Steve Zhao Partner, Beijing
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Professional Profile

Mr. Steve Zhao is a partner at the Beijing office of Gen Law Firm. Mr. Zhao is a top IP litigator in China with 17 years of experience. His expertise covers major and complex disputes involving trademark, copyright, unfair competition and data protection, IP-related commercial arbitration and litigation, compliance investigation and governmental relation affairs.

Mr. Zhao has handled many influential cases which have been selected as typical cases by courts and administrative authorities. NBA live broadcasting protection case was selected as “2020 Deal of the Year” by China Business Law Journal. In 2019, NBA vs. Mengka was selected as Top 10 IP Cases by Guangdong High Court and Top 10 Cases by QBPC. In 2014, Ferrero 3D trademark protection case was selected as Top 12 Model Cases by the formal State AIC. In 2012, BMW vs. Centry Baochi was selected as Best 8 model cases by Supreme Court. Among others, Micheal Jordan vs. Fujian Qiaodan, “National Liquor Moutai”, “Xiaoguan Tea” cases are also very influential cases in Chinese IP society.

Mr. Zhao also has rich negotiation experience. Recently, he reached several settlements agreements with favorable conditions, including an unfair competition lawsuit with a total amount of 240 million yuan, a software development contract dispute with a total amount of 210 million yuan, and a trademark infringement and unfair competition lawsuit with a total amount of 90 million yuan.

Mr. Zhao is a top IP litigator in China with 15 years of experience. His expertise covers major and complex trademark administrative litigation and civil infringement disputes, internet related unfair competition litigation, copyright infringement litigation, IP-related arbitration and trade secret infringement litigation.

Steve Zhao is known for his creative and impactful ideas, and unparalleled oral advocacy skills. Mr. Zhao is highly specialized in handling contentious IP matters that require ground-breaking and innovative solutions. He has provided creative and solid solutions in many cases involving judicial protection of various derivative rights and interests in the fields of IP and competition law. These cases include obtaining a preliminary injunction in a trade secret case before Suzhou Intermediate Court, the first case in China that adopting merchandising rights in civil cases before Guangdong High Court, one of the very few cases claiming copyright eligibility of live broadcasting before Beijing High Court, the first data theft case accepted by Beijing High Court as first instance court, as well as several high profile cases pending before Shanghai High Court, Jiangsu High Court and various IP courts.  

Steve Zhao has handled many influential cases which have been selected as examples by courts and state level administrative authorities, including 2018 Top 10 IP cases by Guangdong High People’s Court, 2014 Top 6 IP cases by State AIC, 2013 Top 10 cases by Beijing High Court, 2009 Top 10 cases by Beijing High Court and 2008 Top 10 cases by Ningbo Intermediate Court.

Steve Zhao specializes in recovering trademarks stolen by hijackers through negotiation, administrative and judicial proceedings, and has rich experience in dealing with trademark prosecution and portfolio management matters. He also represents clients in IP licensing and transactions to advance major business deals and public listings.  

Steve has been ranked as recommended lawyer by World Trademark 1000 in 2018-2020.

Professional Affiliations

Mentor of the Faculty of Literature of Law and secretary of the Pan-Entertainment Culture Industry Committee of the Communication University of China.

Vice director of Trademark Committee, Beijing Lawyer Association

Member of Non-Traditional Trademark Committee, International Trademark Association

Honorary Titles And Awards

The WTR 1000 Recommend individual practitioners -World Trademark Review, 2018-2021

Best Trademark Litigator of the Year - Power-nation Institute, 2017

Recommended Lawyer - Legal 500, 2018-2019

Recommended Top Ranked IP Lawyer in China - LEGALBAND, 2021

Top 15 IP Versatile Practitioners 2021 - LEGALBAND

Partial Representative Case

Represented PanPan Group in filing trademark infringement and unfair competition lawsuit before the Jiangsu High People’s Court. The claimed compensation is 100 million yuan.

Represented Hugo Boss in filing administrative and civil lawsuits against an infringer who has 10 years egregious infringement behaviors. The case is highly concerned by the Chinese and German governments. Meanwhile, represented Hugo Boss in its trademark portfolio management in China.

Represented NBA in the first and second instance unfair competition litigations against the unlicensed using of the NBA trademark, NBA collective images, and NBA identification elements, and successfully obtained 3 million compensation for the client. The case is the first case in which the Chinese courts applies commercialization rights in the field of civil infringement.

Represented Travel Sentry in filing trademark infringement and unfair competition lawsuits. Meanwhile, represented Travel Sentry in its trademark portfolio management in China.

Represented Major Baseball League in trademark opposition and cancellation matters.

Represented ANKER in filing unfair competition lawsuit against trademark squatters.

Advised Hang Lung Properties on trademark infringement and brand protections.

Represented Rockwool (a leading stone wool manufacture) in anti-counterfeiting actions.

Represented Denmark bioscience company Chr. Hansen in trademark opposition, trademark invalidation, anti-counterfeiting actions, and developing brand protection strategies.

Represented A.O. Smith in filing trademark infringement and unfair competition lawsuit in Nanjing, Jiangsu. The claimed compensation is 30 million.

Represented ANDRITZ AG in anti-counterfeiting actions in China.

Represented Zhong Hai Properties in filing trademark infringement and unfair competition lawsuit before the Shenzhen Intermediate People’s Court. The claimed compensation is 90 million.

Achieved a significant victory for BMW Group in the trademark infringement and unfair competition action against Guangzhou Century Baochi. The case was selected as one of the 2013 top 8 cases by the Supreme Court, top 10 cases by Beijing High People’s Court and also top 10 cases by the QBPC.

Represented ExxonMobil in trademark infringement and unfair competition litigation against Ningbo Aisuo Huohuasai Co., Ltd., and trademark registration matters before the CTMO, including opposition and non-use cancellation. The case was named one of the top ten cases of the year by the Ningbo Intermediate People’s Court.

Represented Sotheby’s in trademark infringement and unfair competition litigation against Suzhou Su Fu Bi Auction Gallery, and trademark registration matters before the CTMO, including opposition and non-use.

Provided strategic IP protection strategies for Hewlett Packard, Sony, Apple, DuPont, Bayer, UGG and other established brands. Successfully protected clients’ trademark rights and trade name rights by initiating administrative enforcement, civil and criminal litigation.

Represented ARRI, the global supplier of motion picture film equipment company in anti-counterfeiting actions and trademark infringement litigation.

Represented Ferrero in 3D trademark infringement action. The Ferrero v. Golden Monkey was selected as the best 12 enforcement cases in 2014 by the State AIC.

Represented Philip Morris in the well-known trademark recognition of the Chinese translation of the “Marlboro” trademark;.

Represented Volkswagen Group, Audi AG, and Porsche in anti-counterfeiting actions and trademark infringement litigation.

Represented Universal Studio in the Beijing theme park program in China and assisted Universal Studio in taking-down pirated social media accounts.

"National Liquor Moutai" opposition case was one of the most influential trademark cases in China in 2012.

Michael Jordan v. Fujian Qiaodan case was one of the most influential IP cases in the world in 2012.

Ferrero v. Liang Feng was selected as one of the 2009 six State AIC supervision cases.

Sotheby’s v. Sichuan Sufubi was named as 2008 top 10 IP cases by Beijing High Court.

ExxonMobil v. Ningbo Esso was named as 2007 top 10 IP.

Practice Areas

> IP Litigation

> Commercial Litigation and Arbitration

> Compliance

> Government Affairs

Education Background

Peking University, LL.M. (IP)

Remin University, LL.B.

Lawyer Qualification

China

Working Language

Chinese, English