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 2020 - Band 1 for 13 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". 
"A one-stop shop for legal matters in Singapore and a real powerhouse of a firm in South-East Asia."
"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 attentive to 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 2020 – 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 2020 - Tier 1 for 21 consecutive years
Hall of Fame  
Tony Yeo
Leading Lawyer:
Tony Yeo for 10 consecutive years
Recommended Lawyers:
Yvonne Tang
Lim Siau Wen
Next Generation Lawyer:
Meryl Koh for 4 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 2019: Singapore - Leading IP firm for 20 consecutive years
Singapore Trade Mark Prosecution and Singapore Patent Contentious Firm
of the Year 2020
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
Leading firm in Patent Prosecution and Copyright & related rights

IP Stars 2020:
Tony Yeo – Trade Mark Star and Patent Star in Patent litigation, Patent prosecution, Trade mark litigation, Trade mark prosecution
Yvonne Tang - Trade Mark Star; Top 250 Women in IP (2020)
Lim Siau Wen - Trade Mark Star; Top 250 Women in IP (2019)

- “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 2019 – Tier 1 for 8 consecutive years

Singapore Patent Firm of the Year 2017- 2019
Singapore Trade Mark Firm of the Year 2018
Singapore Trade Mark Firm of the Year 2012 to 2016 

Patent Prosecution – Tier 1
Patent Contentious – Tier 1
Trade Mark Prosecution – Tier 1
Trade Mark Contentious – Tier 1
Copyright – 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 2019 (Singapore) – Tier 1 in the areas of Patents and Trademarks/Copyrights for 7 consecutive years

Asialaw Profiles
Intellectual Property 2016 to 2021 - Outstanding practice for 6 consecutive years
Intellectual Property 2013 to 2015 - Highly recommended practice

Elite Practitioner:
Tony Yeo for 4 consecutive years

- “The quality of work and service is excellent – a notch above most of the other (premium) law firms."
- “Highly competent on the technical aspect of the deal, practical and commercial, not pedantic and responsive.”

- 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."
“Provides reliable services in a cost-efficient manner.”
Tony Yeo was recommended by his client as someone who has “great depth of knowledge. Very Savvy. Fantastic litigator.”
- Clients praise Lim Siau Wen for her “familiarity with law and procedures, as well as diligence.

Who’s Who Legal
Intellectual Property 2020

Tony Yeo – Recommended individual for:
Patents (7 consecutive years)
Trademarks (4 consecutive years)
Life Sciences (10 consecutive years)

Intellectual Property 2017
Cecelia Girvin – Recommended individual for Trademarks

World Trade Mark Review 1000
Top Trade Mark filer in Singapore 2020
Enforcement and Litigation (Gold band in 2020) for 3 consecutive years; ranked top tier from 2013 to 2017
Prosecution and Strategy (Gold band in 2020) for 8 consecutive years

2020 endorsed individuals:
Tony Yeo – Enforcement and Litigation
Yvonne Tang –  Enforcement and Litigation; Prosecution and Strategy; Transactions
Lim Siau Wen – Enforcement and Litigation; Prosecution and Strategy; Transactions 
Meryl Koh – Enforcement and Litigation
Ruby Tham – 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 a “first-rate litigator who navigates clients through the minefields of IP management without a hitch”
- 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."
Yvonne Tang is commended as an “all-rounder” and “invaluable asset” in the squad. “Her advice is always comprehensive, in tune with business goals and objectives and delivered with lightning responsiveness“  
- “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.”
- “Also highly recommended is Lim Siau Wen, a versatile operator who strikes a fine balance between minimising cost and maximising results.”
- Meryl Koh is a “brilliant lawyer who tailors her service to the requirements of the task at hand.”
Ruby Tham is a stalwart in the prosecution practice and a force to be reckoned with in opposition and invalidation proceedings.”
- "Meticulous portfolio manager Cecelia Girvin shores things up on the non-contentious side.

IAM Patent 1000

Litigation – Gold band in 2020
Prosecution – Silver band in 2020
Transactions – Recommended in 2020

Endorsed Individuals:
Tony Yeo – Gold band for Litigation (2020)
Yvonne Tang – Silver band for Prosecution and Recommended for Transactions (2020)
Lim Siau Wen – Silver band for Prosecution and Recommended for Transactions (2020)
Meryl Koh – Bronze band for Litigation (2020)
Cecelia Girvin – Recommended for prosecution (2018)

- Sources say that Drew & Napier is a “highly respected litigation practice throughout Southeast Asia”
- “Not only are they the best in their field, these subject matter experts are responsive and commercially savvy.”

- Drew & Napier LLC “remains “one of the best” at what it does. With its “tremendously hardworking” team offering "sensible commercial advice” and applying “great strategic thinking” to every patent matter, it is a one-stop shop that “you can trust, always feeling that your case is in safe hands”.”
- 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. 
- Managing Director of Intellectual Property Tony Yeo is most at home when resolving intricate patent disputes on behalf of major clients in the healthcare and life sciences arenas. Renowned for his silver-tongued advocacy, Yeo is a master of cross-border and technically advanced patent infringement suits.
- The shining gem in the ensemble is Tony Yeo. “One of the most respected litigators in town”, the star player recently joined other distinguished IP legal experts on the IPOS IP Adjudicators Panel.
Tony and Meryl are the attorneys to have on speed dial when a complex IP issue arises and you want pragmatic legal advice.”
- On the non-contentious front, Yvonne Tang and Siau Wen Lim tend to the global IP portfolios of foreign and local multinationals. As certified IP valuation analysts, they are also the best lawyers to consult about IP commercialisation.
- A certified patent valuation analyst, Yvonne Tang regularly serves up discerning IP strategy guidance to her dedicated roster of clients – while (Lim Siau Wen) is described as a “very responsive” practitioner who “does a great job at a competitive rate”.
- Consultant and all-rounder Cecelia Girvin dispenses invaluable, commercially on-point advice to the group’s host of household-name clients.

Benchmark Litigation Asia-Pacific 

Intellectual Property 2020 Tier 1 for 2 consecutive years

Endorsed individuals:
Tony Yeo – Litigation Star in Dispute Resolution and Intellectual Property (2020); Dispute Resolution Star in Intellectual Property (2019)
Lim Siau Wen – Recommended (2019)

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

Clients say: Tony is responsive, commercially aware and a skilled advocate”

Best Lawyers International: Singapore (2021 Edition)

Intellectual Property 2020
Leading Individual: Morris John (Lawyer of the Year – 2016 edition)

The Asian Lawyer
Emerging Markets Awards 2015

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