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Asia’s sixth largest economy, the export-reliant Taiwan has suffered from a slump in demand due to the European debt crisis and a growth slowdown in China, its main trading partner.
In the corporate arena, large-scale inbound transactional activity remains subdued; 2011 also saw a significant decrease in capital markets deals and acquisition financing. The largest full-service firms – Baker & McKenzie, Jones Day, Lee and Li and Tsar & Tsai Law Firm – have maintained their reputation for excellence, winning instructions on high-profile deals such as the NT$48.8bn merger between Polaris Securities and Yuanta Financial, and the $2.4bn acquisition of CNS cable TV by Want-Want, despite the general lack of transactional volume in the market.
Home to numerous hi-tech manufacturers, such as Taiwan Semiconductor, United Microelectronics and HTC Corporation, Taiwan has an IP market that is both stable and very active; it is dominated on the contentious side by the country’s full-service firms, and on the prosecution side by patent and trade mark offices led by Saint Island International Patent & Law Offices, TIPLO Attorneys-at-Law and Top Team International Patent & Trademark Office.
The legal market remains hopeful that the Economic Cooperation Framework signed between China and Taiwan in June 2010 will result in a wave of cross-investments between the two countries. However, the full effects of the agreement remain to be seen.