China: Domestic

China is the most prolific patent filing country in the world and has now become a hotspot for patent litigation too. Accordingly, the Xi administration has placed an increased emphasis on intangible rights in an attempt to – as laid out in the 13th five-year plan for China’s development for the period ending in 2020 – “accelerate the construction of an IP powerhouse”. One of the most significant developments has been the establishment and expansion of specialised IP courts. Handing down larger damages awards and easing access to preliminary injunctions – often in disputes solely between foreign litigants – the dedicated IP courts in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou have proved their worth since their creation in 2014; in 2017 new IP tribunals were set up in no fewer than 10 cities.

AFD China Intellectual Property Law Office 

Patent filing powerhouse AFD China is a one-stop shop for both small to medium-sized enterprises and multinationals. “Delivering a premium service promptly and for a reasonable cost, the firm’s strong suit lies in its creativity.” The 80-strong team provides clients with “proactive, honest and commercially astute advice” on securing rights protection both abroad and in China, where it ensures that filings are “compatible with the Chinese patent environment”. Xia Zheng presides over the critically acclaimed set. Educated in the United States, she possesses “a thorough understanding” of the intricacies of Chinese and international patent practice: “Her ability to articulate those nuances clearly is a valuable asset in successfully acquiring and managing patent rights in China.”

An, Tian, Zhang & Partners

Multinationals relish the “smooth” and direct demeanour with which An, Tian, Zhang & Partners communicates with its clients. All lawyers are fluent in English, while a Japanese interpreter is on hand to make life easier for Japanese buyers. Embedded within the patent practice, the investigation team delivers impressive results in evidence collection – a valuable service that strengthens the firm’s performance in infringement disputes. David Tian wins plaudits for his stellar performance as a litigator and strategist willing to go the extra mile for his patrons. “His thorough preparation for hearings and effective persuasion of the court turns cases firmly in your favour.” Also sought after for his input in transactional instructions, Tian recently undertook IP due diligence for the Chinese State Development and Investment Corporation prior to its decision on whether to invest in domestic outfit Ascentage Pharma.

Beijing East IP Ltd

With “profound legal experience, far-reaching technical expertise and a strong understanding of the market”, Beijing East IP’s impressive line up “quickly gets to grips with new products and technologies”. Recent additions to the offering include a newly minted German team, enabling heavyweight clients including Thyssenkrupp and Schaeffler Group access to a pool of German-educated talent. A fresh-out-of-the-box patent licensing and litigation department further bolsters the firm’s capacity to take advantage of licensing opportunities and to engage in contentious work when required. With responsibility for the new department, senior patent attorney and litigator Dragon Wang leads in opposition, infringement and transactional instructions for his loyal following in the telecoms sector; he also takes point on business development for the group.

Beijing Sanyou Intellectual Property Agency Ltd 

China’s first private IP firm is also among its most modern; Beijing Sanyou is one of the few players in these listings with ISO 9001 certification, which guarantees high standards in customer service. The 160-strong line up of patent attorneys ably covers all technical fields and is a repository of wisdom for rights holders. Its longest-serving members have been practising since the promulgation of the Chinese patent system over 30 years ago and channel the expertise they have gleaned over that time for the benefit of clients. Qualified as a Chinese and US patent attorney, Xiaolin Dang is a key contact for mechanical engineering concerns. He is a standing board member of the All-China Patent Agents Association.

CCPIT Patent & Trademark Law Office 

Operating at the apex of Chinese intellectual property, CCPIT is both “highly respected for its strengths in prosecution” and a major player in litigation. Revered as one of the most capable portfolio management collectives in the nation, over 250 patent and trademark attorneys cater to clients of every technical persuasion with equal finesse. A network of offices across Asia, the United States and Europe places the firm conveniently on the doorsteps of foreign multinationals. Drawing on this technical smorgasbord, its attorneys at law showcase an awe-inspiring ability in the courtroom; the set recently sealed a definitive victory in a prompt retrial of proceedings against an infringer of a patent held by its client, Abbot Laboratories. In this extensive team, vice-president Chuanhong Long stands out; an authority on material sciences briefs, he is an expert across contentious and non-contentious patent matters and has in years past advised the State IP Office (SIPO) on potential amendments to Chinese patent law.

