22 Jun 2021

Taylor Wessing launches independent China-focused IP and trademark business

Beijing Tailun IP Agency is headed by partner Thomas Pattloch, the EU's former IP officer in China

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Taylor Wessing is expanding its global footprint in China with the launch of a specialist intellectual property and trademark business Beijing Tailun IP Agency.

The new agency – which is set up as a separate legal entity given China’s restrictions on foreign firms practicing Chinese law – was initially launched as a pilot in 2020 with select Taylor Wessing clients. The full launch this week is being led by partner Thomas Pattloch, who was previously the IP Officer of the EU Delegation to China, along with the addition of five new lawyers.

Pattloch said: “China’s importance as a trademarks and copyright hub is increasing. Taylor Wessing’s team has a leading reputation throughout Europe in IP and opening an independent agency dedicated to these services was the obvious next step. Clients will benefit greatly from the opportunities the new agency presents. Having a licensed IP office provides them with greater value and efficiency from international advisors that can support them across all aspects of IP needs.”

Beijing Tailun IP Agency will work exclusively with Taylor Wessing and focus on all aspects of contentious and non-contentious IP matters, including registering, managing and defending trademarks, domain names and copyrights in mainland China.

Olaf Kranz, managing partner of Taylor Wessing’s German business, said: “The launch of the exclusive relationship with the agency is an integral part of our firm’s international strategy to provide clients with more opportunities to register trademarks and the copyright for their products.”

Back in February, K&L Gates also announced the launch of a Chinese-focused trademark agency – K&L Gates IP Agency – which allows it to file and prosecute applications directly with China’s IP authority, the CNIPA. The new agency is being led by Beijing-based IP counsel Edward Yao and a team of local IP lawyers. 

China overtook the US as the global leader in IP applications filed through the World Intellectual Property Organization in 2019, ending four decades of American dominance.

Other firms have also been expanding in China outside the IP space this year. In April, Dutch firm Houthoff named Yang Wan as its Greater China representative to develop its cross-border work with businesses in the region, which also includes Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. 

In February, Wall Street firm Davis Polk expanded its Chinese capital markets practice with the addition of former Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer partner Jason Xu in Beijing. Also in February, Allen & Overy’s Chinese joint venture with Shanghai, Lang Yue hired disputes lawyer Melody Wang from Fangda Partners in Beijing to lead its Chinese litigation practice.

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