Monthly Archives: December 2014

Dr Timothy Letters Quoted in Managing Intellectual Property

Dr Timothy Letters, a principal of Letters & Thoo, is quoted throughout the article titled, “How Will The Unitary Patent Affect Hong Kong Applications,” that appeared in Managing Intellectual Property on 29 January 2014.  In the article, Timothy provides insight regarding whether the Hong Kong Patents Ordinance may currently allow recordal of Unitary Patent rights in Hong Kong. Timothy also comments regarding how method of treatment type claims (now allowable in European patents) may ultimately be interpreted under Hong Kong law.

“There is much judicial guidance from the UK courts relating to the interpretation of Swiss-type claims, the UK being a jurisdiction upon which Hong Kong patent law is based” he explains in the article. “However, until there are more decisions from an influential court such as in the UK as to the interpretation of the new method of treatment type claims format now allowable in Europe, there remains a degree of uncertainty as to the validity and scope of such claims in Hong Kong.”

Letters & Thoo Attorneys Quoted in Managing Intellectual Property Regarding SNE Engineering v Hsin Chong Construction

In the recent case of SNE Engineering v Hsin Chong Construction, the High Court of Hong Kong found that the invention as claimed in a Hong Kong Short Term Patent was invalid for lack of sufficiency. This is perhaps unsurprising given the weight of compelling evidence heard before the court, even by the patent holder’s own technical expert, that the specification lacked sufficient clarity and completeness for a person skilled in the art to properly understand the technical operation of the claimed invention without undue burden.

Laurence Thoo and Timothy Letters, principals of Letters & Thoo, are quoted throughout the article titled, “Hong Kong Court Sustains Sufficiency Attack on Patent” that appeared in Managing Intellectual Property on 23 April 2014, in relation to this case.

Letters & Thoo Proudly Supporting TEDx Hong Kong

TEDx Hong Kong is pleased to announce its second TEDxED type annual conference entitled “InspirED” which will be all about Inspired Learning.

This year’s annual conference will take place on Saturday, May 31, 2014 at the Landmark Sunbeam Theater in North Point, Hong Kong Island.

Over 1,200 TEDx fans are expected to fill this iconic venue centrally located near the heart of Hong Kong.


Date: 31 May 2014, Saturday

Time: 10 am – 3 pm

(Registration starts at 9 am. The program starts at 10 am. Attendees are encouraged to arrive early to allow ample time to find their assigned seat.)

Ticket Prices: HK$450, HK$350, HK$250

Ticket Purchase:






Dr Timothy Letters Recognised in IAM Patent 1000 Survey “World’s Leading Patent Practitioners” for 2014

We are proud to announce that Dr Timothy Letters of Letters & Thoo has been individually recommended in the 2014 edition of IAM Patent 1000: The World’s Leading Patent Practitioners in which he is recognised as a real patent expert”  who is particularly well versed in mechanical and physical sciences and pharmaceutical matters“.

The  IAM Patent 1000 also recognises the establishment of Letters & Thoo in Hong Kong, stating that the firm has been set up by “experienced patent attorneys” in Hong Kong based upon the strength of their drafting abilities” who have positioned themselves for the new substantive patent examination regime to be introduced by the Hong Kong government.

IAM Patent 1000, published by Intellectual Asset Management, is considered to be one of the world’s most independent, extensively-researched and well-respected guides to the top patent practitioners in key jurisdictions around the globe. The ratings and information published in IAM Patent 1000 involved over 1,500 interviews over 5 months with numerous attorneys at law, patent attorneys and in-house counsel to gather market intelligence on the leading players in the field.

Legal and attorney firms and individual practitioners qualify for inclusion in the IAM Patent 1000 upon receiving sufficient positive feedback from market sources, and only those individuals identified by market sources for their exceptional skill sets and profound insights into patent matters feature in the IAM Patent 1000.

The full “IAM Patent 1000: The World’s Leading Patent Practitioners” recommendation can be seen here.

Letters & Thoo is now listed in

Letters & Thoo to Present Talk on IP Rights “Hijacking” in China at the Hong Kong Commons

Letters & Thoo partners Laurence Thoo and Timothy Letters will be presenting a talk to entrepreneurs and SMEs at the Hong Kong Commons concerning practical issues in the pursuit and enforcement of IP rights in China.

An issue of particular concern to many IP rights holders today involves the proliferation of bad faith trademark registrations in China resulting in considerable disruption to commercial operations and freedom to operate in China.  However with recent amendments to the Chinese trademark law, the Chinese government has signaled its willingness to improve judicial/administrative mechanisms for cancellation of bad faith registrations so as to encourage foreign investment in China.

Laurence Thoo and Timothy Letters will discuss how these recent changes to the Chinese trademark law may better protect the IP position of foreign companies with existing or anticipated commercial operations in the Chinese  market, as well what important steps may be taken to ameliorate risk of having IP rights “hijacked” in China in future.

Establishment of Specialist IP Court Framework in China

The Chinese government has approved the establishment of a new framework of specialist IP specialist courts aimed at dealing with the growing number of IP-related disputes arising in China.

The proposal allows for pilot courts to be initially established in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangdong towards the end of 2014 at the earliest with further IP specialists courts anticipated to open in other key economic regions in China in due course.

With the introduction of this new framework of specialist IP courts in China having standing to hear both civil legal and administrative IP-related disputes, it is envisaged that perceived problems relating to the lack of consistency and certainty in judicial interpretation and enforcement of IP rights in China may be addressed and this may ultimately bolster confidence of interested parties in pursuit of IP rights in China.