Winkler Partners, a full service law firm based in Taipei, Taiwan, has become the first legal service provider in Asia to become a Certified B Corporation. According to B Lab, a non-profit that awards B Corporation certification, Winkler Partners is the 17th company in Taiwan to be certified. Worldwide, only 36 legal service providers have received certification, out of a total of 1932 companies since B Lab began awarding certification in 2007.
B Corp stands for Benefit Corporation, a type of for-profit corporate entity that places an equal importance on sustainability, working for the shared benefit of workers, stakeholders, wider society and the environment, as it does on profit making. B Corps adhere to greater accountability and transparency rules than traditional companies. Currently, 30 states in the United States, Italy and the UK (known as Community Interest Companies) allow for Benefit Corporation entities to be formed. B Lab provides certification for businesses in other jurisdictions whose corporate laws do not yet provide for registration as a Benefit Corporation.
The B Corp assessment survey covers sections on Environment, Workers, Customers, Community, Governance, and based on the answers, an Overall score is given. These scores make up our B Impact Report, which can be viewed here. Winkler Partners obtained an Overall score of 98, with 80 being the minimum score needed to receive certification.
Winkler Partners scored high for Environment, which takes into account our commitment to reducing energy usage and increasing energy savings, our extensive recycling program and measurement of our carbon footprint, the use of environmentally friendly products throughout our office, rainwater capture and our roof garden. We also scored above the B Corp median score for Workers, where our salary, benefits, diversity and work environment were evaluated; and Community, where our membership of 1% for the Planet, support for Wild at Heart Legal Defense Association and other organizations, as well as pro-bono work for Forward Taiwan were taken into consideration. Going forward, B Corp certification will allow us to effectively evaluate the ongoing contributions we make to these communities and enable us to identify areas in which we can improve.
You can read more about our commitment to our colleagues, clients and community on our B Corp profile page here. You can find out more about B Lab and the B Corp movement here. For more information on Winkler Partners’ B Corp certification, please contact James Hill at firstname.lastname@example.org or +886 (0) 2 2311 2345 extension 535.
Winkler Partners is looking for a law student intern for summer 2017. 1Ls and 2Ls are all welcome.
The basic qualifications include good analytic, research, and writing skills. The successful candidate will probably be a native speaker of English or someone primarily educated in English who is currently a law student.
The successful candidate will also likely be able to speak Mandarin or Taiwanese and must be able to read traditional Chinese with reasonable proficiency. We will consider candidates who speak other Chinese languages such as Cantonese if the candidate can read traditional Chinese.
Duties would include curating social media sites, writing updates on legal topics, and light case work for 30-40 hours per week. The internship is (very) modestly paid but the successful candidate will need to cover at least travel costs to Taipei.
We regret that Taiwan’s laws currently preclude us from obtaining work authorization for candidates with Chinese citizenship (including Hong Kong and Macau) unless the candidate is a dual national. Offers to successful candidates will be conditioned on our ability to receive work authorization.
Please send a resume, a brief writing sample, and a cover letter explaining your interest in an internship in Taiwan to email@example.com by 1 March 2017.
Five of Winkler Partners’ practice areas have been recommended by The Legal 500 as part of their research into legal service providers in the Asia Pacific region. Our insurance practice, led by partner Chen Hui-ling was ranked in the top tier for the fifth consecutive year, and noted for a particular strength in D&O insurance. The Legal 500 notes that Hui-ling “has vast experience in the industry and has represented international insurance companies seeking to integrate Taiwan into their Greater China operations”.
Head of our employment practice partner Christine Chen was noted for “an excellent pedigree representing international corporates in employment disputes and also has a wide ranging advisory practice”. Our employment practice was ranked in the second tier overall. Our intellectual property practice was also highly recommended, with practice head partner Peter Dernbach listed as a Leading Individual. The Legal 500 mentions that we handle trademark enforcement and/or prosecution work for a high proportion of the world’s leading brands and also perform patent prosecution work. Partner Gary Kuo is recommended for his IP litigation work.
Finally our dispute resolution and corporate/M&A work were also recommended. The Legal 500 notes that we represent international clients across an array of commercial litigation matters, including the enforcement of foreign judgments and that our corporate practice, led by Gregory Buxton together with Chen Hui-ling, has a particular focus on inbound investment and venture capital deals.
