Wan Hui Da is on the way of going global

By Doris Li, China IP,[Comprehensive Reports]

From May 10th to 14th, the 136th annual meeting of the International Trademark Association (INTA) was held in Hong Kong. Wan Hui Da Law Firm & Intellectual Property Agency (WHD) sent its delegates to the meeting after it was honored “One of China’s Top IP Litigation Teams in 2013” by China IP magazine. While in Hong Kong, WHD hosted a reception to have close communications with international and regional IP practitioners and also organised/coorganised two professional seminars to exchange views and opinions with attendants worldwide.

I. WHD shines in Hong Kong

WHD’s partners were very busy at INTA. In the morning of May 12th, WHD co-sponsored “the Symposium on the New Amendment to China’s Trademark Law” with Intellectual Property Right Center (IPRC) and Union des Fabricants of France at Grand Hyatt, Hong Kong. Many partners of WHD, including senior partner Huang Hui who also chaired the symposium, of-counsel Paul Ranjard, partner Zhu Zhigang and senior trademark counsel Li Yunquan, attended the symposium and delivered speeches on different topics. Attendees discussed various topics of common interest over the 2013 amendment to China’s Trademark Law. J iang Ruibin, the new Secretary-General of the China Trademark Association, also attended the symposium and delivered a keynote speech.

On May 13th, the Trademark Seminar for the Chinese Corporations Going Overseas co-organized by IPRC and WHD was held at the same hotel. At the seminar, a few foreign IP agencies introduced to the Chinese audiences the trademark protection systems in the U.S. and EU and the strategies for oversea trademark registration and enforcement, as well as shared with the audience their global IPR management and enforcement experiences.

In the evening of May 12th, WHD held a grand reception in Hong Kong to express its thanks to clients and friends for their continuous supports. The reception welcomed 200 plus attendants from industrial organisations, businesses, media and the IP community.

In addition, WHD’s founding partner Bai Gang and senior partner Huang Hui respectively attended several sub-forums of INTA and acted as guest speakers in those forums. On May 11th, Bai Gang attended a high-level meeting between the CTA and the INTA in the capacity of the CTA Vice President. The next day, Huang Hui addressed the “Focus on Asia” Seminar themed “Balance between Registration and Use o f Trademarks” and moderated the “Chinese Government Perspectives Panel.” In the morning of May 13th, Huang Hui presided over the INTA Trademark Office Practice Committee China Trademark Office Subcommittee meeting in the capacity of the subcommittee chair. In the afternoon, he also attended the INTA China Bulletin Committee meeting in the capacity of editor.

II. Great international expectations for Asia

Many Chinese law firms sent their most powerful lineups to attend INTA’s Annual Conference because it was held in Hong Kong, a near venue in geography. Huang Hui told China IP that “IP is a knowledge-intensive industry. Where the attendees meet, IP is the inevitable topic. Many foreign enterprises show great interests in China’s enormous market, whereas their Chinese counterparts are eager to go abroad. That’s why we started to host symposiums since the 2012 INTA Annual Conference. Up to now, we have held three symposiums successively. Facts have proved that right topics bring audiences. The IP practitioners are particularly interested in getting an update on changes brought by the third amendment to China’s Trademark Law this year. We expect the symposium to serve as a platform for information exchange.”

WHD’s two symposiums target different audiences. The “Symposium on the New Amendment to China’s Trademark Law” organised by WHD, targets foreign enterprises and aims to introduce to the audience the trademark legislative updates. The Trademark Seminar for the Chinese Corporations Going Overseas co-organised by WHD, targets the Chinese corporations and aims to provide advice on IP prosecution and enforcement overseas. Nonetheless, both symposiums have been proven to be very successful and are welcome by the audiences.

According to Huang Hui, “WHD has a l a rge clientele and has established business contacts with many international law firms. It is quite impressive that our clients and business partners have keen interests in China’s IP legislation, administrative enforcement and judicial trial, and they are basically satisfied with China’s endeavor in improving the IP legal environment. China is full of vigor, although it has some problems to tackle with. A correct understanding of China’s current IP situations will no doubt help them better register and enforce their rights in China.”

