15 Thoughts on How to Succeed in China

On June 17, 2015, Mr. Lehman, , the Managing Director of Lehman, Lee and Xu, is invited to present a lecture on the topic of 15 Thoughts on How to Succeed in China in the Interactive Seminar Sessions with Polish Companies as part of the activities with high level Polish delegation.

In the session, with regards to the thoughts on how to succeed in China, Mr. Lehman introduces the current social situation of China and shares his thoughts on how to do a due diligence, the importance of intellectual property and some tips on how to do business in China based on his own experience in several aspects, including how to make decision, how to express oneself, how to manage the way of presenting all information, and how to start a business in China, and so on.

China has experienced the greatest economic transformation in the history of the world with huge market potential and drawn the attention of the whole world, and China-based legal professional will be absolutely necessary. Lehman, Lee and Xu has very professional legal team with extensive experience on assisting to start and operate a business in China and will be very glad to assist you in this area.

Published by admin on June 24th, 2015 tagged Uncategorized | Comment now »

Mr. Lehman speaks on Extradition of China’s Corrupt Officials

June 15, 2015, Beijing – Mr. Edward Lehman recently appeared as Legal Analyst on CCTV’s Dialogue to discuss China’s efforts to corrupt official’s which have fled overseas. (Link here) A prominent case is that of Yang Xiuzhu who has recently been apprehended in the USA. Yang Xiuzhu, a senior official who oversaw construction projects in the booming eastern province of Zhejiang, is wanted by China for corruption. She fled China in 2003.

Western countries such as Australia, Canada and the USA are popular destinations for such Chinese fugitives. This is partly or primarily due to the fact that these countries do not have mutual extradition treaties with China. An extradition treaty is a agreement between two countries to return accused criminals to a country to stand trial for alleged crimes. Extradition treaties have not been forthcoming between such Western countries as China due to concerns over the fairness of the Chinese criminal system, and the reluctance to extradite criminals to countries where they may face the death penalty.

As part of President Xi Jinping’s Anti-Corruption Campaign, China has increasingly focused on the “Fox Hunt” to bring in corrupt officials which have fled the country to face justice in China.

Published by admin on June 23rd, 2015 tagged Uncategorized | Comment now »

8 Things They Didn’t Teach You at the INTA Conference in San Diego this Year

Hope all is well, I am back in China following the INTA meeting in San Diego. On my long plane ride back I jotted down these random thoughts and recollections I would like to share with you based on my perspective of attending INTA over decades. There is always something to learn.

I was lucky enough to have been one of two of my four siblings to accompany my father, an intellectual property attorney, and my mother in attending the first INTA conference in 1974, then called the USTA, which took place in Florida. The event took place around the pool and as disinterested teen far more focused on jumping into the pool than walking around it, I couldn’t quite grasp what I was experiencing. My parents branded my as “incorrigable”, perhaps a premonition that I would one day work in the most chalenging place to work as an intellectual property attorney on the planet: China. I have since been to my fair share of conferences as a professional and have even had the opportunity to attend more with my father and mother. Although the pool is no longer the center of the event at INTA as it was 41 years ago, my father and mother have long since passed away, the conference has expanded and I joined almost 10,000 registered attendees in San Diego.. Over my years at the conference I have created and maintained long-term sustainable relationships and learning how to be a better intellectual property profesional which is the goal… isn’t it? Without further adieu-