Chang Tsi & Partners 

With a formidable reputation for brand protection, Chang Tsi & Partners is fast making significant inroads into the patent domain, taking on multiple new hires and restructuring its patent department to shore up its services. Counting a number of former patent office examiners among its employees, the group channels its experience into overcoming rejections for clients including US operations Alta Group and Segetis, as well as the Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences. Technically insightful and globally attuned, the electrical, mechanical and biochemistry divisions are often sought out by prolific clients such as Air China, Honeywell and Tupperware. A partner, lawyer and patent attorney, David Lee is well placed to answer initial enquiries.

China Patent Agent (HK) Ltd 

One of China’s oldest, largest and best-respected patent practices, China Patent Agent has spent over three decades securing and enforcing rights protection for foreign and Chinese patrons. Drawing on the virtually unmatched technical prowess of over 200 patent attorneys, the firm provides the full suite of patent services and is best known for its management of substantial patent portfolios. General manager Xiangling Zeng is an excellent patent attorney, thanks to his ability to grasp technical issues relating to all things mechanical. He plays an active part in the national IP community and currently holds executive roles in the China IP Society and the Licensing Executives Society (LES) China. His deputy Tina Tai is a “specialist” in handling prosecution and infringement briefs for pharmaceutical and chemistry outfits. “A frequent contributor to academic IP journals, she has an in-depth understanding of patent law in the People’s Republic.” Tai is qualified as both a patent attorney and as one of the 70 attorneys at law on the payroll. Among these, Yuhe Wu comes highly recommended for his flair in contentious mandates and is a familiar face in Chinese courts of all levels. Wu’s counterpart in the Shanghai office is patent attorney Yanfeng Xiong; he recently played a vital role in prevailing for Haworth in five patent infringement cases before the Guangzhou IP Court.

China Science Patent & Trademark Agent Ltd

Rights holders looking for a high-quality patent prosecution service in China would struggle to do better than China Science Patent & Trademark Agent. Over the past three decades, the firm has reinvented itself multiple times; starting as a dedicated agency for the state-owned Chinese Academy of Sciences in 1984, it has transformed into a private, full-service IP offering, capable of meeting the needs of both domestic and international clients. The line up comprises 140 patent attorneys, many of whom boast substantial first-hand experience in a research setting and thus carry a rare appreciation for the demands and perspective of inventors. As chair of the group, Liyan Zhang stands ready to provide more information.

China Sinda Intellectual Property Ltd 

Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, China Sinda has earned a “venerable reputation among Chinese universities and corporate clients”. With its eye firmly on the international stage, the set boasts a network of offices across Asia, Europe and the United States. Operating seamlessly in Chinese, Japanese, German, Korean and English, it provides its patrons with smooth and effective lines of communication to its 280 personnel. Drawing on his background in chemical engineering, president Beibing Gary Zhang is a skilled prosecutor “across a wide range of technologies” and holds particular appeal for foreign associates.

DEQI Intellectual Property Law Corporation

Formerly the state-owned Patent Service Centre of the Ministry of Information Industry, DEQI is now a private operation based a stone’s throw away from the SIPO and Beijing’s Zhongguancun technology hub. Its dexterous line up of 68 patent attorneys effortlessly conducts searches, monitoring, re-examination, invalidation and prosecution, with “a steady stream of outbound filings” originating from within its walls. When tensions arise, the group also thrives on tackling complex legal instructions for its extensive client base. The resourceful firm is capable of processing instructions in English, Japanese, Korean and German – an added bonus for international clients. Board chairman Zhiqiang Song runs the show and is a good first port of call for prospective buyers.

Fangda Partners

A “go-to” for international associates seeking a partner on-the-ground in China, Fangda closely aligns its approach with that of major multinational operations. Effusive praise from peers bears testament to Fangda’s dominant position in litigation. “While the firm provides the full suite of patent services”, remarks one collaborator, “its unique selling point is clearly its talent in high-profile infringement briefs”. Credited with maintaining this impressive reputation, US patent attorney Gordon Gao boasts “ample experience and expertise gleaned from his management of high-stakes instructions”.


One of China’s first privately owned law firms, JunHe is praised for its ability to manage portfolios and prosecute patents in a timely and cost-effective manner. With its respected corporate practice “commanding an esteemed reputation on the domestic market”, the company provides “commercially focused” advice through offices in Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou, as well as an outpost in Silicon Valley. Contentious and transactional mandates are handled with equal finesse, orchestrated by lawyer and patent attorney Zhaolin (Johnson) Wang; Wang is a fantastic all-rounder who manoeuvres with poise across the contentious/non-contentious divide.

