Hong Kong Intellectual Property Rights: A Small, but Worthwhile Investment in Asia's World City

Borsam IP
Borsam IP———————————————

Is a Chinese trademark or patent also valid in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan? A frequently asked question of our overseas clients. The answer is that the protection of a trademark/patent application filed before CNIPA is only effective in the mainland of China while separate applications have to be made in the said regions.
Let’s start with our first journey of Hong Kong intellectual property system.
1. What types of intellectual property rights can be registered in Hong Kong?
There are four types of intellectual property rights can be applied or registered through the Hong Kong Intellectual Property Department (IPD), namely standard patent, short-term patent, industrial design and trademark.
The standard patent is valid for 20 years, and the maintenance fee is required each year since the third year after grant. The short-term patent is valid for 8 years and only required to renew in the fourth year after grant. The industrial design has the longest validation period for 25 years but has to be renewed in every five years to maintain.
2. Why apply for IP protection in Hong Kong? 
1) Firstly, it is a good way to enhance its defense capability by applying for intellectual property protection in any countries or regions.
2) Secondly, Hong Kong has a significant position in international trade because it is the world’s third-largest financial centre and one of the major ports in Asia. To obtain IPR protection in Hong Kong is not only for the local market but also for the risk elimination in international trade.
3) Thirdly, China is one of the contracting states of the New York Convention, and the territorial scope has been extended to Hong Kong. Thus, the arbitration award made in Hong Kong is also executable in other contracting countries. In consequence, applying for intellectual property protection in Hong Kong has a high return with low cost.
4) Fourthly, the examination result of designated authorities is one of the basis of standard patent and short-term patent applications so that the applications with high-efficiency to grant. And the costs for applying for said applications are relatively cheap.
5)Fifthly, as an international trading hub and a traditional gateway to the Chinese market, Hong Kong hosts many international exhibitions/trade fairs every year. Having Hong Kong intellectual property rights enables you to fight against malicious complaints as well as beat the infringers/counterfeiters through intellectual property rights complaints during the trade shows.
3. How to obtain intellectual property protection in Hong Kong? 
Applicants may file applications before IPD and obtain intellectual property rights after approval by the IPD. Borsam Intellectual Property is a recorded agency in IPD providing services for filing patent, trademark and industrial design application before IPD.
One way to obtain a standard patent in Hong Kong is based on a  European patent application designating the United Kingdom (UK), or a patent application in the PRC or the UK which is known as a designated patent application; the other option is to submit a direct original grant patent(OGP) application to the IPD.
Hong Kong short-term patent can be obtained on the strength of a search report issued by an international searching authority or one of three designated patent offices.
Both design and trademark applications can be filed directly to the IPD, and they will be granted after 4 to 6 months examination. 
We will introduce more of Hong Kong IPR in a subsequent column to you where we will elaborate on how to apply for Hong Kong patent, trademark and design.