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Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Intellectual property – Local firms
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Allen & Gledhill LLP fields 'a fabulous team that knows its stuff and can deliver outcomes'. Practice head Dr Stanley Lai, SC is 'a good strategist and has the seniority to reach out to third parties and their counsel to mediate and deliver outcomes'. Other key members of the team include Low Pei Lin, Tham Kok Leong and William Ong. The group has a range of expertise in areas such as chemistry, biotechnology and engineering and undertakes patent and trade mark prosecution work and infringement matters together with transactional work including the negotiation of commercial agreements. It is acting for ASM Technology Singapore in an appeal to the Court of Appeal against a High Court decision regarding patent infringement and validity concerning a patent relating to a process and apparatus to seal electronic components with moulding resin. It is also representing a group of defendants in a dispute pertaining to allegations of copyright infringement and breach of confidence. Alexander Yap is a key name for commercial transactions relating to intellectual property, information technology and the protection and management of data.

The 'excellent' team at Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow is well known for its  brand protection skills combined with its 'business acumen' and team head Andy Leck stands out for his experience in the region. Ren Jun Lim handles both contentious and non-contentious matters including infringements, and the execution of anti-counterfeiting operations in Singapore and regionally. Abe Sun is a key name for patent work and is highly recommended by a client for his 'engineering background which is invaluable for complex patent applications'. In addition to the team's brand protection work for household name clients, it also undertakes a range of copyright infringement and patent prosecution and infringement work for clients in diverse industries. In a recent case, it acted for Sanrio Company (owner of brands such as Hello Kitty, My Melody, Little Twin Stars and Kurom) in the first case in Singapore brought against a freight forwarder (as the trans-shipper) for trade mark infringement in respect of counterfeit goods.

Bird & Bird ATMD LLP stands out for 'its meticulous approach and responsiveness to client's demands even if timelines are tight', as well as 'its good contacts in other countries'. Joint managing partner Lorraine Tay is 'responsive and commercially minded' and 'does a fantastic job in maintaining the client relationship'. Tay focuses on non-contentious advisory work and leads the brand management team. Anan Sivanathan is also highlighted for providing 'excellent advice on the commercialisation of IP assets including patents'. The well-known Alban Kang has considerable expertise across patent and trade mark protection matters including conducting cases before the Court of Appeal and managing counsel Gene Kwek is another highly experienced practitioner, especially in respect of trade mark protection work. The team, which includes patent attorneys, advises on the lifecycle of IP protection and commercial matters. In recent work, it successfully defended an invalidation action against Big Box Corporation's 'Big Box' trade mark. In other work, it is acting for Celltrion in relation to a claim by three major drug companies under the Health Products (Therapeutic Products) Regulations for relief against alleged prospective patent infringement, including unquantified damages.

Drew & Napier LLC's 'very sharp team' provides 'practical business-focused advice' on all types of IP assets including trade marks, patents, designs and copyright, ranging from the filing and protection of such assets to litigation and their commercial exploitation. It is acting for IIa Technologies in a patent infringement action commenced by Element Six Technologies (a subsidiary of the De Beers Group) against two patents relating to grown diamonds technology; the client has filed a defence and counterclaim. On the trade marks front, it successfully defended a Japan-based dairy company, Morinaga, in trade mark opposition proceedings brought by Starbucks Coffee in which it argued that Morinaga's circular logo was confusingly similar to its well-known logo. It is also undertaking high-profile work in the pharmaceutical and consumer goods sectors. Other key team members include Dedar Singh Gill, who has been appointed by the Minister of Law as Deputy President of the Copyright Tribunal; Tony Yeo, who is 'a fantastic strategist and a great litigator'; and Yvonne Tang, who is commended for her knowledge of patent law. Director Meryl Koh is noted for 'her great eye for detail, as well as an ability to see the big picture' and associate Vanessa Ho stands out for her 'ability to turn out quality work and respond promptly'.

Lau Kok Keng, who heads Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP’s 'excellent' IP practice, specialises in lP and technology litigation especially in the sports, media and gaming industries. Nicholas Lauw and associate Leow Jiamin continue to act for the Sunseap Group in defending allegations of patent infringement, which has also included filing a counterclaim. The claimant sought to strike out the counterclaim and the matter has gone to the Court of Appeal. In other work, the team is representing Singapore Pools, the operator of a licensed remote betting site, in pursuing actions against cybersquatters and infringers of the client's copyright. The group also handles a diverse range of trade mark protection and infringement cases.

Specialist Amica Law LLC is recommended for the breath of its IP expertise, serving both international and local clients that include ExxonMobil, Huawei Technologies and the National University of Singapore. The team is acting for M1, the telecoms service provider in an application brought in the High Court by Disney Enterprises, 20th Century Fox and others for a Copyright Blocking Order. The case concerns a novel point in Singapore concerning whether the order remains binding if pirate websites change their IP address. It is also acting for Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, which applied for a product licence in Singapore to distribute a generic pharmaceutical product. This was blocked by Millennium Pharmaceutical under the patent declaration regime of the Health Products Act and the team is now acting for Sun in defence of a patent infringement action. Jo-Ann See handles all aspects of patent clearances and protection of IP rights, including opposition and revocation proceedings. Other key team members include head of litigation Jason Chan, who has expertise in biotechnology, computer electronics and telecoms matters; Winnie Tham, who is acting for Guangzhou Pharmaceutical in a trade mark invalidation action, and Wilson Wong whose practice centers on transactional matters including patent licences and technology transfers.

