Intellectual Property

Drew & Napier, founded in 1889, is the largest leading Intellectual Property (IP) practice in Singapore. We also have an established presence in Southeast Asia through our Drewmarks IP filing offices in Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, and Myanmar. Outside of these countries and through our close ties with affiliated firms, we tap on our global network to offer innovative and original solutions for our clients.

Our award-winning Singapore practice is one of the top filers for patents, trademarks, and designs in the country, among the largest handled by any firm here. Our extensive experience is bolstered by a team of over 100, consisting of numerous highly skilled professionals of not only legal, but also diverse technical backgrounds. Many of our patent professionals hold PhDs, Master’s or postgraduate certifications in their specialisations, which include biotechnology, chemistry, engineering, healthcare & life sciences, and telecommunications.

Our promise of quality has earned favourable standing amongst clients and we are often instructed to handle high-value, large-scale, complex matters that involve multiple parties and jurisdictions. Many of our clients in our 130-year history have entrusted their IP work to us for many decades. These include multi-national companies, state-owned companies, medium to large-sized corporations, and family-run businesses. We have acted for Apple, Exxon Mobil Corporation, Facebook, Mediacorp, Pfizer, Qualcomm, Singapore Airlines, SingTel and Toyota.

Our valued clients instruct us to act in a range of contentious and non-contentious IP work, comprising IP litigation, patents, designs, trade marks and servicemarks, copyrights, licensing, distributorship, franchising and confidentiality agreements, IP monetisation, and advice on Life Sciences and Medicines Act regulations.

Prestigious industry publications like Chambers & Partners Asia Pacific, The Asia Pacific Legal 500, and Managing Intellectual Property consistently affirm our leadership with Tier 1 rankings in IP. In 2019, the IP practice was recognised as the Singapore Intellectual Property Firm of the Year for the second time annual ALB South East Asia Law Awards. In 2018, Drew & Napier clinched a double win at the annual Asia IP Awards, taking home the Singapore Trade Mark Firm of the Year and the Singapore Patent Firm of the Year accolades

Practice Areas

Trade Marks, Patents, and Designs

In Singapore and other regional offices, we secure IP registrations directly. In other countries, we use our global network of trusted associates. We also negotiate and prepare licenses, distributorship, franchising and confidentiality agreements covering the full spectrum of IP, for example:

  • Conducting searches for trade marks, patents or designs in various jurisdictions
  • Advising whether a mark can be registered or a new innovation or design can be patented or protected
  • Advising how you can best leverage your patents, trade marks, and designs
  • Advising possible alternatives where a mark, patent or design cannot be registered
  • Branding and IP strategy
  • Drafting, filing, and prosecuting trade mark, patent, and design applications through to registration

Intellectual Property Litigation

Drew & Napier is second to none when acting for litigious matters. We have been singled out by clients and prominent trade publications for our in-depth experience in contentious IP matters as our lawyers are regularly instructed in high profile matters. We exceed clients’ expectations where the matters are especially demanding, as our lawyers are expected to quickly understand the technicalities of each industry and the clients’ business objectives.

Our litigation team handles all aspects of IP litigation, for example:

  • Applying and executing warrants for trade mark and copyright infringement offences;
  • Prosecuting and defending criminal actions for infringement of trade marks and copyright;
  • Civil proceedings for infringement of trade mark, copyright, patents and designs, confidential information, including applications for injunctions and Anton Pillar Orders;
  • Passing off actions;
  • Opposition proceedings;
  • Trade mark invalidation and revocation proceedings;
  • Actions for breach of distribution, licensing and franchise agreements;
  • Claims for unlawful interference with contractual relations; and
  • Claims for wrongful use of confidential information.

Intellectual Property valuation and transactions

We recognise the increasing importance of IP as a company’s asset for potential investment and leveraging business transactions. We provide strategic advice for our clients on how to best extract value from their IP. Our scope of work includes:

  • Analysing, reviewing, and researching your portfolio
  • Assessing licensing and monetising options
  • Drafting and advising on IP transaction documents
  • Valuing all assets, encompassing copyrights, IP licence agreements, know-how, patents, trade marks, trade secrets etc.

As a full service law firm, we work to our strengths by drawing from the wealth of expertise of our colleagues from the other areas of specialisation, in order to present a robust IP strategy that meets our clients’ business needs.