  1. If you can make it they can fake it. Is that the definition of a paradox? The universe is expanding and so are counterfeit markets. Rumor has it that even INTA meeting ID cards have been counterfeited; how ironic is that? Real life is indeed stranger than fiction. Some people who’s profession is to protect intellectual property rights, infringe on the INTA’s intellectual property to enter a conference about intellectual property to maybe discuss how to stop intellectual property infringement. In China we call that “Rule by Law” not “Rule of Law”. Nice there are always some surprises at the event.
  2. Much like the American elections, this thing is starting earlier and earlier. There are so many pre-conference events that when I arrived for check in I felt like I had already missed half of it!
  3. Beware the dreaded Shadow INTA there are another 3,000 unregistered representatives lurking around the city. Just because the person staring at you from across the lobby doesn’t have a nametag doesn’t mean they don’t want your business… whatever that means.
  4. They say the best things in life are free, well I say the best things at these meetings are unplanned. The word of the game is serendipity- opportunities are everywhere, so just let them happen. While you’re waiting for someone to get out of the bathroom you might end up having your most genuine conversation with someone you wouldn’t have ordinarily sought out.
  5. A feeling unique to this crazy conference is feeling lucky when the bar is closed, yes I said CLOSED. With parties going until sometimes 2am and having to wake up everyday at 7am there is no room for the “how about another beer” situation, I lucked out this time when the bar had shut down, I can only wish the same for you.
  6. When it comes to programs on sessions on Asia, its like bringing water to the dessert- there is never enough. There will assuredly be more at future conferences but the push to the east is undeniable.
  7. F. Scott Fitzgerald knew what he was talking about when he said, “I like large parties. They’re so intimate. At small parties there isn’t any privacy.” Don’t be afraid to talk to people because the best thing about these big parties is you have the freedom to walk away if you feel uncomfortable.
  8. Just because you don’t have a ribbon that says mentor doesn’t mean you can’t be helpful, there was a man who I met who asked if I wouldn’t mind if he followed me around for the day. My family doesn’t even want to hear me talk so of course I said yes. As cheesy as it sounds these types of experiences remind me of  “the joy of why you got involved.”

If  I could conduct a conference and only have 8 lessons that I didn’t teach, I would consider it a huge success. I am continually impressed with the INTA’s remarkable planning as to the uploading of data to their portal, how did they know I would only be able to make it to only two sessions? I was glad to watch all of the material online once I got home.

I have lived away from my siblings and the USA for 28+ consecutive years, yet here it is 46 years later and back to Florida, the Sunshine State. When I include my Father and Grandfather, who was also an intellectual property lawyer, this will make it three generations of our family proudly participating in this organization for 94 years. And so it goes.

Most importantly, we would like to show our appreciation to the organization for the praise and accolades (whether or not we deserved it) LEHMAN, LEE & XU has received for our firm’s modest contribution as the first private mainland Chinese firms to develop China for the INTA organization itself with then Executive Director Alan Drewson and then President Kim Mueller of Shell (both long time family friends). I was in a unique position in mainland China as I was the first foreign lawyer to work at a Chinese law firm. Because of that, my longstanding role in the Chinese mainland media and our law firm’s unique standing in the development of intellectual property laws in China, we were tasked by Alan and Kim at the INTA to establish ties with the CTMO and Chinese regulatory authorities, recruit Chinese brand owners and foreign associates, and obtain an invitation by the Chinese government to have INTA officially open an office in Shanghai, China.

Each year INTA staff, Brand Owners, and leadership refer to me as the first foreign trademark lawyer in China, or the “father” of the China development within INTA. Or, a person who has helped shape Chinese trademark law and practice through my work with the Chinese Government, as a fellow at the China Academy of Social Sciences, and advise to the World Bank China office, providing guidance on interpretation, implementation of IP laws, and regulations. While I am grateful for these thoughtful words, frankly, it is mostly hyperbole, simplistic, and undeserved. The Chinese are the best lawyers, and the Chinese government and judiciary has helped shape intellectual property within China. The best days and opportunities for foreign and domestic lawyers in China are in front of us. We have a good firm, I like to think a great firm, but I am proud to report China has many dynamic outstanding intellectual property firms. My role in China has been largely due to hubris, stubbornness, coupled with being simply in the right place at the right time due to my exposure to Chinese language in high school starting in the same year I attended the INTA, 1974. I am like so many of my almost 10,000 colleagues at INTA, doing a job as a passionate trademark professional as best as can be expected. I have been flattered to have been drafted by the INTA leadership as China based member to serve in higher office within the INTA and take charge of various committees within the INTA. I have respectfully declined because I think it important that other China based attorneys, brand owners, and firms have the opportunities instead. The other firms in China are not my “competition” we are own competition. Our reward as a firm, my reward, is the China work keeping clients and associates happy, pushing the envelope among courts, administrators, and regulators, and a job well done. Last year for example our firm (Grace Wang and Yolanda Li) argued three of the top ten Seminole cases before the China Supreme Court.

It would seem that this conference has some full circle for me, I am excited to join everyone again next year in Orlando, but doubtful we would all “fit” in the same hotel that my teenage self and my father stayed in when we were there in 1974 (now maybe only the INTA staff could fit in that hotel). I am a little worried for the attire attendees might wear these days around the pool… because if there is one thing worse than seeing IP lawyers on the dance floor, it’s seeing them in casual dress (myself included).

