is honoured to be recognized as the Japan Trademarks Firm of the Year. The award is testament to the wide reach of TMI’s IP practice both functionally and geographically,” says Yoshiyuki Inaba, the firm’s managing partner. “Clients can rely on TMI for skillful prosecution of trademarks, reliable counseling and opinions, expert advice on transactional matters and litigation success in high profile, business critical cases. TMI brings the entire resources of a large law firm to bear in providing this expansive range of services. TMI’s scale and scope also propels a global footprint which in large measure generates prospects for our industry-leading trademark practice. With plenty of untapped opportunities in the large worldwide market for trademark services, TMI will not rest on its laurels but will continue to vigorously pursue further growth and build on our existing success signified by the Japan Trademark Firm of the Year award.”


Macau IP Firm of the Year

C&C Lawyers & Notaries provides legal advice and services on a wide range of legal issues for both domestic and international clients. On top of general advice on IP issues, the firm’s practice includes registration and IP portfolio maintenance; IP enforcement and protection; licensing and franchising; anti-counterfeiting and customs actions. Partner Lu Zhao leads the IP practice and acts as the top liaison for the firm’s Chinese-speaking clients. The firm also has offices in Portugal, East Timor and Cabo Verde.

“It is a great honour to be recognized for our IP work,” says senior partner Nuno Sardinha da Mata. “For over 20 years, we have been handling all types of IP matters, including specific and focused solutions on behalf of hundreds of reputable local and international clients. We strive to deliver effective legal solutions in an ever-evolving and increasingly challenging global marketplace. Given our dedicated full-service IP practice, we are committed to continue providing the most outstanding results and exceed our clients’ expectations.”


Malaysia Copyright 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. Some of its notable clients include Marriott, Hermes, Formula One Management and British American Tobacco. Other top practitioners include Jyeshta Mahendran, Indran Shanmuganathan, Timothy Siaw and Yap Khai Jian.


Malaysia Patents Firm of the Year

Well-established IP specialist Marks & Clerk handles all areas of intellectual property, with particular strengths in life science, information technology and electronics. The firm has a global reputation for delivering quality parent prosecution and its Malaysia office handles patent drafting to UK and European standards. The Kuala Lumpur office is led by directors Gerald Samuel and Chris Hemingway. The firm is advising Sengenics has patented technology for purifying biomarkers, used for identifying diseases. The company is now expanding their portfolio and filing patents in multiple jurisdictions on the basis of new applications for their technology. The company wishes to launch on the stock market in the near future, and protection of their IP is crucial the success of the launch, says Hemingway. The firm also advises Petronas, one of the world’s largest companies (ranked 158 on the Fortune 500 for 2019), and is responsible for all oil and gas resources in Malaysia. “As such, patents are important for protecting their inventions, and also in developing new technologies either alone or in partnership with third parties,” Hemingway says. “Petronas regularly asks us to conduct infringement opinions and freedom-to-operate searches to determine the risk of infringing third party rights and assess the suitability of licensing offers both locally and abroad. We have also drafted a number of patent applications, which are currently pending. In addition we provide seminars on different aspects of IP to their researchers to aid their understanding.”

Hemingway was pleased with the award. “We are honoured to again be recognized as Malaysian patent firm of the year by Asia IP, especially given the strength of the competition in our group.”


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

U Myint Lwin Law Office is one of the most reliable firms in the country, 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 trademark registrations.


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. Thus, in addition to its already dynamic team of lawyers led by Wellington-based principal Damian Broadley, the firm’s capabilities have been heightened with the addition of former attorneys from Baldwins. These lawyers include Penny Catley and Thomas Huthwaite for trademarks; Wes Jones and Chris Way for patents; and Paul Johns for copyright. Sarah Barclay, who specializes in patent, design and related IP law, has been promoted to principal while Andrea Dickens has taken the role of managing director. AJ Park itself is part of IPH Limited, the intellectual property company holding company.

“We are thrilled to have been named New Zealand Copyright Firm of the Year at the Asia IP Awards 2020,” said Andrea Dickens, managing director at AJ Park. “This award is a testament to AJ Park’s outstanding team and their expertise in copyright and its application. We would like to extend our congratulations to all of the other 2020 winners.”


New Zealand Patents Firm of the Year

James & Wells is a strong boutique player in New Zealand. Christchurch-based co-founding partner Ceri Wells is known for his work in the Society of Beer Advocates case against DB Breweries, and served as a past president for the New Zealand Institute of Patent Attorneys. Hamilton-based partner Ian Finch is a key contact for litigation. The firm’s trademark team in Auckland is led by partner Carrick Robinson, who also has a focus in food & beverage innovation and related IP implications. Other key practitioners are Jonathan Lucas and Jason Rogers in the patent practice, and Gus Hazel for copyright. Britta Fromow, formerly of Catalyst IP, has joined the firm as a consultant.


