find the latest legal job
Senior Associate - Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Come work for a firm ranked in Lawyers Weekly Top 25 Attraction Firms
View details
Associate - Workplace Relations & Safety
Category: Industrial Relations and Employment Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Employer of choice · Strong team culture
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: All Perth WA
· Freelance opportunities through Vario from Pinsent Masons
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Adelaide SA
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Flooded IP sends Bakers afloat

Flooded IP sends Bakers afloat

GIVEN THE rise of intellectual property litigation in China, Baker & McKenzie has been forced to expand its practice to cope with market pressure and the demand for IP legal work.Bolstering its…

GIVEN THE rise of intellectual property litigation in China, Baker & McKenzie has been forced to expand its practice to cope with market pressure and the demand for IP legal work.

Bolstering its IP practice in China, Baker & McKenzie has had to make six new appointments in the sector in order to ensure it can handle the full spectrum of IP matters in the region.

According to Tan Loke-Khoon — partner and head of the IP practice at Baker & McKenzie’s Hong Kong office — China is readily adopting rigorous measures to protect and enforce IP rights. “Since the early 1990s there has been an upward trend. Brand awareness is increasing, IP awareness is taking its hold on both the investors and the local population and there is a lot of activity around the new legislation,” he said.

Tan admitted that the reasons for this expansion are twofold. “It is both client-driven and economy-driven,” he said. According to Tan, you can never have enough resources and his multi-jurisdictional team bring a variety of skills to the table. This is important, he argued, as due to the nature of piracy, rights have to be secured or challenged immediately. “Clients want a quick response time,” he said.

He told Lawyers Weekly that preventing piracy is an important step in furthering China’s booming economy. He said that if shareholders are spending money on technology that is then stolen by IP pirates, then they are not going to want to invest. “Every investor would definitely want to phase-out the unwanted flattery of piracy, so there is a lot of need for protection,” he said.

Despite new legislation that is World Trade Organization-compliant and contemporary by international standards, IP enforcement in China is inconsistent and coupled with the topography of the country, IP rights are often difficult to protect. “It is difficult for local people to fully understand the ambit of certain laws and enforce them,” he said.

The second major problem Tan identified is the constellation of bureaucracy that exists in the Chinese IP space. He said that in China isn’t a one-stop-shop and it is sometimes difficult to identify where rights are being infringed and how to go about contacting the right authority. He called this a “doors and floors syndrome” and argued that it was sometimes difficult to navigate through China’s bureaucratic legal system. “In some other countries you might have the same problem, but in China it is more furious because the bureaucracies are not coordinated,” he said. “It is an uphill battle.”

Highlighting that the technology boom and internet development are key areas, he said, “IP is an open field. Right now we are trying to grapple with very esoteric and new issues”. For Tan, the trend these days is to think outside the box. “If you just look squarely at the tools you have they may be insufficient because of the vagaries of the system,” he said. “China is very open-minded these days.”

“People are waking up to IP and using it as a business tool to build their market share.” IP is no longer seen as an enemy which he said is old world is thinking but, rather, China is embracing change.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Flooded IP sends Bakers afloat
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Oct 20 2017
Podcast: One of law’s most infamous alumni – in conversation with Julian Morrow
In this episode of The Lawyers Weekly Show, Melissa Coade is joined by The Chaser’s Julian Morrow....
Oct 20 2017
High Court overturns ‘excessive’ anti-protest legislation
Bob Brown’s recent victory in the High Court over the Tasmanian government was a win for fundament...
Oct 20 2017
Changes to Australian citizenship laws blocked
Attempts to beef up the requirements to obtain Australian citizenship were thwarted this week, after...
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...