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Silver - Individuals: prosecution
Home to a legion of multi-talented patent attorneys and lawyers, AFD China Intellectual Property Law Office’s technically superb team, along with its sister law outfit BHTD Law, now undertakes everything from original drafting to trade secret and other IP-related litigations. Transparency and efficiency are both hallmarks of their services – which earn them a slew of loyal overseas clientele including Schneider Electric and Facebook. The mastermind behind this is founder Xia Zheng, who first set foot in China’s IP scene in 1987 and has subsequently enjoyed the confidence of many domestic and global patent owners.
Xia Zheng is the 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 resolutions 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 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 degree in IP law from the 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 an international client-supporting team in Seattle, Washington State, United States. Since its founding in 2002, AFD has always focused on providing a high level of integrity and is committed to the principle of a client-oriented approach to providing reliable services that encompass all areas of IP law – including patents, trademarks, copyright and domain names, and other IP-related areas in China.
Together with its established global network of leading IP firms, AFD also provides a comprehensive range of legal services and solutions – 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 – for both domestic and international clients.
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. AFD’s policies and standards are strictly implemented for quality and efficiency in order to deliver satisfying results to clients.
The firm comprises 260 employees, two-thirds of whom are patent and trademark professionals and attorneys at law. Many of the firm’s attorneys graduated from prominent institutions abroad with advanced degrees in various technical fields and are qualified to handle all types of cases with their extensive industry practice. Some of them have years of experience working as patent examiners in the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA). AFD’s professionals work together 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.
AFD offers comprehensive, forward-thinking advice at each step of the prosecution or litigation process. Its dedicated professionals provide recommendations on tailoring a new patent application in accordance with Chinese patent law, pre-empt patentability objections and deliver comprehensive analyses upon receiving examination opinions from the CNIPA and providing clients with insights into the local business environment. AFD utilises every possible opportunity during the prosecution process to advance clients’ cases while meeting up with clients’ demands within budget.
Attorneys at AFD stay up to date with the latest changes in their respective areas of IP practice. They promptly communicate with clients regarding the changes to governmental, statutory and regulatory laws and regulations, examination guidelines and specific handlings. The firm takes an approach that is actively responsive to contemporary demands and informs clients of important new developments through newsletters and alerts, and regularly organises seminars and workshops on the latest developments.
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. Its attorneys are willing to go beyond what most patent and trademark attorneys will do to provide long term IP-related services.
The firm 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 built a good track record in handling difficult cases and defending clients in complex situations. Its practices are not limited to verbatim interpretations of the law or conventional operations but are rooted in getting to the crux of the problem and creating out-of-the-box, innovative solutions. The firm leverages its unmatched technical and litigation expertise to deliver efficient and effective results for its clients.