See you all in Orlando. Please email me with any thoughts you might wish to share about the INTA San Diego or the upcoming INTA Orlando.

Yours truly,

Edward Lehman

Published by admin on June 1st, 2015 tagged Uncategorized | Comment now »

Mr. Edward Lehman Comments on the Death of John Nash

Beijing –May 25, 2015 – The CCTV (China Central Television) invited Mr. Edward Lehman, the managing director of Lehman, Lee and Xu, to take part the CCTV live show “Dialogue” discussing American mathematician and Nobel Prize winner, John Nash who died in a car accident with his wife on May 23, 2015. Mr. Lehman discussed the intellectual legacy of John Nash and his developments in game theory as well as his struggle with schizophrenia and how he overcame it.

Game theory is the study of conflict and cooperation between intelligent rational decision-makers in a mathematical context in an attempt to explain complex human behaviors.

A classic representation of the theory is the “prisoners dilemma” which is a scenario where two prisoners are held separately by authorities and given the opportunity to either stay quiet or to testify against the other prisoner. If both prisoners remain quiet, both will be held on a lesser charge for lack of evidence of a more significant crime, if one testifies against the other, and the other prisoner remains silent, the prisoner which testifies will be released and the other prisoner will be held on the stronger charge.

In practice, the prisoners, as rational self-interested actors, each end up testifying against the other, resulting in both being convicted for the greater charge. In this way, the prisoner’s dilemma demonstrates that rational self-interested actors can actually hinder mutual cooperation.

The panel discusses the nature of genius and abnormal behaviors that often comes along with it.  Princeton University is praised for being such an accepting social environment. Mr. Lehman commented on the love story between Alicia and John Nash, and the tolerance of mental illness in the home and how important that acceptance is in the face of the social stigma associated with mental illness and schizophrenia. The host of Dialogue, Yang Rui, and co-panelist Liu Ke also bring up the state of mental illness in China and the three agree that there needs to be a push for a more open discussion on mental illnesses to eliminate the stigmas that often surround it both in China and in America.

Published by admin on May 28th, 2015 tagged Uncategorized | Comment now »

Edward Lehman comments Rise of Birth Tourism on Dialogue

Beijing –May 24, 2015 – The CCTV (China Central Television) invited Mr. Edward Lehman, the Managing Director of Lehman, Lee and Xu, to take part the CCTV live show “Dialogue” to discuss the boom of birth tourism to the United States. “Birth Tourism refers to the practice of foreign women visiting the USA in the late stages of pregnancy in order to have their child in the USA. Under USA law, being born in the USA automatically confers USA citizenship on these children.

Topics covered on the show included: what’s behind the phenomenon of swift growth of the birth tourism industry, what are the legal issues affecting birth tourism, and why does US citizenship hold so much allure?

Mr. Lehman used his experience of over 28 years working as a legal professional in China and growing up in the US to answer several questions regarding birth tourism. He described the allure of an American passport and why so many Chinese want their children to have one. The new 10 year visas for Chinese citizens traveling to the US and how this affects the future of birth tourism. He also discussed the question of whether such birth tourism is a fair practice or if these people are merely exploiting the system. Mr. Lehman’s CCTV interview can be found on Youtube, Tudou and on our LehmanLaw site under “Press Room.”

To find out more about our firm, please visit our website at www.lehmanlaw.com .

Published by admin on May 26th, 2015 tagged Uncategorized | Comment now »

Birth Tourism: A New Style of Immigration to the US

By: Austin Brown and Joy Nemerson

Throughout American history there have been many who have wanted to limit immigration to the country.  The most recent rise of arguments against birth tourism is just the most recent example of these attitudes.  Many of the arguments used today to display displeasure with the birth tourism phenomenon are the same arguments used against immigrants in all periods of American history.  As America is a nation made up of immigrants it is simply shameful the way the country year after year discriminates against people of all types and turns them away from a land that is supposedly full of promise.

The 14th amendment is the reason birth tourism is a common occurrence in the US.  The first section of the amendment states

“All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”

Without this section there would be no birth tourism because it states that citizenship is granted to any person born on US soil regardless of the origin of their parents.  Some have advocated for laws to be made that close this perceived loophole. Any laws made against birth tourists would be no different than previous laws that have restricted immigration.  In particular, there is a history of laws in the US that were created that explicitly target Chinese people and immigration from China.

