King & Wood has won Asialaw magazine’s prestigious award for Ch…

King & Wood has won Asialaw magazine’s prestigious award for China Intellectual Property Firm of 2006 at the 2006 Asialaw IP Awards.

LAWFUEL – Law News, Law Jobs Network – The award was presented at Asialaw magazine’s third annual intellectual property (IP) awards, held at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Hong Kong on November 22 2006. The ceremony was organized by Asia Law & Practice, a specialist division of Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC, and hosted by local media personality Steve Vines. It was attended by business leaders, senior lawyers and in-house legal counsel from around the Asia-Pacific region.

In winning Asialaw’s 2006 China IP Award, King & Wood beat off stiff competition from the other finalists (in alphabetical order): Baker & McKenzie; CCPIT Patent & Trademark Law Office; and Liu, Shen & Associates.

Asialaw’s top IP prize for the year, the Asia-Pacific IP Firm of 2006, went to Baker & McKenzie. The international law firm’s involvement in the Asia-Pacific region dates back over 40 years and spans 11 jurisdictions. “I think Baker & McKenzie provides excellent legal services in different jurisdictions,” says a member of the Asialaw IP Awards judging panel. Other finalists for the regional IP Award were Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Lovells.

The winners of the 2006 Asialaw IP Awards represent the best IP practices in the Asia-Pacific region. Over 6,000 in-house counsel, private practice lawyers and business executives around Asia were invited to participate in Asialaw’s IP awards process. Combining market consultation with extensive research, Asialaw’s editorial board compiled a shortlist of the top 10 IP firms in 13 key jurisdictions in the region. A list of five firms with IP expertise across the region was also compiled for the Asia-Pacific award.

Asialaw’s shortlist for the IP Awards was then presented to a VIP judging panel of over 100 in-house legal counsel who look after their companies’ IP interests in the Asia-Pacific region. The panel includes: Daniel Q Greif, the Asia-Pacific trademark counsel of The Coca-Cola Company; Genevieve Tan McCully, the senior IP counsel of Hewlett-Packard; and Taruli Asima Aritonang, the IP counsel of HM Sampoerna.

Asialaw’s VIP judging panel were invited to vote on the shortlists, to produce a list of finalists of the four best IP firms in each jurisdiction and the three best IP firms in the Asia-Pacific region as a whole. Points were assigned for each ranking given and nominations were cross-referenced with Asialaw’s comprehensive editorial research to ensure an accurate and fair selection of the finalists and ultimate winners of the 2006 Asialaw IP Awards.

Please see below for full results of the 2006 Asialaw IP Awards and comments on each of the firms which won the jurisdictional awards. Photographs of the 2006 Asialaw IP Awards are available upon request.

2006 Asialaw IP Awards – The Winners

Australia IP Firm of 2006: Baker & McKenzie

Baker & McKenzie has a substantial IP practice, with expertise in all aspects of IP rights. Recent cases include acting successfully for Unilever in litigation over Nestlé’s ‘Go on …’ trademark registration and representing Arrow Pharmaceuticals in patent litigation over a Merck & Co patent sought on the manner of manufacture and novelty grounds. Comments the regional legal head of a global telecommunications equipment firm: “The partners in Baker & McKenzie in Australia understand our business and take great pride in the work that they do”.

China IP Firm of 2006: King & Wood
King & Wood – China’s largest law firm – has a solid reputation for IP work in China. “It ranks well for expert knowledge and securing major deals,” says one corporate counsel. Several Asia-based in-house counsel also note that the firm’s IP services are expanding through lateral hires. King & Wood’s recent cases include representing Baidu in connection with unfair competition litigation, Muji Corporation in a trademark administrative litigation and Foxconn in a business secrets infringement case.

Hong Kong IP Firm of 2006: Baker & McKenzie
Baker & McKenzie’s Hong Kong office is held in high regard by corporate counsel for its responsiveness and professionalism. Joseph Simone and Tan Loke Khoon are singled out as exceptional IP practitioners by members of the judging panel. The China legal head of an international company praises the law firm for its “experience and practical approach”. Baker & McKenzie’s recent work includes an IP enforcement campaign for a multinational entertainment company’s new Hong Kong venture, which included working closely with Hong Kong’s Customs department over counterfeit merchandize.

India IP Firm of 2006: Anand and Anand
Anand and Anand is very well respected for its IP work in India. “They have a vast experience in IP in the region and in India,” says a prominent corporate legal counsel in the technology sector. Recently, Anand and Anand was successful in obtaining for its client the first award of damages in the history of Indian IP litigation, in which the Delhi High Court awarded Time Rs500,000 (US$11,180) for the imitation of its trademark. The Delhi High Court awarded another Anand & Anand client, Microsoft, Rs1.975 million for piracy of its software products – the highest award of damages to date in Indian IP litigation.

