Steve Zhao Partner, Beijing
010-6521 5999 Download resume

Professional Profile

Mr. Steve Zhao is a Partner at GEN Law Firm's Beijing office with 19 years of professional practice. He is recognized as a leading intellectual property litigation attorney in China. His area of expertise includes handling significant and complex cases related to trademarks, copyrights, unfair competition, data litigation, and commercial litigation and arbitration concerning intellectual property.

Mr. Zhao has led numerous landmark cases recognized by courts and administrative bodies as exemplary. Among them, in 2023, the "Xin Pan Pan" trademark infringement case resulted in a judgment of RMB 100 million, marking the highest compensation awarded in China for foreign trademark protection to date. The BB-12/LGG Strain Trademark Protection case was honored as one of the Supreme Court's 50 exemplary cases of the year; the KE.com data protection case was acknowledged as one of the top ten unfair competition cases of the year by the Beijing Intellectual Property Court; the Purple Lighting Case was recognized as one of  the top ten exemplary cases for key trademark protection in Guangdong Province. In 2020, the NBA livestream Copyright case was named as the "Outstanding Case of the Year" by Commercial Law Magazine. In 2018, the "NBA vs. Mengka" case was rated as one of the top ten intellectual property and internet cases of the year by the Guangdong Provincial High People's Court, and one of the top ten non- criminal cases of the year by QBPC. In 2014, the Ferrero 3D Trademark Protection case was selected as one of the 12 typical cases of the year by the former State Administration for Industry & Commerce. In 2012, the case of BMW AG v Century Baoma was chosen as one of the eight exemplary intellectual property cases of the year by the Supreme Court. Other influential cases under Attorney Zhao's representation include Michael Jordan v. Qiaodan Sports for name rights infringement, the opposition review case of "National Liquor Moutai", and "Xiao Guan Tea" acquired distinctiveness case.

Mr. Zhao also has extensive experience in negotiations. Recently, he represented clients in achieving favorable settlements in cases, including a commercial secret case with a total claim amount of RMB 180 million, an unfair competition case with a total claim amount of RMB 240 million, a software development contract dispute with a claim amount of RMB 210 million, and a trademark infringement and unfair competition lawsuit with a claim amount of RMB 90 million.

Furthermore, Attorney Zhao's practice areas extend to portfolio management, acquiring core intellectual property assets, brand crisis public relations, product quality supervision and investigation, and advertising compliance.

Publications

  • Legislative framework and causes of action, Trademark: A Global Guide, 2019

  • Trademark litigation forum shopping in China–what the data tells us, World Trademark Review, July 2020

  • On the unity of "malice" and "intention" in punitive damages of intellectual property, IP Economy, February 2021

  • Detailed explanation and application of intellectual property punitive damages regime, LEB, 2021

  • New development on amendment of PRC Copyright Law, China Behavior-law Association, 2021

  • Draft Amendment to Trademark law applications, Word Trademark Review, February 2023

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

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 Ke.com/Lianjia 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.