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This firm’s Chinese-language name evokes the concepts of faith and trust. AFD China Intellectual Property Law Office founder Xia Zheng certainly enjoys the confidence of key overseas clients. “Her service is timely, comprehensive and adapted to our needs; she can go the extra mile and take charge of substantial work when needed.” While Zheng is the face of the firm, she has an impressive cohort behind her, consisting of more than 130 patent practitioners and over 50 supporting staff. Prosecution patrons run the gamut from large state-owned enterprises to Nasdaq 100 tech firms from overseas. A client-support team based in the Washington, DC area makes interactions with Western partners seamless. AFD also offers one-stop solutions through a sister law firm, BHTD Law, which is well placed to handle any contentious matters.
Xia Zheng is president and founder of AFD China Intellectual Property, where she is a patent attorney, trademark attorney and attorney at law. She started her IP career in 1987 and has since been actively involved in many areas of IP practice, especially IP strategy, prosecution, post-grant proceedings and IP-related litigation. She has helped clients to successfully obtain IP rights and win patent re-examinations and invalidations, trademark oppositions, cancellations, reviews, domain name disputes and lawsuits. She also counsels rights holders with regard to dispute solutions and legal analysis.
Ms Zheng actively participates in the industry and has been:
- elected a leading professional in IP services in Beijing in 2020;
- an adviser on IP services to the Beijing Innovation and Entrepreneurship Medium in 2018;
- named a National IP Talent by the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) since 2016;
- named Outstanding Patent Attorney of the Year by the Beijing Patent Attorney Association (BPAA) in 2014;
- named an excellent legal professional by the Beijing Haidian Judicial Bureau in 2012;
- honoured for significant contributions to the Chinese patent and IP industries by the CNIPA in 2010;
- named an excellent patent professional by the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 1997; and
- elected as director of the All-China Patent Attorneys Association, standing director of the BPAA and director of the Beijing Intellectual Property Association.
Before founding AFD, Ms Zheng was a patent engineer and patent attorney. She also advanced from department director to general director assistant to director and partner of an IP firm. Her prior in-house IP work has included patent management, prosecution, foreign filing and analysis. Her industry experience includes research work at the Research Institute relating to catalytic cracking processes in petroleum processing and work at Human Genome Sciences.
Ms Zheng obtained an MSc in organic chemistry and biochemistry from the University of Illinois, an MEn in petroleum processing from SINOPEC Research Institute of Petroleum Processing and a master’s in IP law from Franklin Pierce Law Centre, University of New Hampshire.
AFD China Intellectual Property Law Office is a privately owned leading IP law firm based in Beijing, China, with a client-supporting team in Gig Harbor, Washington State, United States. Since its founding in 2002, AFD has provided premium services to clients around the world in all areas of IP law – including patents, trademarks, copyright and domain names – and other legal areas in China. AFD also works with an established network of leading IP firms in other regions of the world to assist Chinese inventors and entities to file and prosecute patent and trademark applications and enforce their IP rights abroad.
AFD provides a broad spectrum of services – including IP strategy, patent mining, patent drafting, IP filing and prosecution, freedom-to-operate analysis, validity or invalidity analysis, investigations, IP due diligence, dispute resolution and IP litigation – to strengthen and protect clients’ IP rights in China. In addition, AFD performs IP strategic analysis and crafts viable solutions to protect clients’ IP assets in China.
AFD has been actively involved in domestic and foreign-related matters and instituted a robust and effective governance framework that ensures transparency in organisational functioning, delegation of authorisation and quality assurance. Policies and standards are strictly implemented for quality, efficiency and punctuality of our service.
AFD has over 200 employees. Two-thirds of the professional team are patent and trademark practitioners and attorneys at law. Many of the firm’s attorneys studied abroad and have advanced degrees in various technical fields, as well as extensive industry experience. In addition, some of its attorneys have years of experience working as patent examiners in the China National Intellectual Property Administration. Its professionals work seamlessly by leveraging diversified skills and talents to address complex and challenging IP issues in cost-effective ways.
AFD is committed to delivering premium IP services with a high level of professionalism and care. Its practice is distinguished by creative mind sets and effective approaches.
AFD offers comprehensive, forward-thinking advice at each step of the prosecution or litigation process. Soon after filing a patent application, it provides recommendations on how to tailor the application to comply with Chinese patent law and pre-empt patentability objections. On receiving examination opinions from the Trademark Office, it provides comprehensive analyses, rather than simply forwarding the original opinions to clients. AFD utilises every possible opportunity during the course of the prosecution process to advance clients’ cases.
The attorneys at AFD stay up to date with the latest changes in their respective areas of IP practice. They promptly communicate with clients in regard to changes to governmental, statutory and regulatory laws and regulations, examination guidelines and specific handlings. AFD informs clients of important new developments through newsletters and alerts. AFD also regularly organises seminars and workshops for clients on the latest developments relevant to their interests.
AFD offers value-added services such as foreign patent and trademark application support, licensing and exploration, counselling services, right-to-use and validity opinions, due diligence and docketing and monitoring. It is willing to go beyond what most patent and trademark attorneys will do.
AFD has maintained a mandatory quality control policy that applies to all filings, opinion letters and litigation filings. A two-step inspection is adopted at every key point to ensure consistency, accuracy, reliability and compliance. Its quality control also includes a complete set of control procedures, such as problem finding, training, watching, auditing, retraining, rewatching and re-auditing.
AFD has a reputation for tackling difficult cases and defending clients in complex situations. Its practices are not limited to verbatim interpretations of the law or conventional operations; they are rooted in getting to the crux of the problem and creating out-of-the-box, innovative solutions.