Steve Zhao Partner, Beijing
010-6521 5999 Download resume

Professional Profile

Steve Zhao is a highly experienced intellectual property litigator and partner at GEN Law Firm in Beijing. With 19 years of experience, Steve focuses on complex litigation involving trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, data rights, and emerging areas of unfair competition. Steve has been involved in many cases that have contributed to the development of IP jurisprudence in China. His cases have been frequently selected as annual typical cases by the Supreme People's Court and provincial high courts. In 2023, Steve's cases were selected as representative cases by the Supreme Court and high courts nine times.

Steve's strong advocacy skills and creative approach have led to significant victories in many influential cases. He represented the plaintiff Assa Abloy in the "Panpan" trademark infringement case, which resulted in a record-breaking punitive damages award of 100 million RMB, the highest ever for a foreign trademark in China. In another notable case, Steve successfully argued the first-ever unfair competition case involving data scraping and illegal selling on behalf of Sina Weibo, setting an important precedent for data rights protection in China.

As a skilled negotiator, Steve has a track record of achieving favorable settlements for clients in high-value disputes. He has successfully represented clients in mediation and settlement of cases involving trade secrets, unfair competition, software development, and trademark infringement, with disputed amounts ranging from tens to hundreds of millions of RMB. In addition to litigation, Steve also assists clients with IP asset acquisition, brand crisis management, product quality investigations, and advertising compliance.

Steve is an active member of the IP legal community and holds positions in several professional organizations. He serves as a member of the Global Advisory Council at the International Trademark Association, Vice Secretary-General of the Trademark Law Committee of the Beijing Lawyers Association, and an expert for the China Anti-Infringement and Anti-Counterfeit Innovation Strategic Alliance. Steve's contributions to the field have been widely recognized by various legal directories, including Chambers and Partners, World Trademark Review, LEGALBAND, and Legal 500, affirming his position as a leading IP attorney in China.

Professional Affiliations

Expert of the Anti-Counterfeiting and Anti-Infringement Alliance

Deputy Secretary-General of the Trademark Law Committee of the Beijing Lawyers Association

Member of the Legislation and Regulation Committee of the International Trademark Association

Member of the Global Advisory Council of the International Trademark Association

Member of the Copyright Law Research Committee of the Beijing Entertainment Law Society

Honorary Titles And Awards

Chambers Great China Region-Intellectual Property: Litigation, 2024

LEGALBAND-A Client's Guide: Top Ranked Lawyers, 2022-2023

WIPR Insights-China PRC Trademarks Rankings, 2023

WTR 1000-the World's Leading Trademark Professionals, 2018-2023

Legal 500-Recommended Lawyer, 2018-2019, 2023-2024

Power-nation Institute-Top 10 Intellectual Property Consultant, 2023

LEGAL GURU CLUB, Legal Hall of Fame-Best Lawyers Recommended by GC, 2023

ALB-Top 15 IP Lawyers, 2022

IPLEAD-the 3rd Top 50 China Leading IP Lawyers, 2023

Asia IP- Rising Star, 2021

LEGALBAND-Client Choice-Top 15 IP Versatile Practitioners, 2021

LEGALBAND-China Top 15 Lawyers: Consumer and Retail, 2021

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

Partial Representative Case

  • Represented ASSA ABLOY Pan Pan v. Xin Pan Pan in a trademark infringement and unfair competition dispute, in which punitive damages were applied and the defendant was imposed RMB 100 million as damages to the plaintiff, which was selected as the Blue Book on the status of judicial protection of intellectual property rights in Jiangsu courts.

  • Represented A.O. Smith v. Smales in a trademark infringement and unfair competition dispute, in which A.O. Smith was recognized as a well-known trademark and awarded RMB 5.65 million in damages.

  • Represented Denmark ROCKWOOL International A/S, a famous European stone wool insulation material brand, to obtain administrative recognition as a well-known trademark.

  • Represented Hugo Boss, an internationally renowned fashion brand, in administrative and civil litigation against an infringer for more than ten years; also fully represented Hugo Boss in its trademark opposition, invalidation and other prosecution matters in China.

  • Represented the famous Chinese tea brand "Xiaotan Tea" in administrative and civil litigation to defend its trademark distinctiveness.

  • Represented ANKER, a famous consumer electronics brand, in an unfair competition lawsuit against a trademark infringer and won the case, which was awarded as one of the top ten typical cases of unfair competition by Shenzhen Intermediate Court in 2021.

  • Represented Huan Qiu Online School in arbitration and trademark infringement litigation against its former partner in a trademark licensing contract

  • Represented in an unfair competition lawsuit to defend its data rights

  • Represented Sina in an unfair competition lawsuit to defend its data rights

  • Represented Chr. Hansen, the world's leading probiotic brand to take legal action to stop counterfeiting and defend the distinctiveness of their previous trademarks.

  • Represented The Macallan, a leading whiskey brand, in a trademark infringement action and brand protection strategy.

  • Represented Honeywell in a trademark infringement and unfair competition action

  • Represented ARRI, a leading German manufacturer of cinematography equipment, in filing trademark applications for color combination trademark and in filing litigating against counterfeiting.

  • Represented leading food ingredient manufacture Ligao, in an unfair competition action to protect its "Blue Streak" trade dress.

  • Represented BASF in trademark oppositions and invalidation actions.

  • Represented MLB in trademark oppositions and invalidation actions.

  • Represented China Overseas Property in trademark infringement litigation and invalidation proceedings to protect its trademark rights.