The team at Dentons Rodyk 'is trusted to have clients' best interests at heart and has good business acumen and industry knowledge'. It handles complex patent protection and infringement cases, including oppositions and revocation actions, especially in the pharmaceutical, electro-mechanical and computer science areas, as well as trade mark and copyright protection matters. Lee Ai Ming  and Chai Chong Low are defending Nexplanar in a patent infringement case, which is pending at the Court of Appeal, and the duo are also leading the team representing Merck in patent infringement cases. The practice also manages global IP portfolios for clients such as Omron Corporation, United Overseas Bank, International SOS and the Prima Group. Other key members of the group include Gilbert Leong, Woon Chooi Yew, who is noted for her 'prompt advice' and sought out for her 'strong franchising knowledge', and Catherine Lee. Foo Maw Jiun is another noted practitioner.

The team at Taylor Vinters Via LLC is highly regarded for its brand protection skills and is 'very well versed in the intricacies of copyright law and the application of patents'. Bryan Ghows is noted for his ability to coordinate his team, his strategic planning and for his 'skill and knowledge that helped fundamentally to win a case'. The 'approachable and clear thinkingYingyu Wang, the 'passionate and knowledgeableWai Yeng Chan and senior associate Ruth Ng are other key names. Associate Benita Lau is also noted. The team advises Changi Airport Group on a range of IP protection matters  including trade mark protection, domain names, patents and designs in Singapore and other jurisdictions.

WongPartnership LLP stands out for providing 'exceptional quality work, with clear, concise advice executed in a timely fashion'. Its wide-ranging work encompasses IP enforcement together with transactional and advisory work such as R&D collaborations, joint ventures and franchising agreements. Together with a network of alliance partners it covers multi-jurisidictional cases and counts both corporates and public and government bodies among its clients. It assisted a well-known, global client with setting up a joint venture and advised on the related IP aspects and in other work acted for a client on the acquisition of intellectual property rights and brand names that involved 19 jurisdictions. Lam Chung Nian is known for his IP, media and IT/telecoms experience and is valued for his 'good commercial and practical advice'; Kylie Peh is another noted name. Jeffrey Lim and senior associate Yue Lin Lee have left the firm.

Lee & Lee undertakes the full range of contentious and non-contentious IP  matters in sectors ranging from pharmaceutical to telecoms and consumer goods. Tan Tee Jim SC, Toh Kok Seng  and  Zechariah Chan are the key names to note. The team handles brand protection, the management of IP portfolios, transactional work and data protection for clients ranging from multinationals to smaller enterprises.

The 'response time is very good (almost immediate), the advice always fits the business needs and fees are also very reasonable' at Ravindran Associates, according to one client. M Ravindran, who has a wealth of experience, 'always gives relevant and concise advice'. Other key names to note include Sukumar Karuppiah , Paul Teo and Sue-Ann Li. The group acts for household name clients in a range of consumer and luxury goods sectors and also handles copyright and patent protection matters. It is acting for three global brand owners in a novel trade mark infringement case, which is before the Court of Appeal and concerns the trans-shipment of counterfeit goods through Singapore and whether a freight forwarder is liable.

The IP and technology department at Withers KhattarWong is 'extremely hard working, very good value for money and very client orientated'. Jim Lim  is considered to be 'one of the leading IP lawyers in Singapore -  very experienced and knows his stuff inside out'. The team assists local and foreign clients with a range of contentious and non-contentious IP matters including managing IP portfolios and assisting with commercialisation strategies. It acted for the applicant, LG Electronics, in relation to the registration of the mark 'QuadBeat', which was opposed by Beats Electronics. In other work, it is assisting a client on a cross-border distribution dispute and is acting for another client in a matter concerning counterfeit products, which involved search warrants, raids and High Court actions for trade mark infringement and passing off. Gretchen Su and senior associate Magdalene Tan are other names to note.

Donaldson & Burkinshaw LLP has considerable experience in the IP field. The team has a track record acting for clients from an array of sectors from food and fashion to electronics and pharmaceuticals. Michelle See Hui Ng advises clients on the structuring of transactions involving IP rights and also manages IP and domain name portfolios. Lim Teck Yeow focuses on patent protection matters, especially in life sciences and chemicals, and Hubert Giam, who is a registered patent attorney, specialises in mechanical and electrical engineering.

Gateway Law Corporation's team has extensive patent and trade mark agency services covering the protection and commercialisation of IP rights in Singapore and regionally. Its expertise extends to domain names, copyright and designs. The team is managing the trade mark portfolios for a number of global corporations including for Challenger Technologies, which covers some 90 countries. Managing director Max Ng Chee Weng's expertise is in litigation, privacy and data protection as well as licensing and franchising agreements. Senior associate Amira Nabila Budiyano's experience spans both contentious and non-contentious IP work.

At RHTLaw Taylor Wessing LLP, Jonathan Kok, who heads the intellectual property and technology practice, is noted for 'his wealth of IP and IT knowledge and provides well thought-out advice'. Kok has a focus on the IT, digital media and entertainment sectors in addition to consumer products and services industries. He acted for Matchmove in its dispute with SingTel over the latter's use of the trade mark 'MCash' and successfully negotiated a settlement to cease use of the client’s trade mark. Wun Rizwi has a focus on technology and outsourcing matters as well as brand protection; he advised a Michelin Star restaurant on a rebranding exercise in respect of the Asia Pacific region, which involved obtaining trade mark registrations in numerous countries.

At Spruson & Ferguson (Asia), managing director Kristian Robinson leads the firm's Asia-wide patent practices. The team, which includes patent attorneys and those with technical backgrounds, handles the full range of patent protection, from the filing and prosecution of applications to various forms of enforcement.

Interview with...

Law firm partners and practice heads explain how their firms are adapting to clients' changing needs

Interview with...

Law firm partners and practice heads explain how their firms are adapting to clients' changing needs

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