Boasting one of the most open and least corrupt economies in the world, Singapore is also now a key IP hub in Asia – a region which is playing an ever larger role in global trade. The government has been highly proactive in enabling innovation and cultivating an outstanding, business-friendly IP protection environment. In the interests of enhancing this, the Ministry of Law and the IP Office of Singapore have proposed a number of changes to existing patent law and practice; these include, for example, the formalisation of the process by which third-party observations on patent applications are submitted and a mechanism through which a patent applicant or third party can request the re-examination of a granted patent for the verification of subject-matter eligibility.
Firms: litigation and transactions
- Allen & Gledhill LLP
- Bird & Bird ATMD LLP
- Drew & Napier LLC
- Amica Law LLC
- Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow
- Dentons Rodyk
- Lee & Lee
- Ravindran Associates LLP
- WongPartnership LLP
- Allen & Gledhill LLP
- Amica Law LLC
- Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow
- Bird & Bird ATMD LLP
- Donaldson & Burkinshaw LLP
- Drew & Napier LLC
- Marks & Clerk Singapore LLP
- Spruson & Ferguson (Asia) Pte Ltd
- Viering, Jentschura & Partner LLP
Allen & Gledhill LLP
Seamlessly marrying a rock-solid legal team with a technically adept prosecution group, Allen & Gledhill stands head and shoulders above most of its competitors. With the recent hire of a UK patent attorney specialised in software and electronics, the team has boosted its technical capacity to cover a near-perfect disciplinary array. Huawei and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries are just two of the industry giants who seek out department head Pei Lin Low; her portfolio management and litigation support efforts are a potent draw. Helming the IP practice and litigation practice is Stanley Lai, one of only a small number of senior counsels in the city state that specialise in intellectual property. The IP Office of Singapore (IPOS) chair holds a PhD in technology law, is a formidable adversary in court and maintains a busy arbitration practice.
Amica Law LLC
A one-stop patent shop for top Singaporean companies, universities and global blue chips, Amica Law is a champion of innovation across the technical spectrum. An increasing volume of instructions in the pharmaceutical sphere is evidence of the healthy growth experienced by the set, which has promoted two of its associates to partner. Point person Jo-Ann See is a perspicacious adviser on portfolio management and patent strategy. Working alongside See is biochemistry maven Winnie Tham, who has built a prestigious international and domestic following through her talent for patent due diligence and the negotiation of complex licensing agreements. In contentious briefs, Amica Law’s “clear presentation, sharp business acumen and high standards in client service” guarantee that the group is an excellent choice. Founding director Jason Chan heads the litigation practice; he is a contentious doyen with a focus on telecoms, IT and software disputes.
Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow
Baker McKenzie’s Singapore outpost stands out for its sterling transactional practice; the IP team draws on the group’s sprawling international network and broad technical faculties to conclude high-stakes cross-border agreements. Between them, Andy Leck and Abe Sun handle a staggering volume of work across the contentious/non-contentious divide. For over 20 years, managing principal Leck has been a favourite among Fortune 500 pharmaceutical outfits, which value his keen commercial eye. “With his deep understanding of complex technologies, Sun has obtained patents for our most valuable and important innovations”, effervesces one beneficiary of the local chief’s services. “He distinguishes himself through his commercially-oriented, tailored solutions.”
Bird & Bird ATMD LLP
The Singapore bureau of international heavy hitter Bird & Bird is in pole position to handle both prosecution and litigation briefs for domestic and multinational entities. The distinguished line-up shares its clients’ long-term IP ambitions and assists them in developing a strategy for realising commercial value from their assets. A former in-house lawyer at Creative Technology and a new addition to the IAM Patent 1000, Anan Sivananthan brings a commercial outlook, as well as extensive experience coordinating global patent disputes – both of which will be a huge boost for this comprehensive practice. Sivananthan joins IP head Lorraine Anne Tay in the office – a meticulous strategist who advises on myriad issues, including licensing, ownership structures and portfolio management. Silver-tongued litigator Alban Kang takes ownership of many of the firm’s contentious instructions; he recently secured a favourable High Court ruling for Global Blue Currency Choice, severely limiting the impact of a damages claim brought against it by Main-Line Corporate Holdings. The case was the first time the issue of exemplary damages had been considered following claims of patent infringement.
A stalwart operator on Singapore’s IP scene, Dentons Rodyk serves up a comprehensive patent service with a particular focus on portfolio management for biotech, IT and telecoms operations. The firm is sought after for its talents in the courtroom and in negotiating transactional agreements. Throughout her 30-year career, senior consultant Ai Ming Lee has fought and won numerous battles for both major multinational clients and domestic small to medium-sized enterprises. She is also an authority on the patent linkage system in Singapore.