Kangxin Partners PC

Split across electronics, chemistry/life sciences and mechanics divisions, Kangxin Partners’ IP practice boasts one of the best patent prosecution success rates in the nation. ISO-9001 compliant, its effective internal management is something that smaller players look up to. The liberal use of innovative technology is a hallmark; an integrated system capable of communicating with external databases was recently rolled out to generate valuable insight on patent matters. The outfit possesses a strong international focus – a dozen international colleagues work alongside Chinese attorneys to provide fresh perspectives. The firm is best known for prosecution, but contentious mandates are also handled to superb effect; its attorneys recently succeeded in having an infringement claim brought against its client Changan Ford dismissed. Managing partner Samson Gang Yu is a favourite among Fortune 500 companies. In addition to his oversight of the group’s work, he is also a reliable IP strategist. Making his debut in the IAM Patent 1000, Gary Wu heads the legal department and is an expert in high-stakes encounters. Sitting on the Supreme People’s Court Intellectual Property Case Study (Beijing) Expert Advisory Committee, he is an authority on IP law and practice.

King & Wood Mallesons 

Held in high esteem for its “first-rate talent”, King & Wood Mallesons’ impeccable IP division attracts “top-tier clients” from myriad industries. Famed for the punctilious drafting of patents, the team also excels in contentious work, maintaining a focus on semiconductor and telecoms instructions. Of its courtroom performance, one rival confesses: “The perennially professional lawyers make for great opponents and always show up well prepared.” Commanding a sizable share of the standard-essential patent (SEP) dispute market, the group was recently appointed sole representative for Huawei in a number of SEP-related patent infringement cases brought by Samsung. Nongfan Zhu leads the lawyers tasked with these instructions; he is an IP connoisseur with extensive time spent in-house and in private practice both in China and the United States. Trilingual in Chinese, English and French, Wenping Chen is a technical whizz and is accomplished in prosecution, invalidation and cancellation proceedings; both Zhu and Chen excel in the healthcare and pharmaceutical domain. For all things electrical and electronic, bright spark Maohua Wang is on call. Zhongsheng Li is “highly knowledgeable” about domestic litigation, of which he handles a great deal. “He stays consistently up to date with the latest developments and spends time researching the relevant issues as well.”

LexField Law Offices 

LexField Law Offices is a discerning choice for domestic and multinational clients in need of a man-at-arms in courtroom skirmishes and robust performance in non-contentious matters. Trusting in the team’s unrivalled success rate in retrials at the Supreme People’s Court, Qualcomm has delegated to it responsibility for three patent litigation suits brought by Apple. A patent litigation doyen, managing partner Hongyi Jiang is a dab hand in high-stakes infringement suits, often establishing new judicial precedents through his victories. Of the 10 infringement cases that have yielded damages awards of over Rmb20 million, Jiang has been on the winning side in nearly half. Outside the courtroom, excellent drafting and strategy are the fortes of LexField’s “experienced, strategic and knowledgeable” patent attorneys, of which David Huang is leader. One client enthuses: “David gave us the full rundown of what was necessary for a successful patent application in China.” With his “superior English skills”, Huang fosters easy communication – a boon for international clients.

Lifang & Partners

A frequent fixture in telecoms and technology battles before China’s courts, Lifang & Partners has expanded its offering in the last 12 months, recruiting more than 10 lawyers to its litigation practice and creating a new antitrust department. Recently, it represented Sogou and ZTE in clashes against Baidu and Huawei respectively. A proven force in contentious work, the rapidly growing outfit also boasts a strong prosecution offering, making it a great one-stop shop for domestic and foreign clients alike. The firm prosecutes around 2,000 patents every year and counts Samsung Electronics among the many buyers of its non-contentious services. “An experienced and reliable lawyer”, Guanbin Xie is managing partner in the Beijing Office and takes the lead in invalidation and infringement suits.

Linda Liu & Partners

Counting a long list of Japanese and western clients on its roster, Linda Liu also has an affinity for the interests and ambitions of domestic innovators. The Beijing office plays host to a slew of big-name IT clients, while a new Suzhou office recently opened its doors to pharmaceutical concerns in the Yangtze River Delta, providing convenient access to the forward-thinking counsel on offer. Preferring to keep its growth organic, the management prioritises quality control and human resources development. Domestic department manager Peter Zhang is a “safe pair of hands for all patent matters”. A former examiner and project administrator at the SIPO, he shares his ample experience in the field with his grateful devotees.