Indonesia IP Firm of 2006: Hadiputranto, Hadinoto & Partners
Hadiputranto, Hadinoto & Partners is the well-regarded Indonesian associate of international law firm Baker & McKenzie. Recent cases include representing EI du Pont de Nemours & Co in an action against counterfeit refrigerant gas products in Jakarta and advising L’Oréal in a cease and desist campaign against retailers in Jakarta selling counterfeit cosmetic products. Hadiputranto, Hadinoto & Partners’ other IP clients include Warner Bros Entertainment, Procter & Gamble and Cadbury Schweppes.

Japan IP Firm of 2006: Yuasa and Hara
Yuasa and Hara, which has been offering legal advice since 1902, has long been at the forefront of IP law in Japan. The firm has modernized efficiently and specializes in IP-related matters in biotechnology, nanotechnology, mechatronics, computer sciences and other advanced technologies. Established about 60 years ago, the firm’s IP practice has a wide range of big brand-owning clients, including Pfizer, Ebara, Songy, Daewoo Electric and LG, to which it provides advice on IP matters.

Malaysia IP Firm of 2006: Shearn Delamore & Co
Shearn Delamore & Co is a full-service law firm which is highly respected for its IP expertise, as reflected by its three Asialaw Leading Lawyers in the field: partners Karen Abraham, Timothy Siaw and Wong Sai Fong. The firm’s IP practice is “professional, effective and fast in litigation matters,” says an in-house counsel at an automotive company. The firm provides assistance in obtaining regulatory approval for franchising, food, pharmaceutical and gaming matters and advises on product liability and consumer protection issues.

Philippines IP Firm of 2006: SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan
Legal powerhouse SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan has gain recognition for its skills in handling patent prosecutions. “The timeliness of its advice is appreciated especially,” says an in-house counsel at a pharmaceutical company. “SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan remains as one of the icons of IP in the Philippines,” adds a Manila-based in-house counsel at a financial institution. The law firm’s recent work includes acting as counsel to the Philippine Association of the Record Industry on establishing the Philippines’ first legitimate musical works distribution website.

Singapore IP Firm of 2006: Drew & Napier
Drew & Napier, which traces its roots back to 1889, has one of the largest IP practices in Singapore under partner and director Morris John. “Drew and Napier tops my list, for their professionalism, depth of knowledge and experience, and good customer support,” says a technology legal counsel in Singapore. The firm’s clients include Trek Technology (Singapore), which it represented in a landmark patent infringement case involving a groundbreaking invention.

South Korea IP Firm of 2006: Kim & Chang
Kim & Chang has traditionally been known as one of the best law firms for IP work in South Korea. “Their skill often makes them very busy,” says one in-house counsel ruefully. The firm’s IP group conducts education seminars for local subsidiaries on effective patent practice. IP experts include Asialaw Leading Lawyers Ann NY Kwon, Jay J Kim, Jay Yang, Monica Leeu and YS Cho.

Taiwan IP Firm of 2006: Lee and Li
Full-service law firm Lee and Li has two IP-related practice groups: patents and technology, and trademarks and copyrights. “They are good quality and have good billing practices,” says the in-house counsel at a global oil corporation of Lee and Li. The law firm recently represented Sunon in a complex opposition action that was argued all the way to the Supreme Administrative Court. The firm also represented Atotech Deutschland in the High Administrative Court and worked with Beijing firm Leaven IPR Agency in handling a Logitech patent application in China.

Thailand IP Firm of 2006: Tilleke & Gibbins
Tilleke & Gibbins is the IP firm of choice for many corporate lawyers around the region. “They are quite prompt with their services,” a Singapore-based lawyer at a multinational company says of the firm’s IP enforcement division. In early 2006, the firm established a precedent for Matsushita by having a lapsed patent restored, following a complex patent litigation against the Thai Department of Intellectual Property.

Vietnam IP Firm of 2006: Baker & McKenzie
International law firm Baker & McKenzie is highly respected for its IP practice in Vietnam. Its recently investigated and raided a company selling counterfeit products bearing ‘CK’ and ‘Calvin Klein’ trademarks. It also advised and assisted Marvel Entertainment on the cancellation of an ‘X-Men’ trademark registered by a Vietnamese consumer products company. Baker& McKenzie’s other IP clients in Vietnam include GlaxoSmithKline, Starbucks Corporation and The Body Shop.

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