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US firm Morgan & Finnegan has opened an office in Shanghai, becoming the first US IP boutique to launch in China.
The two-partner office is led by patent litigator Maria Lin and William Hu, a Mandarin-speaking M&A specialist.
Morgan & Finnegan hopes the new Shanghai office will create a steady flow of work from the growing number of Chinese companies looking to expand into the US.
The practice will concentrate on defending Chinese clients against charges of patent infringement from the International Trade Commission (ITC).
Based in Washington DC, the ITC has the power to stop foreign goods entering the country if it finds that they infringe US patents.
Morgan & Finnegan's new office will also offer trademark and patent prosecution services for US companies with Chinese interests and help local clients raise venture capital.
"China's growth as a nation and an economy is being fuelled by its success in innovation," said Lin. "The timing's right to assist businesses in China with opportunities in the US and the West."
Lin is well placed to advise on Chinese IP law, having counselled Ren Jianxin, a former president of the People's Supreme Court, on China's patent law in 1984 and its amendment in 1993.
US clients of Morgan & Finnegan's China practice include Caterpillar, United Biomedical, chemical manufacturer King Industries and Transys Electronics.
The firm advises Chinese clients such as Henghou Trading Company and Asian Sourcing International on US IP matters.
Morgan & Finnegan has its headquarters in New York and further offices in DC and San Francisco.
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