Liu Shen & Associates 

Having honed its craft for over two decades, IP powerhouse Liu Shen & Associates takes a pragmatic approach to prosecution and litigation. “Rather than rely on marketing to develop the business, Liu Shen’s team gets down in the trenches and works hard to resolve IP issues.” These successes have resulted in a rock-solid reputation. Challenging prosecution briefs are handled according to “rigorous quality standards” by the 51 partners and 180 patent attorneys. Armed with a materials science degree, managing partner Allen Tao is a technical expert, deft IP strategist and articulate litigator.

Lung Tin Intellectual Property Agent Ltd 

Having protected the intellectual assets of its multinational client base for over 20 years, Lung Tin is a regular fixture before the SIPO. Notable patrons include China’s top telecoms players, which seek out the profound knowledge of patent law and process on offer at outposts across China, the United States and Japan. Already equipped to handle instructions from German, Japanese, Korean and French clients, the ensemble received a major boost recently with the recruitment of dozens of new patent attorneys and lawyers; the new hires add muscle to the group’s mechanical engineering endeavours. Founder and president Taikeung Cheng is first port of call for interested rights holders.

NTD Intellectual Property Attorneys 

One of China’s longest-serving representatives of foreign clients on the national market, Beijing’s NTD has clocked up significant mileage managing the regional patent portfolios of industry leaders. Drawing on the expertise of its cadre of technical experts and a network of talent across three continents, the highly competent set effortlessly dispatches briefs across the mechanics, electronics and life sciences arenas. Heather Lin is a talented geneticist who manages the portfolios of biotech and pharmaceutical operations with poise and vigour. Belonging to the electronics practice group, June Wang has expertise in computer science, telecoms, optical electronics, electric engineering and physics. Vice president of LES China, Christopher Shaowei is a lawyer and patent attorney with three decades’ experience in IP matters.

Panawell & Partners LLC 

Having been the preferred IP representative for many of the nation’s elite research institutions and companies, Panawell has built on its strong foundations to provide rights holders from around the globe with a comprehensive patent offering. Among many major clients, consumer goods giant Kimberly-Clark is a particular fan of the set’s diligent and effective service, which effectively bridges the contentious and non-contentious worlds. Chairman of the board is partner William Yang. With experience and training in both China and the United States, he is well suited to meet the demands of both domestic and international concerns, which count on his well-reasoned, pragmatic counsel and knack for resolving high-stakes infringement suits.

Shangcheng & Partners 

Celebrating its first decade in practice in 2018, Shangcheng & Partners already boasts some awe-inspiring prosecution statistics. Over 40 patent attorneys based across Beijing, Shanghai and Tokyo expertly file around 2,500 applications each year, with a grant rate for patents of invention currently standing at over 80%. A strong performance in invalidation is another major plus for petitioners, for which it capably achieves a 90% success rate in proceedings. While the litigation arm does not yet rival the substantial non-contentious offering, it transposes the success rate; the team wins nearly 90% of the battles it fights in court too. Prospective buyers seeking more information should contact president Chun Long.

Unitalen Attorneys at Law 

Twenty-one offices across mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan guarantee market mainstay Unitalen a commanding presence on the regional patent scene. With no technical discipline out of reach and the ability to work seamlessly across English, French, German and Spanish, its 180 attorneys are a huge draw for major multinational clients seeking protection. The exceptional professionals are au fait with US and Japanese dispute resolution procedures, so rights holders from both these countries and within China can count on a strong contentious offering to protect their assets. Vice president Deshan Li oversees the international side of the practice. Armed with a background in physics, he is an adroit operator in both prosecution and litigation.

Wanhuida Peksung IP Group 

Less than two years since Wan Hui Da and Peksung Intellectual Property united under the former’s name, the merger is already a huge success; case management and quality control protocols have been harmonised without issue, while the 180-strong line-up of lawyers and patent attorneys has quickly yielded impressive results. The set shines brightest in pharmaceutical, chemical and mechanical spaces, although is alacritous in any discipline. Prosecution is the jewel in its crown – and it is sought after for its talents in this area by major multinationals including Bayer, BASF and Porsche – but it also acts as a courtroom champion for many. A new addition to the IAM Patent 1000, chemical engineering whizz Xiaoling Duan is recommended for her “excellent prosecution work”. One client enthuses over the “high level of creativity” she displays in her cutting-edge solutions. “She discusses the merits of every possible option, allowing us to make an informed, final decision. Her approach fosters a healthy working relationship, too.” Alongside Duan is managing partner Jiancheng Jiang, a tenacious patent prosecutor specialising in biochemistry-related fields. He is a popular choice among Fortune 500 companies.

