Intellectual Property Partner Quoted on IP Risks for Chinese Enterprises Due to Globalization
Yufeng (Ethan) Ma, a partner and the chief representative in Orrick’s Shanghai office, has over 17 years of experience assisting clients in intellectual property (IP) related matters including IP litigation before the US International Trade Commission (ITC) and the US federal courts.
In addition to specializing in complex IP litigation relating to patent infringement, ITC 337 investigations, trade secrets misappropriation and unfair competition, Ethan has extensive experience advising clients on IP administrative disputes and reexamination, IP strategies, IP due diligence, and IP aspects of strategic transactions, including licensing or transfer, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and collaborations. His clients cover a wide range of industries, including medical devices, hardwares, softwares, internet, semiconductors, electronics, telecommunications, AI, automobile, chemical, materials, energy, etc. His recent clients include Baidu, Tencent, SMIC, JD.com, Bianlifeng, Shanghai Sansi Electronic Engineering, Yaham Optoelectronics, CreateLED Electronics, Shenzhen Howshow Technology, Huayi Mechanical and Electrical, Shenzhen INFiLED Electronics, Applied Materials, Synopsys, Carbon, Inc., etc.
Over the years, Ethan has represented dozens of Chinese companies in resolving their IP disputes in the U.S. Ethan and his litigation teams won a number of high-profile ITC investigations involving Chinese companies and earned clients’ long-term trust. In one investigation (337-TA-623), his clients are four subsidiaries of a large state-owned company in China, who were sued for patent infringement. The Commission reversed the late Chief Administrative Law Judge’s unfavorable decision and found that Ethan’s clients were not infringing and did not violate Section 337. In another investigation (337-TA-655), he represented the complainant and its subsidiaries in China suing a group of Chinese respondents for trade secret misappropriation. The ITC issued a 10-year exclusion order against these respondents. This landmark decision represents a new development of trade secret law and ITC jurisdiction in the U.S., and was upheld by the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Since then, Ethan has won case after case on behalf of his clients, keeping his undefeated record to this day. He is also committed to resolving disputes in the most cost-effective and timely way. “Ethan always tries to resolve matters for clients at the lowest cost possible,” said a client who won a case as he recommended Ethan to his peers.
For instance, in 2017, Ethan successfully defended Shenzhen Howshow Technology against Kent Displays, Inc. in an ITC 337 investigation (337-TA-1035) involving alleged infringement of patents relating to liquid crystal e-writers and components. Orrick secured a complete victory for the client by forcing the complainant to unconditionally withdraw after four months of active litigation. The case was named “Deal of the Year 2017 – Disputes and Investigations” by China Business Law Journal.
In another case, Ethan successfully defended Shanghai Sansi Electronic Engineering Co., CreateLED Electronics Co., Yaham Optoelectronics Co. and other Chinese respondents against Ultravision Technologies in an ITC Section 337 investigation (337-TA-1114) filed on 27 March 2018 involving alleged infringement of patents relating to certain modular LED display panels and components. The complainant was forced to withdraw the complaint unconditionally during the expert discovery period in November 2018, which led to a final termination by the ITC on 21 February 2019.
Prior to joining Orrick, Ethan served as Director of IP, Asia of a world leader in specialty glass and ceramics, where he was in charge of the company’s daily IP matters in China and throughout Asia. Before that, he was a partner and member of the Board at McAndrews, Held & Malloy in Chicago, Illinois. Ethan was the first non-US born lawyer of that firm.
In the past 17 years, Ethan has been committed to building bridges and facilitating understanding between China and the US on IP protection and exchange. In addition to being a frequent speaker at various seminars and conferences in China and the US, Ethan regularly publishes articles and has been interviewed by numerous media. He served as a committee member of the Asian Legal Committee of Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO) for many years.
Ethan is also actively involved in the “One Belt One Road” and “Going Out” initiatives led by the PRC government and non-profit organizations. He currently participates in Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce’s “Going Overseas Service Portal” project, and acts as a special advisor to Wisdom IP - Overseas Intellectual Property Alliance (WIPA), Nanjing, Jiangsu.