Among the oldest IP practices in the country, Donaldson & Burkinshaw delivers an all-encompassing service that is characterised by unfailingly high standards and impressive response times. Many of the United States and Japan’s most recognisable corporations count on its services, and the firm also sits on the IPOS dispute resolution panel, sharing its expertise with the wider IP community. Life sciences savant Teck Yeow Lim captains the IP practice. A former scientific researcher specialising in immunological issues, Lim is quick to grasp and protect new inventions; the associate mediator also has considerable alternative dispute resolution nous. His counterpart in the mechanical and electrical group is Hubert Giam, a reliable adviser who knows the secrets of drafting an application so as to avoid common obstacles to grant.
Drew & Napier LLC
Drew & Napier’s enviable share of the Singaporean patent prosecution market and its frequent appearances in the courtroom are testament to the trust accorded it by both Singaporean and foreign clients; 3M, IBM and Temasek Holdings are just a few of the set’s die-hard patrons. For non-contentious briefs, innovators need look no further than Cecelia Girvin, a safe pair of hands for rights holders in the country. Famed for its strength in disputes, the firm boasts no shortage of star litigators – and Tony Yeo stands out among them. A courtroom sharpshooter with over 25 years’ experience in patent litigation, the healthcare and life sciences group director counsels a host of pharmaceutical multinationals and government statutory boards. With 30 years in practice, managing partner Dedar Singh Gill brings significant contentious firepower and strategic insight to every encounter.
Lee & Lee
Lee & Lee has been a bright star in the Singapore’s IP sky for over 60 years. Famed for its trademark service, the firm wields a comprehensive patent capability that earns it a loyal following. With a stellar track record in landmark IP trials, Tee Jim Tan maintains a busy litigation practice; his recent highlights include being selected to represent Rohm and Haas Electronic Materials in infringement proceedings against competitors Nexplanar and Wah Lee Tech. Zechariah Chan is another star litigator in the team; he complements his IP offering with a keen emphasis on privacy and data protection issues. “Intelligent and highly skilled, Yee Swan Boo stays constantly up to date with IP developments in Singapore and internationally.” Precise, personable and extremely thorough, she is a prudent option for non-contentious briefs.
Marks & Clerk Singapore LLP
Focused on drafting and prosecuting patents locally, Marks & Clerk’s patent attorneys quickly comprehend the lay of the land. Bolstered by the arrival of former Griffith Hack managing partner Brendan Nugent, the practice boasts a renowned line-up of top technical minds hailing from all corners of the globe. A favourite among domestic innovators, Daniel Poh is a qualified patent attorney in both Singapore and the United Kingdom, and a specialist in electrical engineering, software and information technology fields. Sharing Poh’s qualifications, managing partner Jim Greene-Kelly earns a spot in the IAM Patent 1000 on the back of effusive feedback: “Having worked in Hong Kong, Singapore and the United Kingdom, Greene-Kelly has a first-hand understanding of global IP trends and channels this into developing fool-proof IP portfolios.”
Ravindran Associates LLP
Ravindran Associates earns itself a place in the IAM Patent 1000 this year as a “discerning choice for patent litigation”. Its streamlined team’s “laser-guided focus on the relevant issues” ensures that it gets the job done, while being “much more affordable than its larger competitors”. The set makes light work of the most complex mandates, putting forth exhaustive legal arguments in precedent-setting cases before the High Court. A rock-solid prosecution capability via local or Patent Cooperation Treaty routes and a strong transactional offering round out the practice. Running the full gamut, founding partner Ravi Ravindran and patent head Jevon Louis are a formidable duo. Both are dual-qualified as lawyers and patent attorneys. When not fighting alongside Louis in high-stakes battles, the “first-rate” Ravindran looks after clients’ prosecution needs with care and attention. “A shrewd, hands-on advocate with a background in mechanical engineering, Louis knows the entire litigation process like the back of his hand. There tends to be a division of labour in law firms so few practitioners see the big-picture view in the way he does.” Louis is currently representing Sun Electric in the first-ever patent dispute arising from Singapore’s energy sector.
Spruson & Ferguson (Asia) Pte Ltd
Clients instructing Spruson & Ferguson receive the support of an IP empire spanning most of Asia-Pacific: “A true regional one-stop shop, the firm epitomises seamless and cost-effective pan-Asian collaboration and adds tremendous value to international patent portfolios.” Showcasing talents across the electrical engineering, software and IT arenas, its attorneys possess “a profound depth of vision in identifying the core aspects of innovation” and expertly develop strategies on how best to protect them. Operating out of Singapore, “top-notch and responsive” professional Kristian Robinson oversees the entire Asia-Pacific operation, as well as the life sciences team. He applies his “far-reaching expertise” toward developing bespoke cross-border solutions: “Kristian sees the big picture and, drawing on his experience working in Asian, Australian and UK-based firms and his keen eye for detail, is as an excellent analyst of invalidity claims.”