Accolades

Drew & Napier is consistently ranked Tier 1 for Intellectual Property by multiple publications. These publications also regularly name us Singapore Firm of the Year for awards relating to IP.

Chambers Asia-Pacific
Intellectual Property 2019 - Band 1 for 12 consecutive years

Senior Statesman:
Morris John

Leading Individual:      
Tony Yeo (ranked Band 1)

- Sources say the IP practice is a "powerhouse in Singapore with very talented lawyers, who think globally while acting locally". 
- "The strength of the firm is the IP department, which is very efficient and whose turnaround time is fast."
- The team is also praised for being "very attentiveto client needs, technically strong and good at project management," and are "very good at ensuring a seamless service", adding that:
- "They are really lovely to deal with; very hospitable and well organised. Everything you would expect from a top firm."
- "A strong IP practice that provides sound and practical advice."
 
- “The team is very responsive, knowledgeable and hard-working. Their grasp of details is impressive.”
- “They are a very strong team, especially
 when it comes to contentious IP work.”

Chambers Global
International & Cross-Border Capabilities 2019 – Leading firm

Chambers Global says that “The firm has especially well-developed international capabilities in the contentious arena. The team is very active in international arbitration, cross-border investigations, contentious and transactional IP and regulatory work across the South-East Asian region, India and China.”

The Asia Pacific Legal 500
Intellectual Property 2019 - Tier 1 for 20 consecutive years
Leading Lawyer:
Tony Yeo for 9 consecutive years
Recommended Lawyers:
Lim Siau Wen
Yvonne Tang
Next Generation Lawyer:
Meryl Koh for 3 consecutive years

- Sources say that Drew & Napier LLC's “’very sharp team' provides 'practical business-focused advice' on all types of IP assets”
- Drew & Napier LLC’s “‘tenacious’ team is ‘meticulous and strategic in providing advice, seeing the big picture while drilling down into the finer points’.”
- “Drew & Napier is the best there is when it comes to litigation.”
- “The lawyers at Drew & Napier LLC excel in their ‘knowledge of local legislation’ and litigation.”
- Tony Yeo is a “fantastic strategist and a great litigator”.
- Meryl Koh is noted for “her great eye for detail, as well as an ability to see the big picture”.
- “[Cecelia] is flexible in responding to clients’ needs.”

Managing Intellectual Property

World IP Survey 2018: Singapore - Leading IP firm for 19 consecutive years

Singapore Trade Mark Prosecution Firm of the Year 2019
Singapore Prosecution IP Firm of the Year 2018
Singapore Contentious IP Firm of the Year 2013 to 2017
Singapore IP Firm of the Year 2013

Ranked top tiers in the following areas: Patent Contentious; Trade mark Prosecution; Trade mark Contentious; Copyright
Leading firm in Patent Prosecution

IP Stars 2018:
Tony Yeo – Trade Mark Star and Patent Star in Patent litigation , Patent prosecution , Trade mark litigation , Trade mark prosecution

Lim Siau Wen - Trade Mark Star

- “Definitely, a prominent team for any type of IP work”
- “Tony is responsive, quick thinking and highly practical in his advice.”
- “Tony [Yeo] is charming, knowledgeable, and has a knack of explaining things simply and in the context of the overall strategy. He is an effective litigator and is incisive in cross-examinations.
"
- “Particularly forceful in IP litigation”
- “They are hard-working, thorough and responsive, and understand well the client’s objectives and resolve disputes effectively and efficiently.

Asia IP 
Intellectual Property 2018 – Tier 1 for 7 consecutive years

Singapore Trade Mark Firm of the Year 2018
Singapore Patent Firm of the Year 2017 to 2018
Singapore Trade Mark Firm of the Year 2012 to 2016 

Ranked Tier 1 for Patent Contentious; Trade mark Prosecution; Trade mark Contentious; Copyright
Leading firm in Patent Prosecution

Patent Prosecution – Tier 1
Patent Contentious – Tier 1
Trade Mark Prosecution – Tier 1
Trade Mark Contentious – Tier 1

- “Drew & Napier is a go-to firm for contentious IP work”
- “Tony Yeo offers creative lawyering and business acumen.”

