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
Silver - Individuals: prosecution and strategy
Though comparatively moderate in team size, the IP outfit at AFD China Intellectual Property Law Office provides the full spectrum of trademark practice, from pre-filing and prosecution to strategic planning, enforcement and litigation. Patrons consider the ensemble to have “a very modern approach to the business, which is scarce to rare in China, personally speaking”. The trademark team is particularly known for its fluency in industrial expertise and outstanding academic background. Presiding over the firm is Xia Zheng, who has more than 30 years’ experience tacking some of the trickiest trademark matters. A foreign counsel finds that working with Zheng is “very easy and pleasant”. “She is always willing and able to answer any questions on strategy and procedure.”
Xia Zheng is president and founder of AFD China Intellectual Property Law Office. 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 – from Fortune 500 companies to small start-ups – to successfully obtain IP rights and win patent re-examinations and invalidations, trademark oppositions, reviews, domain name disputes and lawsuits. She also counsels IP rights holders with regard to dispute solutions 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 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;
- elected as director of the All-China Patent Attorneys Association;
- director of the Capital Intellectual Property Services Association; and
- a standing director of the Beijing Patent Attorneys Association.
Before founding AFD, Ms Zheng advanced from department director to general 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 included research work at the research institute relating to catalytic cracking processes in petroleum processing and work at Human Genome Sciences.
Ms Zheng obtained her MSc in organic chemistry and biochemistry from the University of Illinois, her MEn in petroleum processing from SINOPEC Research Institute of Petroleum Processing and her master’s in IP law from 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 a client-supporting team in Washington state in the United States.
Since its founding in 2002, AFD has provided premium services to clients around the world in all areas of IP law – including patents, trademarks, copyright and domain names – and other legal areas in China. AFD also works with an established network of leading IP firms in other regions of the world to assist Chinese companies in filing and prosecuting patent and trademark applications, and enforcing their IP rights abroad.
AFD provides a broad spectrum of services – covering 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, among others – to strengthen and protect clients’ IP rights in China. In addition, AFD performs IP strategic analysis and crafts viable solutions to protect clients’ IP assets in China.
AFD has over 150 professional IP practitioners. They work closely as a team by leveraging diversified skills and talents to address complex and challenging IP issues in cost-effective ways. Some of them are former examiners at the IP office or law lecturers in colleges, while many have studied or worked abroad. They stay abreast of the latest changes in their respective areas of IP practice. In addition to the formal training they received at the beginning of their careers, AFD professionals are required to pursue professional improvement via online courses, internal seminars and training programmes provided by industrial organisations.
AFD has served over 5,000 clients of every size in a wide variety of industries – from individual inventors and major educational institutions to several of the world’s largest companies. Over the years, it has established and maintained many excellent working relationships with in-house counsel. AFD takes time to understand clients’ requirements precisely and act accordingly. It has demonstrated flexibility and skill in adapting to any kind of customised protocol and procedure, as required by clients.
Reflected by the Chinese name of the firm, AFD adheres to the fundamental value of faith – an operating Confucian principle which is the cornerstone of traditional Chinese culture. AFD treats clients with respect and integrity, cares about their wants, provides honest and reliable service and strives to gain its clients’ ultimate trust, in the hope of becoming a resourceful partner and growing together with clients.
AFD is consistently recommended as a top-tier Chinese patent and trademark law firm by the IAM Patent 1000, Managing Intellectual Property, Asia IP and The Legal 500. The firm has also been recognised by the local IP office, IP attorneys’ association and other organisations. One of AFD’s patent litigation cases was promulgated as an exemplary IP rights protection case by the Beijing Higher Court.
The AFD trademark department is deliberately kept at its current size to remain nimble: it can thus act quickly and efficiently and provide personalised services to clients. AFD trademark professionals are skilful and highly experienced. Most of them have more than 10 years’ experience. And most of them graduated from reputable Chinese and overseas universities and academic institutions with degrees in law or other disciplines.
Its years of good practice in trademark matters have earned AFD a position as a council member firm of the China Trademark Association. AFD has also been recognised by the Union of Beijing Business Services as a trustworthy agency for outstanding trademark service in the Good List of Beijing Business Service Industry and selected by the Beijing Intellectual Property Office to enrol in the brand-fostering programme for IP service providers.