Yuanhe & Twelve Tables has signed an agreement to gradually merge with Vcan Intellectual Property Law Firm, creating a new intellectual property powerhouse.
The managing partner of Yuanhe & Twelve Tables, Kirk Xing, said the business merger is expected to be completed within six months, while the whole combination process will be fully done within a year and a half.
Xing said the need for growth prompted the two firms to consider merging, after just a year of the initial combination between Yuanhe Partners and boutique firm Twelve Tables Law Firm in May last year.
“China’s IP protection is still strengthening, and the demand for IP legal services is not declining on the surface, but the period of brutal growth and rough development has passed,” Xing said. “The only way to set us apart is to run in niche areas.”
Encouraged by last year’s successful integration, Yuanhe & Twelve Tables hoped that the merger with Vcan would facilitate improvement across all dimensions of both firms.
The new law firm aims to enhance patent prosecution, analysis, invalidation, and operation services, and attract high-quality clients through their technical expertise and industrial advantages.
China National Intellectual Property Administration showed in March that the domestic patent-intensive industries reached RMB14.3 trillion in 2021, a 17.9% year-on-year increase, accounting for 12.44% of GDP, and this trend was expected to continue in the future.
Although the appointment of new managing partners after completion of the merger has not yet been announced, some of Vcan’s legal professionals have worked at Yuan & Twelve Tables as external advisers. They include founding and managing partner Li Bo, founding partners Liu Hanlun and Sun Xinguo, senior partner Chen Shanshan, senior consultant Yang Yi, trademark partner Kathy Liu, partners Wang Yinghui and Qi Ji, and patent consultant Liu Xiaozhe.
Due to differences in internal structures and regulatory requirements, the two law firms approached the merger process in two steps with a “co-operation before the merger”, which “allows the merger process to move forward smoothly without affecting the existing business and the services provided to existing clients”, said Xing.
With offices in Beijing and New York, and a staff of more than 50 lawyers, patent attorneys and trademark attorneys, Yuan & Twelve Tables can provide the IP services it is known for, as well as advice on dispute resolution and private equity investments.
Yuanhe United Intellectual Property Partners – under the Yuanhe & Twelve Tables umbrella and with offices in Beijing, New York, Dalian and Tianjin – was also involved in the merger.
Meanwhile, Vcan has offices in Beijing, Shenzhen and Tianjin, with more than 20 patent attorneys, trademark attorneys, valuation analysts and project managers.