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Bronze - Firms: prosecution
Spearheaded by chair and Taiwan patent pioneer C F Tsai, Taipei-based Deep & Far Attorneys-at-Law has a prominent IP department, which has served over one-fifth of Taiwan’s top 100 enterprises since 1992 and has prosecuted patents for 60% of the high-tech companies in Hsinchu Science Park. A well-respected figure in Taiwan’s IP scene, Tsai is the first attorney in the country to have both technical and legal qualifications. Drawing judiciously on his legal training in both Germany and Taiwan, second-generation leader Lu-Fa Tsai is another fan favourite of multinationals and local blue-chips for all IP matters.
Deep & Far is a general law firm with a flourishing IP prosecution and litigation practice. The firm routinely handles cases that lead to precedents, such as 98行專訴字第45號 and 106行專訴字第57號, that forced the Taiwan Intellectual Property Office to change its practice or interpretation of the Patent Act.
CF Tsai, who founded the firm in 1992, is the first patent practitioner in Taiwan to have both a technological and a law background. After graduating with a marine engineering major from the National Chiao Tung University, he was extensively involved in work relating to the mechanical, electric, electronic, civil engineering, chemical, semiconductor and medical fields. In parallel, he completed his law degree at the National Taiwan University and subsequently obtained his master’s in comparative laws from Soo Chow University.
All 15 partners of the firm have been working at Deep & Far for more than 10 years. The firm plans to recruit new partners in an innovative way to attract next-generation talent.
- The firm has 37 fee earners and the team members have backgrounds in most technological fields, including electronics, communication, telecommunication, chemistry, chemical engineering, material science, mechanical engineering, electrics, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, medical engineering, biology, information technology, data processing, semiconductor, chip design, circuit layout, circuit design, physics and optical science. Most graduated from Taiwan’s top three universities.
- More than 20% of the top 100 corporations in Taiwan have used the firm’s services, although only 50% of the top 100 have sought to patent their technology.
- More than 25% of hi-tech companies in the science-based industrial park located at Hsin Chu, which has played a pivotal role in the Taiwan economy boom, have used the firm for their IP work, although again only 50% of them had any experience in seeking patent protection for their technology.
- The firm represents international giants, such as those in the sample list below.
- The firm’s philosophy is to provide IP and legal services that stand out from the competition.
- The firm achieves this by recruiting, training and nurturing people who are not just professional experts – they also display moral earnestness, sincerity and a well-balanced approach in their work. These qualities are key factors to success.
- By committing to always go deep and far in its handling of all matters entrusted with it, Deep & Far aligns reality with its name.
Proving its value
Passing time may affect the style and possibly the key policies of a firm as well. A firm may survive because it swiftly adapts with time, but it may also lose its identity if it changes its core policies too often. To remain faithful to a core policy may be more difficult than to survive a challenging environment. To demonstrate the value of its existence, Deep & Far is happy to submit to a ‘competence test’ by asking any prospective client to send a pending or granted patent so the firm can comment on how it can improve the claims. Another option is to request a pending patent specification without the claims, so the firm can draft the claims and the client can then compare with the original claims. A final approach is for the client to send the firm and the client’s current legal representative an initial disclosure at the same time, so that the client can compare and find out which firm can provide the best claims.