Patent and trademark lawyers Marks & Clerk has opened its first office in mainland China.
The Birmingham-based company will employ four people at the office in Shanghai and aims to improve its representation of clients intellectual property affairs in China through closer interaction with Chinese patent and trademark attorneys.
Under Chinese law all firms must appoint a registered Chinese attorney to register intellectual property and for litigation and enforcement proceedings.
Marks & Clerk, which employs 34 people at its Alpha Tower base, has experience in both traditional and cutting-edge technologies such as biotechnology, chemical, pharmaceutical, nanotechnology, medical devices, IT/software, electronics, mechanical and engineering.
John Moffat, partner in Marks & Clerk's Birmingham office, said: "The Shanghai office helps us add to our local knowledge and resources in China, to support clients in the region and to open up greater dialogue with local advisers."
"We also want to provide a useful on the ground contact point for Chinese clients protecting their own intellectual property in the rest of the world."
Marks & Clerk has had an office in Hong Kong for more than 20 years and also has a presence in Japan and Korea.