Some of the first and most extreme of these anti Chinese laws were the Anti-Coolie Act of 1862 and the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. The Anti-Coolie Act was an act to protect free white labor against competition with Chinese “coolie” labor and to discourage immigration of Chinese people to California. In the height of the gold rush the California legislature sought to pacify white laborers about salary competition by placing a tax that required anyone of Chinese origin who applied for a license to work in a mine or to do business of any kind to pay $2.50 a month. As the Chinese workers were only getting $3 to $4 a month, at least one full dollar less than American workers, this tax was a huge burden for them to endure.

Even with the implementation of the tax Chinese immigrants did not give up on their attempts of seeking the American dream. The Chinese Exclusion Act came following the long period of high Chinese immigration and job competition.   By 1870 over 8% of the population and 25% of the labor force in California were Chinese. This competition combined with an economic downturn led to fierce anti-Chinese feelings, which culminated in the passing of this act in 1882. The act became the first law to exclusively restrict immigration of a specific ethnic group or race to the US.  The goal of the act was mainly to limit the immigration of “unskilled laborers” but in reality was applied to all Chinese, as it was hard for them to prove that they weren’t unskilled.  Originally it was intended to only be in place for 10 years but after many renewals it was not completely removed until 1943, 61 years later.  Over that period immigration from China was almost nonexistent and the Chinese already in America faced fierce discrimination.

Today there is a rising amount of discussion over whether laws should be passed to restrict birth tourism. Much in the way that the Chinese Exclusion Act and the Anti-Coolie movement was intended to only apply to “unskilled laborers,” any law against birth tourism would be used in a manner that only applies to certain groups. As the birth tourism is mainly associated with Chinese and Latin American immigrants these current anti immigration sentiments seem to serve as ways for people to target these specific groups.  It would be much more likely that pregnant Chinese woman would be turned away as opposed to a pregnant English woman.

America is a nation that was founded and built by immigrants.  Instead of creating laws that oppose any form of immigration, we should be embracing and welcoming immigrants.  If a person follows all citizenship or naturalization laws, the way in which citizenship is obtained or the reason for obtaining it should not matter. These birth tourists are merely seeking a better life for themselves and their families.  Why should anyone try to restrict people from finding a better life?  Is that not what the American Dream is all about?

Sources:

http://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2013/11/25/247166284/a-history-of-indentured-labor-gives-coolie-its-sting

http://www.lehigh.edu/~ineng/VirtualAmericana/chineseimmigrationact.html

Published by admin on May 21st, 2015 tagged Uncategorized | Comment now »

China Debt Collection: Bankruptcy Consequences and Considerations

We have previously introduced bankruptcy as a potential tactic to enable collection on a court judgment. We have also discussed the additional procedures and authority of the bankruptcy proceeding which allow for much more thorough investigations by the bankruptcy court in determining what assets the debtor company may have, or has attempted to hide. In addition we have reviewed the authority of the bankruptcy proceeding Administrator to reverse some actions by the debtor company or its personnel which have reduced the assets of the debtor company.

Here we will discuss some of the consequences of a final declaration of bankruptcy on the debtor company and for the creditor.

After bankruptcy has been officially declared, the target company will have its Business License revoked. The Business License represents the formal approval of the government to operate as a business, when this has been revoked, the company may no longer operate legally.

Directors, Supervisors or Officers of a company which has been declared bankrupt will face a determination on whether or not they have violated their legal responsibilities of loyalty to the company and of due diligence in the performance of their duties. Those found to have violated these responsibilities may be held civilly liable to the company, or its creditors. Further, these individuals will be restricted from serving as the Director, Supervisor, or Officer of any other enterprise for three years from the date of the end of bankruptcy proceeding. In severe situations, the individual will be subject to criminal investigation and potentially prosecution.

While the creditor is not directly involved in the majority of the bankruptcy process, there are some important considerations. The creditor making application to the court to initiate bankruptcy will be required to provide documentation and evidence of the debt and the failure to pay. As discussed previously, this may be in the form of a court judgment and finding by a court enforcement procedure that no assets are available to collect against the judgment.

It may be difficult to know whether there are any other creditors waiting to collect from the debtor company. After the bankruptcy proceeding is publicized and any other creditors come forward, all creditors will be required to meet and decide on a way forward. It may be that the claims of other creditors overshadow the claim of the initial bankruptcy applicant.