The Legal 500 has been ranking law firms worldwide for over 25 years, with a special attention to practice area teams who are providing the most cutting edge and innovative advice to corporate counsel. You can read the latest Legal 500 Asia Pacific rankings here.
Winkler Partners’ Christine Chen has contributed an overview of employment and employee benefits in Taiwan to Thomson Reuters’ Practical Law.
These resources are drafted in a question and answer format that allows practitioners to easily compare Taiwanese employment laws to the corresponding laws in other jurisdictions. The overview covers all recent amendments to employment law in Taiwan, including the October 2016 increases in the minimum wage, the May 2016 amendments to the Act for Gender Equality in Employment as well as future proposals for reform.
Practical Law provides similar resources for many jurisdictions around the world. A full list of contents, including employment laws in other countries, can be viewed here. A useful country Q&A tool is also available, allowing practitioners to compare employment and employee benefits across two or more jurisdictions at the same time.
Christine regularly provides information on Taiwan’s employment legislation, most recently for the World Bank’s Doing Business report and Littler Mendelson’s Guide to International Employment and Labor Law.
For more information on employment and employee benefit matters in Taiwan, please contact Christine Chen at firstname.lastname@example.org or +886 223112345 ext. 307.
Each year Interbrand releases a list of the most valuable brands in the world. Winkler Partners represents 35 of the brands that made the Best Global Brands 2016 list, 10 of which are in the top 25. Interbrand measures both company brand value and product brand value in compiling its list.
Brands such as Facebook, whose value increased 48% year on year, and Amazon, whose rose 33%, show that increasingly, the brands with the most value are associated with technology and the Internet. The most valuable brand in the world is still Apple, which saw a 5% rise in its brand value over 2015, while electric car company Tesla made it into the list for the first time. Social media, ecommerce, software and IT solution providers as well as familiar hardware manufacturers feature heavily in the list, as do consumer goods and several luxury fashion brands including Louis Vuitton, Hermès and Gucci.
Winkler Partners currently represents 35 of these top global brands of 2016, an increase from 25 in 2015, and 18 in 2010. Brands that we have worked with are active in many fields, including fashion, software, hardware, consumer goods, ecommerce, beverages and media.
The full list of Best Global Brands 2016 can be found here.
The Taiwan Intellectual Property Office (TIPO) has announced the registration of certification marks for “SCOTCH WHISKY” in English and Chinese characters (蘇格蘭威士忌) by the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA). The SWA have heralded the registrations as “a legal breakthrough” that will give consumers even greater confidence in the quality of what they are buying as well as a further boost to Scotch Whisky producers exporting to Taiwan.
According to the SWA, Taiwan is the fourth biggest market for Scotch by value with exports worth £75 million in the first six months of the year. It is also the third biggest overseas market for Single Malt with exports worth £41m in the first half 2016.
These geographic certification mark registrations in Taiwan will make it more straightforward to take legal action against anyone trying to produce or sell fake Scotch in the future. Winkler Partners’ Christine Chen, who represented the SWA in their application for the marks, agrees: “These marks will help us, together with the SWA, pursue producers and sellers of fake whisky in a more effective fashion, and offer the Taiwanese public greater protection from potentially harmful counterfeits. We are grateful to our colleagues at the TIPO for their professionalism in approving the applications of these marks”.
Following its accession to the WTO in 2002, Taiwan amended its Trademark Act to protect geographical indications (GI) against misuse in line with TRIPs by allowing the registration of geographic certification and collective marks. To date, Taiwan has granted 51 geographic certification marks and 45 geographic collective marks. Of those, 62 protect domestic products such as Alishan High Mountain Tea and Chi-Shang Rice, while a further 34 protect foreign products including Darjeeling tea from India, Awamori (a distilled rice liquor) from Okinawa, and Prosciutto (Parma ham) from Italy.
“Scotch Whisky” has been registered as a GI or certification/collective mark in a number of jurisdictions around the world including the EU, Canada, China, Australia, India, Malaysia, Panama, Thailand, Turkey, Vietnam, Macao, Peru, and the Dominican Republic.