New Zealand Trademarks Firm of the Year

General practice law firm Buddle Findlay offers both contentious and non-contentious work with an emphasis on trademarks and copyright matters. 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 and Yahoo! are counted among the firm’s clients.


Pakistan Copyright Firm of the Year

Founded in February 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. Amongst two partners, four associates and 10 other staff members, Sultan Ahmad Sheikh and Salman Ahmed Sheikh stand out of the crowd and represent well with clients at all forums including the Supreme Court of Pakistan.


Pakistan Patents 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 Trademarks Firm of the Year

Vellani & Vellani was established in 1937 and is located in Karachi. Partners Badaruddin Vellani and Ameen Vellani have extensive corporate law practice in most prosecution work and, together, they lead a team which advises on matters related to trademarks, patents, copyright, domain names and anti-counterfeiting to both domestic and MNC clients as well as government agencies in fields such as pharmaceuticals, chemicals, vehicles and computer software. Erum Rasheed and Anwer Ghani are key patent practitioners, Khushnum Muncherji is a key contact for copyright work and Seema Mansoor is a good contact for trademark matters. The firm has undertaken trademark prosecution work such as responding to office actions, rectifications and cancellation proceedings before the Trade Marks Registry for clients in the fields of pharmaceuticals, consumer goods, retail, oil and gas, telecommunications and information technology. The firm files approxaimtely 650 trademark applications.


Philippines Copyright Firm of the Year

Led by senior partner Susan Villanueva, 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 Patricia AO Bunye is a key IP contact. Among its lead lawyers are Rowanie A. Nakan and Criselda Santiago for patents and Divina Gracia E. Pedron and Carlo B. Valerio for copyright.

“Thank you to Asia IP and our clients for again recognizing Cruz Marcelo & Tenefrancia as the Philippine Copyright Firm of the Year,” said senior partner Susan Villanueva. “We have received this recognition from 2014-2018 and we are grateful for the continuing trust and confidence in our firm from our clients and Asia IP.”


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 group advises on matters related to trademarks, patents, copyright, domain names, utility models, designs, litigation, licensing and franchising. 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 the past 12 months, the firm has filed applications for such companies as Alibaba Group Holdings, Incyte, and Angel Playing Cards, just to name a few.

“While companies catering to consumer products may be reducing their filings, those in the pharmaceutical, telecommunications and mobile technology fields are expected to increase in their filings, as we are currently experiencing,” Editha Hechanova said. “In the last four months, despite the lockdown, 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. We were able to do so with our staff working at home, and at the office, and with the IPOPHL allowing online filings.”


Philippines Trademarks Firm of the Year

Angara Abello Concepcion Regala & Cruz (ACCRALAW) has advised Fresenius Kabi Oncology in defending a patent infringement case filed by Aventis Pharma and its Philippine subsidiary. The firm has also represented Phillips Seafood Philippines in a patent infringement suit filed by Kanemitsu Yamaoka, the patent holder of a tuna smoking process. Senior partner Alex Ferdinand Fider, partners Victor N. De Leon, John Paul M. Gaba, Richmond K. Lee, Jose Eduardo T. Genilo and of counsel Aleli Angela G. Quirino and Rogelio Vinluan are top practitioners.


Singapore Copyright Firm of the Year

Global law firm Dentons and venerable Singapore firm Rodyk & Davidson formalized their combination on April 25, 2016. In Singapore, the firm operates as Dentons Rodyk, and the IP practice was rebranded as Rodyk IP. Key contacts include Woon Chooi Yew, Gilbert Leong and Catherine Lee. The firm offers transactional and contentious services as well portfolio management.


Singapore Patents 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. Cofounder and director Jason Chan and Jo-Ann See respectively lead the litigation and enforcement team as well as IP protection and management matters. The firm drafts, files and prosecutes patent applications, and manages the worldwide patent portfolio, for SembCorp Marine, a global marine and offshore engineering group, and for Accelerate Technologies, the commercialization arm of the government's Agency for Science, Technology and Research.

“We are delighted and honoured to be awarded Singapore Patents Firm of the Year by Asia IP,” said Winnie Tham, a director at the firm. “Much appreciation and credit to all members of our patents team, who have worked hard to achieve this well-deserved recognition. We are tremendously grateful to all our clients for their continued support and trust, and we will continue to strive to do our best.”