III. WHD is ready

As a leading IP firm in China, WHD is a full IP service provider, covering the whole range of trademark, patent, copyright prosecution and contentious, as well as all forms of IPR enforcement, administrative, criminal and civil. However, it does not seek to become a jack of all trades, but instead, it focuses on IP practice. Its practice encompasses the five major IP sectors, including trademark, patent, copyright , unfair competition and antitrust. Traditionally strong in trademark, WHD, in addition to its Beijing headquarter, has opened offices in Shanghai, Guangzhou, Ningbo, Suzhou, Taizhou, Tianjin, Shenzhen and Hong Kong, forming a relatively integrated business network, and making it possible to provide its clients with all-around IP services ranging from prosecution, litigation, consultancy and research to overseas enforcement.

It is particularly worth mentioning that WHD opened a branch company in Hong Kong at the beginning of 2014. In May, Mr. Simon Galpin, Di r e c t o r-Gene r a l o f I N VEST Hong Kong, and his entourage Ms. Christine CHAN, Investment Promotion Manager of Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Guangdong & Ms. Ada YEUNG, Deputy Director of Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Guangdong visited WHD Guangzhou Office. Mr. Galpin extended his congratulations on the establishment of WHD Hong Kong Office and expressed the willingness of the Hong Kong government to help WHD expand its IP practice in Hong Kong. The setup of its HK branch will be an impetus for WHD’s internationalization to a greater extent.

In terms of case quantity, WHD represents its clients in hundreds of IP litigations every year. WHD, which strives to be the guardian of IP, usually acts on the plaintiff’s behalf in litigations and has maintained a favorable winning rate. In terms of case categories, trademark litigation cases account for the majority of its caseload, of which most are cases involving foreign elements. Statistics released by China’s Supreme People’s Court indicate that, WHD has taken a relatively big share in respect of the trademark litigation cases involving foreign elements in China in recent years. These cases include: (1) Pernod Ricard’s lawsuit against retailer of parallel import spirits, a case listed in the “Ten Major IPR Cases in 2013” by Suzhou Intermediate People’s Court, in which WHD represents Pernod Ricard; (2) WHD represents Inner Mongolia Mengniu Dairy (Group) Co. against Tianjin Telunsu Milk Product Sales Co., Ltd., and won for the client in the first instance a compensation of 500 thousand yuan; (3) STIHL’s Orange & Grey color combination case, a case listed in the “Ten Major IPR Cases of Guangdong Province in 2013,” in which WHD represents STIHL; (4) the retrial of the MAPED’s patent infringement lawsuit against infringer using extra design decoration, a case listed in the Supreme Court annual 50 exemplary cases for 2013 in China, in which WHD represents MAPED.

Every year, WHD represents its clients in filing more than ten thousands of applications for registration of trademarks, patents, domain names, copyrights and etc, and makes arrangements in advance for protection of its clients’ overseas IP rights through Madrid system, PCT or country-by-country route. It has prominent advantages in dealing with trademark review and adjudication, patent reexamination and other complex litigation cases. It is good at providing its clients with diversified solutions to their disputes through its integration of prosecution and enforcement practice. Many cases it represented have been listed as annual exemplary cases by China’s Supreme Court or local courts, or annual best cases by Quality Bands Protection Committee of China Association of Enterprises with Foreign Investment.

What WHD specializes in is an integrated exploitation of all kinds of legal methods in dealing with IP cases. In terms of IP investigation, administrative enforcement and customs protection, as well as trademark purchase, crackdown on network infringement and etc., it has successfully handled hundreds of criminal cases and shut down several national infringement networks through its highly effective information collection network and diversified means for protection. Many of its cases have been listed by China’s law enforcement organs or industrial media as annual best cases. WHD will strive to be a professional full IP service provider to provide its clients with all-round IP legal services.

(Translated by Yuan Renhui)

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