In 1985, Henry C.W. Hong left his job as a Patent Engineer and registered the name of Top Team International Patent & Trademark Office, one of the largest and most reputable specialty IP firms in Taiwan today.
Having developed solid relationships throughout his school years and years working in both the private and public sectors, in 1986, Mr. Hong took on partners, whom later became key members of the firm leadership. For the next 9 years, together, the partners grew the firm and sowed the seeds for building one of Taiwan's largest specialty IP firms.
In 1995, two partners, Mr. Hong along with T.C. Shiau, were left to lead the firm over the next 16 years. It was during this time in which the firm invested in and fine tuned its internal and external systems, which solidified its reputation for providing exceptional quality IP services. The firm had grown into a premiere specialty IP firm, servicing the domestic and international IP needs of government and private institutes, universities, and corporate and individual entities.
In 2006, the number of patents secured for clients from the Taiwan IP Office and from Foreign IP Offices surpassed 2,900 or an average of about 12 per work day.
In January 2012, under an agreement with his long time partner Mr. Shiau, Mr. Hong once again became the sole owner of Top Team International Patent & Trademark Office.
The firm, lead by Mr. Hong and its Managing Executive Committee, continues to provide clients with unsurpassed quality IP services, both domestically and internationally.
From its establishment, the firm placed an emphasis on helping domestic clients not only learn about international IP systems, such as the U.S., European, and Japanese IP systems, but also stay abreast of all the new changes in the respective jurisdictions of interest.
A two-pronged approach was created, wherein senior personale at the firm were sent to foreign associate law firms to attend and gather information and knowledge at seminars and training programs, and through personale exchange programs, to later pass on the most current IP information and knowledge to the firm's clients. The experiences for the firm's personale were not only about IP, but also, cultural understanding and differences - a key factor, which helps the firm provide quality and efficient cross-boarder IP services to its clients. The second approach was to invite foreign patent attorneys specializing in various IP areas and fields to the firm in Taiwan, for training on pertinent issues related to their respective jurisdictions. The approaches not only solidified the firm's relationships with its clients and foreign associate law firms, but also bridged the knowledge gap between different worldwide IP systems.
The firm also placed an emphasis on helping international clients understand the differences between the Taiwan IP system and the IP system of their respective jurisdictions.
Through email alerts, video conferencing, personal visits, and presentations, the firm assists domestic and international clients in gaining an in-dept understanding of the relevant issues occurring within the Taiwan and worldwide IP systems.
Development of an Innovative Employee Retention Model
The firm believes that attracting legal, tech and administrative specialists is one thing, while retaining them, is another.
With 'Quality of IP Service' being a mantle of the firm's, the retention of professionals and proven specialists has been a key factor for the firm's success. As the firm grew, in 1998, it developed an innovative employee retention model for its tech specialists.
Instead of requiring fresh graduates to service clients after a short time of training, the firm invested in and groomed its new tech specialists, for the long-term. One-to-one training, was given to every new tech specialist at the firm, up until it was deemed appropriate for the specialist to begin taking on client assignments. Throughout, support was provided through software, hardware, well-established systems and procedures and senior personale, wherein a series of milestones were set up, so that only the most qualified and suitable remained.
Additionally, instead of having a large amount of subjectivity in the career path and compensation of each tech specialists, the firm established a detailed quantitative compensation system, which carefully balanced the needs of the professional and the firm. Herein, subjectivity was kept at a minimum, and the reward has been a consistently high quality of IP services for clients. Meanwhile, similar systems and procedures were also set up for the firm's administrative specialists.
Starting from 2011, the average number of years with the company for senior personnel is 12 years.
Today, the firm prosecutes over 6,000 IP applications per year or about 25 per work day. Cross-border work accounts for around 60% of the total, with average IP applications to the USPTO at around 1,500 per year.
Top Team is located in the Nankang Software Science Park, just a 20 minute drive away from the Taiwan IP Office in Taipei City. The firm's approximately 145 professionals, provide domestic and international clients, with quality IPservices worldwide. The firm provides IPprosecution, litigation support, arbitration, licensing and counseling services related to patents, trademarks, utility models, designs, and technology transfers.
With many years of experience, the firm is proud of the quality of its IP services and proud of the quality of its IP professionals.