Singapore Trademarks Firm of the Year

Drew & Napier is a full-service firm with expertise across the range of contentious and non-contentious IP work including litigation, trademarks and service marks, copyright and designs, licensing, distributorship, franchising and confidentiality agreements. Director of IP Yvonne Tang, is a key contact. Following his appointment as a judicial commissioner of the Supreme Court of Singapore, former IP department managing director Dedar Singh Gill was sworn in as a judge on the High Court of Singapore in August. The firm has successfully acted for Tata’s Natural Alchemy, a maker of natural anti-aging skin products, in connection with a trademark opposition filed by Tata Sons Limited to an application in Singapore, and for Adidas, in defending the company against an attempt by a Taiwanese company to register a mark with three sloping lines, which Singapore’s High Court found to be visually similar to the Adidas mark. The registrar’s office had previously ruled the marks to be “visually dissimilar.”

“Yet again, our clients have come through for us, endorsing the work that we have done for them in the best possible way,” says Tony Yeo, managing director, intellectual property at the firm. “We are so grateful for the faith and trust that our clients have in entrusting so much of their work to us. Our best response is to ensure that the trust is reciprocated with the highest quality work.”


South Korea Copyright Firm of the Year

Since 1961, Lee International IP & Law Group has been a leader in Korean IP with one of the largest and most active domestic practices, advising on patent prosecution, trademark registration, and a wide range of IP disputes, including patent litigation, trademark litigation, anti-counterfeiting and infringement matters, domain name disputes, copyright disputes and trade secret enforcement. Managing partner Terry Taehong Kim, Jin-Hoe Kim and Yoon Suk Shin are top practitioners at the firm.

“It is a tremendous honour to be recognized by Asia IP as the South Korea Copyright Firm of the Year. We are truly grateful to our clients for entrusting us with their IP needs and will continue to strive to provide the highest quality services,” said Terry Taehong Kim, who heads the firm’s IP practice.


South Korea Patents Firm of the Year

Based in Seoul and headed by Jay 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. The firm was named Asia IP trademark firm of the year for South Korea in 2019.

“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

Sudath Perera Associates is a full-service law firm whose clients include local, multinational, Global 1000 and Fortune 500 enterprises as well as emerging companies. Key IP practitioners include managing partner Sudath Perera and partner Himani Perera.


Sri Lanka Patents 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 reports filing more than 120 patent applications, 300 patent renewals and nearly 150 responses to substantive examination reports. The firm will be involved in Mohamed Haniffa Mohamed Ajmal and Quikpak (Pvt) Ltd v. Joseph Romesh Shehan Kadiramanpulle, an appeal in respect of a patent drafting which has been listed to be heard in Supreme Court.

“As a leading intellectual property law firm in Sri Lanka, we are delighted that we have been selected as the best patent law firm in Sri Lanka by Asia IP in 2020, and would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to Asia IP as well as our clients,” said Anomi Wanigasekera, a partner who heads the firm’s IP division. “Our expertise in patent advise and drafting helped us to acquire new local clients, which resulted in the increase of local filings. The unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic situation has affected the global community and has had a drastic impact on the national as well as international trade and economy. Looking ahead, we have to work hard and be prepared to assist and support our clients in responding to the economic slowdown due to the pandemic situation.”


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

TIPLO, also known as Taiwan International Patent & Law Office, was founded in 1965; five decades, later the firm is one of the largest and most reliable intellectual property law firms in Taiwan with diversified expertise to encompass IP as well as general legal services provided by a full-service law firm. Director J.K. Lin is an expert in IP law, licensing and anti-monopoly/unfair competition/fair trade law. Nelson Yu, who is chief of the firm’s patent department, is especially knowledgeable in patent drafting and prosecution and assessment in the high-tech areas, including circuit design, semiconductor, communication, and computer software field. He helps global companies like Intel, Apple, Sun Microsystem, Genesis and many others in practicing and enforcing their patents in Taiwan and worldwide.


Taiwan Patents 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. Senior counselors Joseph Yang and Cathy Ting and partners Ruey-Sen Tsai, Dennis Huang and Hsiu-Ru Chien are key contacts at the firm. The firm files some 7,000 patent applications each year. On behalf of an international company, the firm filed a petition for an invalidation action on Taiwan Patent No.I477375 in the name of a third party. In June 2019, the Intellectual Property Office rendered an invalidation decision canceling the subject patent. While the patentee disagreed with the invalidation decision and filed an administrative appeal, the Ministry of Economic Affairs rejected the appeal. On January 20, 2020, the patentee filed an administrative litigation with the IP Court, and the firm attended the litigation for the client as the intervention party. After conducting two hearings, the IP Court delivered its judgment dismissing the patentee’s complaint and sustaining the invalidation decision.