Asia IP Experts 2018 Endorsed Individuals:

Tony Yeo – Patents, Enforcement, Litigation, Pharma & Biotech
Lim Siau Wen – Trade Mark

2016 Endorsed Individuals:

Cecelia Girvin – Patents, Trade Mark, Copyright, Litigation
Morris John – Patents, Trade Mark, Copyright, Litigation

Asian Legal Business (ALB) Magazine
ALB South East Asia Law Awards 2019 – won Singapore Intellectual Property Firm of the Year for the second time
Intellectual Property rankings 2018 (Singapore) – Tier 1 in the areas of Patents and Trademarks/Copyrights for 6 consecutive years

Asialaw Profiles
Intellectual Property 2016 to 2019 - Outstanding practice
Intellectual Property 2013 to 2015 - Highly recommended practice

Market-Leading Lawyer:
Tony Yeo for 2 consecutive years

- “The quality of work and service is excellent – a notch above most of the other (premium) law firms."
- Sources say: “The IP team at Drew & Napier provides very high quality of work…They are timely in their responses and strategic in thinking and very knowledgeable in their specialist fields."

Who’s Who Legal
Intellectual Property 2018

Tony Yeo – Recommended individual for:
Patents (5 consecutive years)
Trademarks (2 consecutive years)
Life Sciences (8 consecutive years)

Intellectual Property 2017
Cecelia Girvin – Recommended individual for Trademarks

World Trade Mark Review 1000
Enforcement and Litigation (Gold band in 2019) for 2 consecutive years; ranked top tier from 2013 to 2017
Prosecution and Strategy (Gold band in 2019) for 7 consecutive years

2019 endorsed individuals:
Tony Yeo – Enforcement and Litigation
Lim Siau Wen – Enforcement and Litigation
Yvonne Tang – Prosecution and Strategy

2018 endorsed individual:
Ceceila Girvin – Prosecution and Strategy

- “Drew & Napier’s number is called when there are complex trademark problems to solve; indeed, the ensemble has put in performances with éclat in numerous landmark litigations… the firm maintains a brilliant line up of experts who, collectively, can handle absolutely anything thrown their way.”
- “The balance in the team is amazing – to be so strong at both ends of the trademark scene is exceptional."
-
"Tony Yeo is another weapon in the team’s contentious arsenal”
- Clients commend Tony Yeo’s “efficient delivery” of “well-informed” strategies.
- "Finally, the much-respected Yvonne Tang is an online virtuoso who specialises in recovery claims under the Singapore Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy."
- “Well-versed in all aspects of trademark protection, Lim Siau Wen dispenses practicable and commercially sensible advice and always finds ways to add value. She makes everything easier and follows up proactively to ensure you are fully protected.”
- "Meticulous portfolio manager Cecelia Girvin shores things up on the non-contentious side.

IAM Patent 1000 

Litigation and transactions – Gold band in 2018
Prosecution – Recommended in 2018

Endorsed Individuals:
Tony Yeo – litigation and transactions
Cecelia Girvin – prosecution

- Drew & Napier’s “enviable share of the Singaporean patent prosecution market and its frequent appearances in the courtroom are testament to the trust accorded it by both Singaporean and foreign clients…”
- “On an equal footing with the big global legal brands”,
local player Drew & Napier casts a long shadow on Singapore’s patent landscape. 
- "Consultant and all-rounder Cecelia Girvin dispenses invaluable, commercially on-point advice to the group’s host of household-name clients." 
- "Life sciences captain Tony Yeo “keeps competitors on their toes” in hotly contested disputes between big pharma combatants."
“Drew & Napier is a name that comes up time and time again when people discuss Singapore’s greatest firms.”

Benchmark Litigation Asia-Pacific 2019 edition

Tier 1 in Intellectual Property

A client commented, “I appreciate having reminders before all renewals, proceeding and etc. They tackle issues with prompt decisions.”

2019 endorsed individuals:
Tony Yeo – Dispute Resolution Star in Intellectual Property
Lim Siau Wen – Recommended

Best Lawyers International

Intellectual Property 2018
Leading Individual: Morris John (Lawyer of the Year - 2016 edition

The Asian Lawyer
Emerging Markets Awards 2015

 

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