The WTR 1000 focuses exclusively on trademark practice and has firmly established itself as the definitive 'go-to' resource for those seeking world-class legal trademark expertise
Gold - Individuals: prosecution and strategy
Gold - Individuals: enforcement and litigation
The lauded China IP practice at Gowling WLG enjoys a stellar reputation as an all-rounded trademark service provider – a mix of domestic and world-leading multinational players profit from its vast brand protection offering. Along with its domestic network branches in Chongqing, Beijing and Guangzhou, the formidable force provides the practice with direct and seamless access to the Chinese court system. Ex-Clyde & Co IP head Elliot Papageorgiou has spent almost two decades in the country racking up wins in complex trademark disputes of every flavour – his track record on handling IP litigation matters before the Supreme People’s Court is also impeccable. A shrewd practitioner who is full of character and energy, Papageorgiou has a watertight understanding of Chinese IP law and is equipped with top-notch technical proficiency. Many European and US players return to him for his highly sophisticated and intelligent IP counsel. Based in Beijing, head of IP prosecution Jian Xu is a veritable encyclopaedia of China IP law, with Morgan Stanley, Michael Page, Chelsea Football Club and Royal Bank of Canada instructing him for trademark prosecution work. Previously a presiding judge in the Chinese court, WTR 1000 debutante Ivy Liang has very extensive and practical experience of all aspects of the judicial system in mainland China, with a particular focus on contentious IP matters.
Elliot Papageorgiou advises international brand owners on contentious and non-contentious IP issues, with a particular focus on developing and implementing strategies for business-centric IP portfolio development, and strategic and cross-border IP enforcement and litigation in China and the Asia Pacific region. He has managed a range of strategic trademark, patent and copyright matters for multinational, and especially European clients. His recent client briefs include innovative ways of using trademarks to protect China supply-chains for global engineering and manufacturing conglomerates; defending (both at court and in administrative enforcement actions) a number of Europe’s ‘hidden champions’ against attacks from bad-faith trademark registrants; enforcing trademarks and acting against look-alikes for some of Europe’s best-known fast-moving consumer goods, luxury product and jewellery brands; and tailoring trademark and branding strategies for clients in the machinery-manufacturing and mechanical-engineering sectors.
Mr Papageorgiou routinely wins recognition for his service to clients in the China IP field, including being:
- recommended in The Legal 500’s China IP category;
- ranked in WTR 1000 (2011-2023);
- ranked as a leader in his field by Chambers Global (2013, 2015-2021) and Chambers Asia-Pacific (2012-2021);
- ranked in IAM Patent 1000 (2012-2022);
- ranked as one of the world’s leading IP strategists by IAM Strategy 300 (2012-2022);
- named one of Managing Intellectual Property’s IP Stars (2014-2017, 2020-22); and
- ranked in Who’s Who Legal for: Patents (2014-2022), Trademarks (2012-13, 2015-2022) and Mainland China and HK IP.
Mr Papageorgiou is a solicitor (England and Wales), an attorney at law (NY), a barrister and solicitor (Victoria, Australia), and a registered foreign lawyer (Hong Kong). He holds bachelor’s degrees in commerce and economics from Murdoch University, read law at Monash University (Melbourne) before reading for the BCL at St Catherine’s College, University of Oxford. Mr Papageorgiou frequently lectures at various universities and chaired the University of St Gallen–Fudan University's master of business law China module.
With more than 1,500 legal professionals in offices worldwide, Gowling WLG is an international law firm offering clients a comprehensive suite of legal services across multiple jurisdictions and industry sectors.
The firm is widely regarded as a global leader in IP law, with significant strength in prosecution, enforcement and litigation, and transactional work.
Gowling WLG is home to top IP practices in Canada, the United Kingdom and throughout Europe, as well as the United Arab Emirates (UAE), China and through an exclusive association with JurisAsia in Singapore. Additionally, we provide clients with enhanced, seamless access to the Chinese courts and IP offices through our exclusive referral arrangement with a national Chinese law firm. Along with a robust network of established relationships with leading IP practitioners worldwide we ensure our clients have access to the very best in trademark services, wherever their business takes them.
Directly through our offices in Canada, China, the UAE and Singapore – as well as through our extensive network of trusted international associates – we offer clients a full range of trademark prosecution services. From filing to managing large international portfolios to supporting complex transactions, our professionals deliver practical, cost-effective legal advice to help commercialise and maximise your IP assets.
Enforcement and litigation
Our prosecution services are matched by formidable enforcement capabilities spanning all our global offices. Our services encompass:
- opposition proceedings;
- cancellations and invalidations;
- passing off;
- trans-shipping; and
- parallel import matters.
We regularly appear before all levels of court in the United Kingdom, Europe and Canada, and manage and coordinate litigation in other jurisdictions. Members of our team have represented clients successfully in a wide range of matters, including with respect to trademark validity, the misappropriation of confidential information and theft of trade secrets, defamation and IP licensing disputes. From ‘bet the company’ litigation to the smallest skirmish, we work tirelessly to ensure we achieve optimal outcomes for our international clientele.
Our global IP transactions team has a rich track record advising on a breadth of IP transactional and cross-border matters, including with respect to transfers, coexistence, joint ownership, licensing and recordals, securitisation of intellectual property, brand clearance and franchise contracts, as well as the IP aspects of corporate transactions (including mergers and acquisitions, joint venture and hive offs). Our team also has particular experience in life sciences, tech, competition and antitrust and employment transactions.
Outside our IP practice, Gowling WLG is equipped to advise clients in virtually every area of law relevant to business. This comprehensive offering gives our team the ability to seamlessly harmonise our clients’ IP interests with other facets of their organisation, and in turn develop a more holistic picture of their business objectives. This is one of our core strengths and a key differentiator from other IP service providers, whether they are full-service firms or boutiques.
Our IP practice and the professionals who comprise it are routinely recognised by the world’s foremost IP publications. In 2022 alone, our team received multiple distinctions. World Trademark Review (WTR) selected 10 Gowling WLG professionals across three countries for inclusion in the 2022 edition of WTR Global Leaders, and named us among the top international trademark firms in the 2022 edition of WTR 1000. The guide also recognised 31 Gowling WLG trademark professionals around the world who together earned a total of 37 listings across multiple areas. At the Global IP Awards, presented jointly by IAM and WTR, our team was awarded with ‘Trademark Firm of the Year’ for Canada and ‘Foreign IP Firm of the Year’ for China.