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Amy Hsiao

Chair of the Asia Trademark & Anti-Counterfeiting Practice

Adsero IP

Amy Hsiao is Chair of the Asia Trademark & Anti-Counterfeiting Practice of Adsero IP, where she focuses her practice on advising Western companies on trademark, copyright, and international business transactions in China and other Asian countries.  Amy has pursued cases through all levels of China’s system and had achieved over 100 opposition wins.  She has worked with policy makers from the U.S. and Europe on trademark arbitrations, criminal counterfeit seizures, and product recalls.  She often assumes the role of a business advisor because of her ability to articulate differences between Eastern and Western systems and to turn large volumes of raw data into meaningful, actionable branding strategies.

Amy has drunk hot tea in August in Shanghai with AIC and PSB officials to push for raid actions.  She has worked through freezing blizzards in Beijing to win landmark cases and set important precedents in China’s unfair competition law.  Because of her wide array of IP experience, she was selected by China’s former Deputy Secretary-General of China’s Trademark Association as the only Western attorney to work on China’s very first trademark textbook for the Western world.

Amy is a unique blend of both Western and Chinese cultures.  As one general counsel put it: “China is a wild west; IP strategies are like a whack-a-mole game.  Often, the advice from counsel offers little guidance to business.  Amy is the rare exception.  She does not just say, ‘this is how China does it,’ she actually tells you why, and then provides legal strategy and steps that make sense.  I can now finally have an intelligent conversation with my business executives.”

Recent Articles by Amy Hsiao

Metaverse Trademark Filings in China: Protecting Brands While the Law Catches Up

As the concept of a unified “metaverse” is gaining traction, savvy brand owners are shifting their focus to securing rights in this emerging sector. In pursuit of intellectual property (IP) rights, individuals and corporations are turning to metaverse trademark filings to provide protection for goods and services in the virtual world. As of the summer of 2022, the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) has received more than 16,000 applications that either contain the word “METAVERSE” (in English or its Chinese translation: “YUAN YUZHOU,” or both) or that include descriptions of goods and services in the virtual world, or both. These applications were filed by individuals as well as companies (big and small, both foreign and domestic). The rejection rate for traditional trademark applications in China is typically high, around 60-70%, at least in the first instance. However, the rejection rate for these new metaverse applications is even higher, hovering around 80%.

Protecting Color Trademarks in Asia

With their creative minds, marketing and advertising folks never disappoint in coming up with brilliant ways to distinguish their goods and services from the competition – for example, Tiffany’s robin’s egg blue and Hermes’ orange. This type of marketing genius allows one to immediately recognize a brand without even seeing the word “Hermes” or knowing how to pronounce it. On the flip side, these ideas are prime targets for copycats. After all, by simply changing the jewelry box color to the exact pantone shade of Tiffany’s turquoise blue, a seller could immediately quadruple his/her revenue by profiting from consumer confusion without having to increase the inventory quality or spend a dime on marketing. The question then is: is it possible to protect a color (or color combination) in all jurisdictions by registering it as a trademark?

Past Events with Amy Hsiao

IPWatchdog LIVE 2022

September 11-13, 2022