“We are delighted that we have been recognized for our patent practice and awarded the Taiwan Patents Firm of the Year. We would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere gratitude to Asia IP and all of the lawyers who voted for our firm, and also to share this honour with all of our clients and friends,” said Ruey-Sen Tsai, partner at Lee and Li.


Taiwan Trademarks Firm of the Year

Tai E International Patent & Law Office has about 260 staff in all affiliates, and has developed into a highly respected international IP law firm providing a full range of services. Tai E has been continually 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 national clients. Key IP practitioners include managing partner Fred C.T. Yen, partner and CEO Jerry C.Y. Lin and president Henry C.H. Guei.


Thailand Copyright Firm of the Year

Newcomer 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. Jinnaphat Srithepthamrong has joined the firm recently as part of its IP team. 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.


Thailand Patents Firm of the Year

One of the oldest and largest IP firms in the country, Domnern Somgiat & Boonma is led by partner Rutorn Nopakun. The practice handles many trademark applications filed in Thailand and almost half of the patent applications filed by foreign companies. Among its leading practitioners are Nathapong Tongkaew for trademark, Chakrapat Mongkolsit and Prabjote Busdee for patent, and Juthatip Vejsureeyakul for copyright. Associates Padcha Ritkasem and Nutthakarn Phongphunpunya are the latest additions to the firm.

“We are pleased to have received this award from Asia IP, and from our clients who voted for us. The legal market in Bangkok is competitive, and being named Thailand Patents Firm of the Year is a testament to the hard work that our team puts in every day,” said partner Rutorn Nopakun. “We will continue to keep up the good work and do our best to get through this difficult time.”


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. Other key members are Kritchawat Chainapasak who is the head of the patent & design practice and Kritsana Mingtongkhum who is the head of the trademark and litigation practice.

“We are absolutely thrilled to become a two-time winner of the prestigious Asia IP Thailand Trademarks Firm of the Year award,” says Satyapon Sachdecha, the firm’s founder. “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. We hope that in 2021, we can see you all again at a live awards event.

Sachdecha continued: “A huge thank you to the entire team at Asia IP, our clients, all our staff, and all the great people at law firms all over the world that support us and turn to us for their clients IP needs in Thailand. Without you, we could not be where we are today. Our clients are our life’s work.”


Vietnam Copyright Firm of the Year

Schmitt & Orlov operates in Greater China, Russia and CIS countries, and Southeast Asia including Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, where its office is located in Ho Chi Minh City. It specializes in patents, copyright and trademark prosecution, enforcement, media and entertainment and personality rights including data privacy and protection. Yen Pham, who has extensive IP prosecution and contentious matter experience, has joined the firm as a senior IP attorney. Meanwhile, Ho Chi Minh-based Hau Nguyen has been promoted to the role of deputy director for Southeast Asia where she will work directly with Daniel Greif, the firm’s director for Southeast Asia. S&O is known for assisting good enforcement strategies to the client, organizing and participating in trainings raising awareness of local authorities on international standards in IPR protection. The firm assisted a leading brand owner against a series of infringing trademark applications of local stores by negotiation for amicable solutions, which eventually resulted in opposing the marks. S&O also assisted the client in filing non-use cancellation against the conflict marks incorporating the client's element based on non-use evidence of the conflict marks.

“Our Vietnam team at S&O IP is delighted to be recognized as the Asia IP Vietnam winner for copyright,” says Dan Greif, the firm’s Southeast Asia director of IP and senior trademark attorney. “Our Vietnam practice is growing rapidly, and we thank our clients for their support and the opportunity to represent them on copyrights, trademarks and other IP matters. Our clients appreciate the high-level tailored IP advice, coupled with speed and flexibility, that we provide."

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 helped MPLUS Hanoi defend a case against Jahwa Electronics, one of the leading electronic components manufacturing companies in South Korea. Jahwa sued MPLUS on multiple patent infringement cases. 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

The IP teams at Baker McKenzie in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City have played an instrumental role in helping both local and multinational clients realize the value of their IP portfolios. The firm is represented before the NOIP, courts and authorities by BMVN International, a fully-licensed law firm and IP agent. Partner Tran Manh Hung heads the firm’s IP practice in Vietnam. Partner Minh Tri Quach in Hanoi is a key contact.

“It is extremely gratifying to be selected as the leading Vietnam Trademarks 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.”


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.

“It is extremely gratifying to be selected as the leading Asia Pacific Trademarks 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 would like to thank Asia IP for this recognition, and also 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.”


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