Watson & Band Law Offices

Patrons on the lookout for comprehensive, insightful guidance at each stage of the IP lifecycle would do well to instruct Watson & Band. Split across eight divisions, the prosecution arm ably covers all bases. Conveniently situated near the Yangtze River Delta, the firm places a strong emphasis on assisting the area’s technology start-up scene to patent their inventions and is currently developing a fully fledged practice dedicated to their needs. Where the office truly justifies its inclusion in the guide, however, is in its talented litigation department; the team excels in dispatching contentious challenges and offers a potent draw for Fortune 500 companies. Playing a crucial role in infringement and invalidation proceedings, Jianguo Huang is a key contact for interested parties

Wu Feng & Zhang 

The brainchild of three patent prosecution veterans, up-and-comer Wu Feng & Zhang provides a high-quality service to a clientele that includes international pharmaceutical and chemical concerns. The small but perfectly formed unit of 30 is a different breed to the average Chinese IP firm, channelling an arsenal of drafting, filing and enforcement talent into providing a responsive and tailored service predominantly focused in the life sciences, chemistry and biotech spheres; where requested it extends its highly capable offering across instructions in mechanical and electronic engineering fields too. Former Liu Shen patent savant Amy Feng amassed nearly two decades of experience prior to co-founding the office. She is a vice director of the Patent Law Committee of the Beijing Lawyers Association.

Zhong Lun Law Firm

A full-service law firm with 14 offices across China and further afield, Zhong Lun boasts an IP team to which major multinationals are increasingly drawn. Strengthening its line-up with a boost in numbers over the last 12 months, the esteemed patent department works in harmony with specialists in other legal disciplines to provide a diversified service, attractive to those seeking a single coordinator for all their legal requirements. Recent highlights for the set include courtroom success on behalf of pharmaceutical titan Eli Lilly and German welding giant Schunk Sonosystems; it is also currently representing several high-profile telecoms and pharmaceuticals operations in complex infringement suits. Taking the lead here, as well as in an array of transactional negotiations, Shanghai partner Helen Cheng is an “outstanding” attorney at law.

Zhongzi Law Office 

An IP practice embedded within a full-service outfit, the patent troupe at Zhongzi is characterised by a heady mix of legal insight and technical guile. Resounding capabilities in both conventional and high-tech arenas prompt domestic and international patrons to flock to the group, seeking the one-stop service overseen by Bonan Lin. The managing partner runs a broad practice encompassing prosecution and litigation instructions. Counting expertise in polymer science, pharmaceuticals and chemical engineering among his many appealing traits, he is also an arbitrator at the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission. Xiaoguang Yang is the man for the job when it comes to electrical engineering instructions, be they contentious or otherwise. A skilled negotiator, he boasts a particular penchant for licensing work.

ZY Partners 

Celebrating its 20th year in practice in 2018, ZY Partners is famed for the extensive professionalism and technical talent that its nimble team brings to must-win patent disputes. Although it provides the full prosecution suite, it is best when fighting complex battles for major multinationals – perhaps due to its partners’ experience; all are among China’s most-seasoned and best-known litigators. A number of major clashes in the pharmaceutical and telecoms arenas have recently occupied the litigation set and its venerable leader, Hui Zhang. A formidable adversary in any encounter, she boasts a wealth of legal expertise, as well as time spent adjudicating IP disputes in China’s courts. She stands out for her particular talents in pharmaceutical and SEP suits. Zhang’s counterpart in the technical division is Xiaolin Huang, a respected prosecutor and strategist who has filed in excess of 13,000 patents over his career. Also an astute litigator, he boasts a long list of hard-fought courtroom victories; his technical prowess has proved essential to success for a number of multinational software developers and IT giants.

Other recommended experts

“Breaking down the language barrier” for international clients, Wei Dong simplifies complex local practices and produces “easy-to-digest” IP strategies from Beijing’s PC & Associates. “Most importantly, he wins cases and does so at reasonable cost.” Registered as a Chinese patent attorney, Anjie Law Firm’s Jing He is also qualified to practise law in the country as well as in the US state of California. He champions the IP rights of major multinationals both in court and at the negotiating table. A former member of the team at LexField, Richard Liu now plies his trade at Lawjay Partners. “A young attorney doing rock solid work, he boasts significant experience in Chinese patent litigation”, where his “steadfast attention to detail” is an invaluable asset.

Individuals: litigation and transactions

Individuals: prosecution