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Two Atlanta law firms are positioning themselves to capture more intellectual property business in Taiwan and China. Thomas, Kayden, Horstemeyer & Risley revealed plans last week to send a partner to live in Taiwan, and Morris, Manning & Martin has announced the arrival of partner Tim Tingkang Xia, a physicist and lawyer who grew up in China. Xia, who left the Atlanta office of Merchant & Gould, where he served as a partner, is now part of Morris Manning’s intellectual property team of 12 attorneys. “Taiwan is a very viable research and development center in Asia because of the integration of the Taiwanese economy and the Chinese economy,” Xia said. “Taiwanese are trying to send manufacturing work to China. As a consequence, more and more intellectual property work is generating from Taiwan and the Chinese mainland.” The former Georgia Institute of Technology physicist predicts that more intellectual property work will flow from China to the United States, as mainland China continues to develop its economy and its relationship with Taiwan. “We are going to see more and more intellectual property work coming from Taiwan to mainland China, and to the U.S., because, in some sense, the U.S. is the center of the world in terms of scientific and technology development, as well as market power,” he said. AN UPSWING IN IP BUSINESS At least some of this international work already is flowing to Atlanta firms. Morris Manning Managing Partner Robert E. Saudek said he has seen an upswing in business since the arrival early this year of Xia, who represents clients based in Taiwan and at U.S. universities. “In the IP litigation area, we have approximately doubled our business since Tim joined us,” Saudek said. “If you look at it on a monthly basis, our IP litigation would be between 1.5 to two times what it was.” Also joining the intellectual property group of Morris Manning as technical adviser is Peter Peng Zhou. Zhou, who holds a doctorate in optical physics, has expertise in patent prosecutions, academic research, industrial research and development, laser physics, photonics and quantum electronics, fiber optics, optical networking and quantum communications. Xia, whose expertise includes supercomputing, nanotechnology, materials science and other developing technologies, earned a law degree at Columbia University. He has prepared and prosecuted more than 400 patent applications, according to Morris Manning. Xia is expected to visit Taiwan and China frequently, said Saudek. MOVING TO TAIPEI In May, Thomas Kayden will have a lawyer in residence in Taiwan and will make what Daniel R. McClure, the partner who has driven the growth in the firm’s Taiwanese business, calls “that next leap.” Although most U.S. intellectual property firms have Taiwanese clients, few have attorneys there, he said. Thomas Kayden partner M. Paul Qualey Jr., along with his wife, Kathy, and their five young children, will move to Taipei, where he will work in a firm adjoining the office of client Top-Team International Patent Office, a group of mostly engineers that practices before the Taiwanese patent authority. Thomas Kayden is making the move in response to client requests for an attorney to meet the increasing demands for U.S. patent work. “There’s certainly an advantage to being able to interact with your clients on a daily basis. We’re about 12 hours out of sync with Taiwan, which makes it tough,” McClure said. CLIENTS IN TAIWAN While Thomas Kayden has filed more than 1,000 U.S. patent applications for its Taiwanese clients since 1997, McClure said he expects the firm to file approximately 500 this year, “if we continue at our present pace.” The firm’s patent work with Taiwanese clients protects a variety of developments in technologies that include semiconductors, liquid crystal displays and optical drives. Thomas Kayden clients include Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp.; Lite-On IT Corp, an optical drive industry; and Au Optronics, which produces LCD displays. In 1997, Thomas Kayden began offering Taiwanese engineers and patent professionals the chance to visit and receive training in the U.S. patent business. Clients in Taiwan now account for about 15 percent of the firm’s business. McClure likens the present technological boom in Taiwan to that in Japan 20 years ago, “when a number of firms moved and set up offices to service the Mitsubishis” and other promising Japanese companies. Meanwhile, the Qualeys are preparing to stay in Taiwan for at least one year, after which the firm plans to send other attorneys to run the Taipei office, according to Qualey. “We’re excited,” said Qualey, an engineering graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. Being on the scene will help, “particularly where there could be a communications gap. It’s nice to see someone’s face and let them scribble down a drawing when they’re trying to explain some technical material to you.” Anne Berryman is an Athens, Ga.-based freelance writer.

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