Additionally, the creditor, or creditor’s meeting may appoint legal counsel to liaise with the Administrator during the investigation procedure. This may be helpful in arguing whether certain assets or property should be considered part of the company’s assets, or whether certain transactions should be considered suspect.

While the court’s Administrator has broad authority in recovering assets of the debtor company, some of the proceedings to recover such property may be time consuming and ultimately costly, adding to the expense of the bankruptcy proceeding. This is a consideration which should be in the minds of both the administrator and the Creditor.

Once a determination of bankruptcy has been made and assets have been recovered and are ready for distribution, who gets first priority? Unfortunately, the answer is the court.

Assets of the debtor company will be distributed in the following order of priority:

  1. Bankruptcy expenses will be disbursed to the court;
  2. “Common Benefits” will be disbursed. Common Benefits include: salaries, medical and disability subsidies, pensions and insurance for employees;
  3. Social Security payments, and Taxes owed will be disbursed to appropriate government bureaus;
  4. Remaining funds are disbursed to Creditors.

As Creditors will be paid last, there is a risk that the creditor may never see the funds which inspired the application for bankruptcy. Of all of the three priority payments before the Creditors, the bankruptcy expenses for the proceeding itself are likely to be the most costly.

Pursuing bankruptcy to collect on an unpaid court judgment will therefore not be appropriate in every situation. However, those with a substantial judgment or other unpaid debt may seriously consider pursuing bankruptcy proceedings against a debtor.

Published by admin on May 20th, 2015 tagged Uncategorized | Comment now »

China Debt Collection: Bankruptcy Investigation Procedures and Authority

As discussed in our previous Blawg post (here) it is an all too common occurrence in China for a party seeking to enforce a favorable judgment to find their counterparty’s bank accounts emptied. In this case, filing for the bankruptcy of the company having the judgment against it may be the only opportunity to collect on the judicial award.

Bankruptcy may be beneficial as the bankruptcy procedures are much more thorough and invasive than typical judicial enforcement proceedings. The court in a bankruptcy proceeding puts much more effort into finding and identifying the debtor company’s property and assets, and carefully reviews the debtor company’s financial statements and accounting records.

After the People’s Court accepts the application for bankruptcy, the court will appoint an Administrator to take over operations of the company under the bankruptcy proceeding. The Administrator will assume control over the debtor’s property and assets. After an initial investigation the Administrator will make a determination regarding whether the investor of the debtor company has completed its obligation to fully pay-in the company’s registered capital. If it is determined that the registered capital has not been fully paid, the Administrator will require the investor to fully pay the registered capital amount regardless of any previously existing payment schedule.

Additionally, the Administrator has the authority to file an application with the bankruptcy court requesting that registered investors, shareholders, directors, senior management may assume liabilities in connection with the debtor company, and the court may include these individuals’ or entities’ assets as a part of the debtor’s property in the bankruptcy proceeding.

The Administrator is authorized to investigate and to recover any of the debtor’s property that has been illegally decreased through actions of the debtor such as through the hiding or transfer of assets and property to avoid payments of debts or court awards. Red flags the Administrator may look for are falsified debts to third parties; the conveyance of property free of charge or at unreasonably low prices, advance pay offs on debts which are not yet due, or actions taken to waive or disclaim credits or accounts receivable.

All such suspicious activities taken in the period of one year before the application for bankruptcy may be reviewed and reversed by the court. If such activities are found to have caused damage to the interests of the creditors, the administrator may bring an action against the Legal Representative of the debtor company, and other persons directly responsible for the debtor, on the grounds that such persons committed intentional misconduct or gross negligence with regard to the debtor’s property. Where such actions result in a loss to the debtor’s property, the Administrator may demand such persons compensate the debtor company appropriately.

Where any Director, Supervisor or Senior Management of the debtor company takes advantage of their authority to gain increased compensation or a financial bonus, the Administrator is authorized to recover these funds and is authorized to hold such individuals responsible.

As can be seen, the investigative process at bankruptcy is significantly more in-depth than the court’s normal enforcement proceeding following an arbitration or judicial award. At an enforcement proceeding, the company must only evade the courts inquiry into one or more bank accounts. By contrast, the bankruptcy proceeding entails a detailed review of current assets and recent transactions. Most importantly, the bankruptcy proceeding entails the threat of personal liability for shareholders and company management personnel which are found to have dealt dishonestly or unfairly with the company, or attempted to hide assets.