For more information on certification marks or other intellectual property matters in Taiwan, please contact Peter Dernbach at email@example.com and Christine Chen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Partner Christine Chen was quoted in the August edition of Asia IP Magazine on intellectual property issues arising from insolvency. The article explores how IP holders must pay particular attention to how their IP is valued, even when some suggest that arriving at a correct value is ‘part science, part art’. Regardless of the difficulty in doing so, the article states that owners that fail to value their IP do so at their own risk. Christine explained that the greatest risk facing those who have not valued their assets is that, in the event of a potential bankruptcy, their assets may be severely under-valued, thus greatly increasing the risk of falling into bankruptcy. “Failure to value assets prior to becoming distressed may also foreclose some opportunities to use the assets to secure additional financing,” she said.
You can read the full article, beginning on page nine, here.
For more information on IP matters in Taiwan, please contact Christine Chen at email@example.com.
These resources are drafted in a question and answer format that allows practitioners to easily compare Taiwanese data protection and privacy laws to the corresponding laws in other jurisdictions. The data protection overview covers the 2015 amendments to Taiwan’ Personal Information Privacy Act (the “PIPA”) that came into force earlier this year.
These articles are part of Practical Law’s global guide to data protection. A full list of contents can be viewed here.
Chen Hui-ling has written extensively on Taiwan’s data protection legislation, most recently for Privacy Laws and Business’ International Report on the latest amendments to the PIPA. Hui-ling is also a member of the Asian Privacy Scholars Network.
For more information on data protection or privacy matters in Taiwan, please contact Chen Hui-ling at firstname.lastname@example.org or +886 223112345 ext. 555.
Winkler Partners has been recognized for our diversity efforts in Asian Legal Business’ 2016 Diversity List. Only ten law firms with an Asia presence were included in the list. According to Asian Legal Business (ALB), the list aims to “highlight firms in Asia that have developed a solid strategy when it comes to fostering diversity and inclusion, currently have programs in place to back up this strategy, and have made measurable progress in this regards”.
We were noted for our high ratio of both female and LGBT colleagues (over 50% and 9% respectively) as well as our commitment to providing continuing legal education opportunities to all staff. We were also praised for our “flat organizational structure that encourages coordination in place of management and discussions in which each member’s voice is valued”. According to ALB, we have “innovative programs aimed at championing women in the workplace”.
You can read about the ten firms on the 2016 Diversity List here.
From 21-25 May, 2016, Winkler Partners intellectual property team members will attend the 138th Annual Meeting of the International Trademark Association (INTA) in Orlando, Florida. According to the event website, this year’s meeting will include more than 300 educational events, workshops, talks by regional trademark offices, courses on international trademark law and advanced mediation training. Over 9,000 attendees are expected to attend.
Winkler Partners’ Peter Dernbach will be co-chairing this year’s annual meeting, with Turner Broadcasting System’s Rick McMurty. Peter was elected to the Board of Directors at INTA in 2015, and will serve through 2017.
Peter heads our IP practice and has substantial experience assisting clients in obtaining, enforcing and licensing their intellectual property rights. Other than his involvement with INTA, Peter is a member of the Marques China Team, has served as a panelist under ICANN’s UDRP system in more than 60 domain name disputes and co-chairs the IP & Licensing Committee at the American Chamber of Commerce Taipei.
Partners Christine Chen and Gary Kuo will also be attending along with members of our IP practice, Jason Yan, Mark Brown and Mark McVicar.
Christine Chen is an IP litigator and oversees our employment practice. Christine is noted for winning the largest payout in a trademark infringement case in Taiwanese legal history and regularly advises clients on employment and immigration matters pertaining to Taiwan.
Gary Kuo is an IP litigator focusing on anti-counterfeiting and competition law. He has also worked with the Taiwan Intellectual Property Office to revise Taiwan’s IP laws to better protect rights holders.
Jason Yan specializes in trademark clearance, prosecution and registry dispute issues. He manages trademark portfolios for some of the world’s leading brands, advising clients in a broad range of industries including beverage and food services, Internet providers, health and beauty products, and pharmaceuticals.
Mark Brown supports our intellectual property team with a particular focus on alcohol beverage trademarks. He has worked on several cases for some of the world’s largest alcohol and beverage companies on brand protection, geographical indications, enforcement, lobbying and regulatory matters, administrative and fair trade actions, and compliance in advertising and promotions.
Mark McVicar manages the trademark portfolios of multinational clients in a variety of industries including chemical, personal care, information technology, gaming, fashion and pharmaceuticals. Mark will also be running a session at this year’s INTA annual meeting on Cultural Intelligence.
If you are attending INTA this year, please don’t forget to introduce yourself. Full event details can be found here.