Headquarters: Shenzhen, China

Industry sector: Internet

China’s online titan Tencent has demonstrated a distinctly creative flair in the exploitation of its intellectual property. QQ – the penguin mascot for popular instant messaging service Tencent QQ –has become a commercial phenomenon, and the company has set up a string of franchised stores around China selling QQ-themed merchandise such as clothing, watches and toy penguins. The brand’s popularity extends across the Asia-Pacific region – the Jakarta Commercial Court confirmed that QQ should be considered as a well-known mark in Indonesia in a recent trademark squatting case. Mobile messenger service WeChat, its latest blockbuster innovation, has been a big hit ever since its release and has helped to boost Tencent’s brand value to record levels – the latest Millward Brown Top 100 report ranked it the 14th most valuable brand in the world. A team of 50-plus dedicated IP professionals and a portfolio of over 8,000 patents form the backbone supporting these successes.