Published by admin on May 18th, 2015 tagged Uncategorized | Comment now »

China Debt Collection: Bankruptcy as a Last Resort

One of the most frequent complaints heard from foreign firms involved in arbitration or litigation against a Chinese company is the difficulty to collect after a judgment in their favor.

A typical situation goes like this: There is a dispute, for example a WFOE sells products to a Chinese company, yet the Chinese company fails to pay the purchase price as agreed. The WFOE takes the non-paying company to court, or arbitration, and because they have a clear and effective Chinese contract drafted by a China lawyer, and have a well preserved chain of evidence, the WFOE wins at court over the protestations and indignation of the Chinese company.

Typically, the Chinese company will have 10-15 days to comply with the ruling by paying the WFOE the ordered amount of damages. But often, the Chinese company refuses to pay, forcing the WFOE to bring a new enforcement proceeding at court. The Court in the enforcement proceeding has the power to freeze, access and distribute funds found in the bank account of the Chinese company…  so long as the WFOE can provide evidence of the correct bank account number.

Sometimes this enforcement process is successful; often the court finds an empty bank account as the Chinese company has transferred and withdrawn as much funds as possible in anticipation of the Court’s enforcement action.

What is the WFOE to do? Is the court’s favorable judgment and award meaningless?

In this situation, the Chinese company has become a debtor to the WFOE, and as such the PRC Enterprise Bankruptcy Law offers a potential solution. According to the Enterprise Bankruptcy Law, a creditor has the right to apply for the bankruptcy of a debtor where that debtor is unable to pay debts owed. Relevant People’s Supreme Court of China interpretations have stated that the inability to pay debts at an enforcement proceeding before the court meets the criteria allowing the creditor to initiate bankruptcy.

The initiation of bankruptcy serves as a strong incentive for the debtor company and its principles to relent and pay the court judgment.

  1. In bankruptcy, as may be expected, the debtor company cannot continue normal operations. At the start of bankruptcy, the court will appoint an administrator to take over operations of the company. The administrator will assume control over the debtor’s property and assets and will be entitled to rescind or continue the performance of ongoing contracts per the administrator’s decisions on the benefit to the company.
  2. The court will further impose restrictions on the Legal Representative and management personnel of the debtor company. This may include a court order that these individuals may not leave their area of domicile without court approval. They will also likely be prohibited from undertaking any new management positions in any other companies (which they may seek to establish as part of efforts to avoid the bankruptcy proceeding). They will be obligated to maintain and report to the court regarding the status of the debtor company’s property, financial records, official documents, company seals and other official items and information of the properties. These persons would face fine or detention by the court if they refused to comply with these bankruptcy procedures.

Being forced to bring a bankruptcy proceeding against a company that owes you money is of course not ideal, but these restrictions put pressure on the debtor company which may allow for the ideal resolution of the Bankruptcy. When faced with the court assuming control of the company and reviewing its financial and accounting information; the attitude of those which have been resistant to payment after the initial judgment or the enforcement proceeding will likely change. If they do so, and the court is satisfied that there are no remaining unpaid creditors, the court has the authority to end the bankruptcy proceeding.

As is often the case in China, legal compliance is not found by simply presenting someone with the law. Compliance is often resisted until an actor feels the direct authority of the law and the impending threat of real consequences.

Published by admin on May 15th, 2015 tagged Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

11 Tips to INTA Success

Dear fellow Intellectual Property professional,

I attended my first INTA in 1974. Well, it was the USTA then, I was attending the conference with my parents, a self-entitled, narcissistic teenager. My father was an intellectual property lawyer at the time. The conference of about 225 IP professionals was held around a pool.

As the INTA approaches this year, I look back and I guess I can call myself an “old-timer.” Having attended the conference for years, I’ve learned a few things which I am happy to share. Consider these my personal tips for success at INTA and in your broader career.

1. Everyone can succeed: With over 9,000 attendees and a variety of events, there’s a risk to be overwhelmed. Take an organized and thoughtful approach to the conference; plan your time and what events you would like to participate in. The event is an excellent opportunity to meet like minded people with similar experience and interests, as well as to learn something new. By managing your time well and “Running your own race,” you can maximize the benefits the conference offers.