Viering, Jentschura & Partner LLP
Munich’s Viering, Jentschura & Partner has been “a major player on Singapore’s patent scene” for more than 20 years; it is a safe option for the group’s international clients seeking both a European approach and a deep appreciation for the Asian IP milieu. Rights holders in any sector seeking a robust prosecution service can call on over 170 technical, patent and legal professionals spread across seven offices across the globe. Among its local practitioners, managing partner Adam Bogsch commands the most respect. He recently concluded a term as president of the Association of Singapore Patent Attorneys.
Advisory work, transactions and enforcement are the central pillars of WongPartnership’s patent practice. With outposts in high-priority Asian and Middle Eastern jurisdictions, the firm is natural choice for rights holders seeking protection for their innovations across these crucial technology markets. Chung Nian Lam heads this unique practice. Valued for his distinguished counsel in IP matters, he is an ally to a multitude of major corporations in the telecoms and healthcare arenas.
Other recommended expertsHaving held key roles in many of Singapore’s top patent practices over the last decade, Ron Awyong now takes on a leadership role at Orion IP. His multinational clients value the commercial angle he adopts when securing their assets. Over at Robinson, 20-year IP and technology veteran Cyril Chua puts his knowledge of disputes across Asia-Pacific to good use; he coordinates regional enforcement and patent clashes for his telecoms following. IAM Patent 1000 debutant Ross Clark is an expert in electrical engineering. He plies his trade out of Davies Collison Cave’s Singapore bureau. Having departed Bird & Bird ATMD to head the IP team at JurisAsia, IAM Patent 1000 newcomer Sheena Jacob is best known as a trademark savant but also showcases a well-rounded patent practice; she has recently been busiest with litigations and transactions. A “peerless” practitioner at Cantab IP, Chong-Yee Khoo is a source of “efficient, clear and excellent” patent prosecution advice. “Well-thought out legal strategy and a deep technical understanding, especially in the biotechnology sphere” are the distinct hallmarks of his approach. Jonathan Kok helms RHTLaw Taylor Wessing’s IP and technology department. A vital ally for medical device and IT start-ups, Kok runs his practice with a distinctly commercial flavour; he dispenses future-proof advice through each stage of the patent lifecycle. An adroit representative in IP disputes and a highly capable patent advisor, Daniel Lim of Joyce A Tan & Partners also enjoys a broad commercial practice. A new addition to the listings, former electrical design engineer Michael McLaughlin heads up McLaughlin IP with poise and vigour. He comes highly recommended for his “slick expertise” in computer-implemented inventions, telecoms and mechanical engineering.
Individuals: litigation and transactions
- Cyril Chua - Robinson LLC
- Alban Kang - Bird & Bird ATMD LLP
- Stanley Lai SC - Allen & Gledhill LLP
- Dedar Singh Gill - Drew & Napier LLC
- Tee Jim Tan SC - Lee & Lee
- Jason Chan - Amica Law LLC
- Zechariah JH Chan - Lee & Lee
- Jonathan Kok - RHTLaw Taylor Wessing LLP
- Andy Leck - Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow
- Ai Ming Lee - Dentons Rodyk
- Daniel Lim - Joyce A Tan & Partners LLC
- Jevon Louis - Ravindran Associates LLP
- Ravi Ravindran - Ravindran Associates LLP
- Anan Sivananthan - Bird & Bird ATMD LLP
- Tony Yeo - Drew & Napier LLC
- Ron Awyong - Orion IP
- Adam Bogsch - Viering, Jentschura & Partner LLP
- Yee Swan Boo - Lee & Lee
- Ross Clark - Davies Collison Cave
- Hubert Giam - Donaldson & Burkinshaw LLP
- Cecelia Girvin - Drew & Napier LLC
- Jim Greene-Kelly - Marks & Clerk Singapore LLP
- Sheena Jacob - JurisAsia
- Chong-Yee Khoo - Cantab IP
- Chung Nian Lam - WongPartnership LLP
- Teck Yeow Lim - Donaldson & Burkinshaw LLP
- Pei Lin Low - Allen & Gledhill LLP
- Michael McLaughlin - McLaughlin IP Pte Ltd
- Daniel Poh - Marks & Clerk Singapore LLP
- Ravi Ravindran - Ravindran Associates LLP
- Kristian Robinson - Spruson & Ferguson (Asia) Pte Ltd
- Jo-Ann See - Amica Law LLC
- Abe Sun - Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow
- Lorraine Anne Tay - Bird & Bird ATMD LLP
- Winnie Tham - Amica Law LLC