Ian is a Partner in the Patent and Designs Practice.
Ian is admitted as a solicitor in Hong Kong and is also a UK Chartered patent attorney and Chinese patent attorney. In addition, Ian has obtained the Legal Professional Qualification Certificate Examination of the People’s Republic of China making him qualified in both common law and civil law jurisdictions.
Prior to starting his career at Deacons, Ian worked in the hi-tech software industry with TIBCO Finance Technology (a Silicon Valley-based company) and was a financial software consultant with Reuters. Ian has been advising on cross-border IP litigation and enforcement, and commercial matters with a focus on China and new technology, for over a decade. Ian’s wide ranging practice covers complex patent litigation and enforcement, trade mark anti-counterfeiting, software and copyright protection, commercial IP and technology transfer, cybersecurity risk and data protection, hi-tech M&A work including IP due diligence, technology licensing negotiation and acquisition. In particular, drawing on his computer science and electronic engineering background, Ian advises on cutting edge IT issues including IT security, blockchain, cryptocurrencies, AI and NFTs.
Ian is a frequent speaker on IP issues including seminars organised by Hong Kong Trade Development Council, Hong Kong Intellectual Property Department, Federation of Hong Kong Industries and Managing IP.
Ian has been recognized as a Rising Star in China (2018) by Managing IP, as a Leading Individual in Patent Litigation in Hong Kong (2020-2021) by IAM Patent 1000 and a Recommended IP Lawyer in China (2021) by Legal 500.
Advising a statutory body in relation to touchless technology including infringement analysis and assessing validity of existing patents.
Advising a Hong Kong Company in patent enforcement in the UK against a major international conglomerate.
Advised a global nanotech company on patent infringement, anti-unfair competition and trade secret actions in Mainland China, including advising on investigations and evidence preservation for actions before local Intellectual Property Offices and PRC Courts, and defending invalidations before the Patent Re-examination Board.
Acted for a well-known UK automotive company in a landmark design invalidation action in China involving the determination of general consumers and design freedom, evaluation of the overall impression for innovative design features and common design features, the significance of the side view and front view of a car design, and the non-obviousness requirement of a patentable design.
Advised a famous Japanese electronics and electrical appliances company in relation to potential patent claims and standard essential patent licensing involving 4.5G LTE telecommunication technologies in China.
Advised a Chinese private equity fund on the US $1.8 billion acquisition of the worldwide IP and technology relating to the power amplifier business of a well-known Netherlands semi-conductor company including due diligence on the patents and technology acquired and negotiating on the IP, technology transfer and licence agreements.
Advised a joint venture between 3 major stock exchanges on legal issues arising from developing and franchising index-linked and other equity derivatives in Hong Kong and Mainland China.
Advised an offshore e-platform targeting Chinese customers on compliance with the Cybersecurity Law.
Ian was recently quoted in a China Daily Hong Kong article titled, “Art tech – it’s all in the race” where he shared his insights on non-fungible tokens (NFTs) regarding the intellectual property rights associated with digital works and third party intellectual property infringement risks.