2. Follow the Ribbons: As you may know event organizers and committee members are marked with ribbons hanging on their nametag. Identify and engage with these people. They will be connected and knowledgeable. Consider joining a committee. There will be a time commitment, but there will also be additional opportunities and professional exposure.

3. Focus on Sustainable Relationships: With over 9,000 attendees one could spend all day meeting people, talking briefly, and then never think of them again. A better alternative is to identify and spend time with a few individuals with whom you are able to build a sustainable professional relationship with.

4. Professional Presentation: INTA is a gathering of professionals. Those who demonstrate respect for their colleagues and respect for themselves by maintaining professional presentation and demeanor will find others afford them greater respect in return.

5. Sweat the Small Stuff: Conference attendees are provided a lanyard and nametag, however, one size does not fit all. Make sure your name is clearly readable, not a distraction. Ideally your name should be under your left shoulder. Use a clip if necessary. Remember to bring enough name cards with you, and to make eye contact with those you are speaking with. Prepare a short “elevator talk” to introduce yourself in those quiet moments.

6. Be 15 minutes early, or you are 15 minutes late: When attending a Table Talk, or a speaker, arrive early. Often the presenter will be alone in the room preparing. Use this time to introduce yourself and express your interest in the subject. This will likely be your only opportunity for a one-on-one with that person. After the presentation, there will be a long line waiting to speak with them. That is, if the speaker doesn’t dash out of room as quickly as possible.

7. Rely on your own merits: It may be tempting to point out to potential clients or partners the faults of your competition. However, remember success cannot be achieved by relying on the failings of others. Instead, convey the strengths and successes of yourself and your firm and let those speak for you.

8. Get Oriented: if this is your first time to attend the INTA, be sure to stop by the First-Time Annual Meeting Registrant Orientation & Networking on Saturday. This is a great way to get your bearings at the start of the conference. It also provides a valuable opportunity for introductions to others who are sharing a first time experience.

9. Download the App!: Visit the INTA website http://www.inta.org/ to download the INTA app. Use the app to assist in planning your time, look up schedules and speakers. Consider having a messaging app (such as Whatsapp) on hand. Use this as a convenient tool to establish immediate contact with new professional connections.

10. Get your CLE Credits: Many lectures at the conference offer CLE credits. Check with your local Bar Association as to how to have these credits recognized. Review the available lectures and attend those that interest you. Getting your CLE credits couldn’t be easier! You’ll have an excellent networking opportunity in the process!

11. Relax over a glass of wine: There will be plenty of opportunities at the event to share a select beverage with a colleague or new friend. However, remember conference attendees are expecting professionalism. You won’t impress that potential new client by out drinking them! You won’t maximize your time at the event if you are hangover or groggy during the next day’s event. “Alcohol is a wonderful servant but a terrible master.”

I hope you’ve found one or two nuggets of wisdom here. As an “old-timer” I am always happy to help those who are seeking their own success. As a China legal professional for over 28 years and the first foreign lawyer to work in a Chinese law firm, I have seen first hand the growth and changes in China’s intellectual property law and policies.

Lehman, Lee & Xu maintains one of the strongest and most well respected practices in Intellectual Property law in China today. We are licensed to act as agents and lawyers for intellectual property matters, including prosecution, registration, and litigation in the People’s Courts, as well as judicial and administrative enforcement.

China has recently instituted a new intellectual property court and new intellectual property laws have been promulgated which are more positive for brand owners. To help educate foreign associates and brand owners we are hosting a series of intellectual property round tables during the INTA event. If you wish to learn more, or sign up for the round table please visit:

http://www.inta.org/2015AM/Program/Pages/Table-Topics.aspx

Additionally, our law firm provides services in three other separate jurisdictions where we maintain offices, Mongolia, Hong Kong and Macau. It would be a genuine delight to speak with you at the Lehman, Lee & Xu booth (No. 1928) if you have time to stop by. If you don’t have a chance to speak with me at the conference, contact me at mail@lehmanlaw.com, or connect on Linkedin. I am always interested in learning new things and in hearing new perspectives. I will be happy to share thoughts on INTA experiences or about the broader Intellectual Property profession internationally and within my country of expertise, China.

Edward Lehman

Published by admin on April 24th, 2015 tagged Uncategorized | Comment now »