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Hong Kong Launches New Patent System

Hong Kong New Patent System

The Intellectual Property Department’s Patents Registry began accepting and examining filings under the new patent system launched on 19 December 2019.

The Hong Kong new patent system essentially comprises an original grant patent (OGP) system which creates a direct route for seeking standard patent protection in Hong Kong with a maximum term of 20 years, as an alternative to the existing “re-registration” route.

The Director of Intellectual Property stated that the OGP system demonstrates the Government’s commitment to bringing the local patent system on par with the mainstream patent practices of the international community.

Moreover, it will also facilitate the development of the innovation and technology sector in Hong Kong.

The new patent system safeguards the integrity of the existing short-term patent system while maintaining its overall cost-effectiveness.

The use of certain misleading or confusing titles and descriptions relating to the qualification of patent practitioners is prohibited under the new patent system.

In tandem with the launch of the new patent system, a new electronic processing system started operation today to underpin electronic patent searches and filings.

According to another government press release, the patent system aims to provide patent applicants with an alternative route of seeking standard patent protection in the city.

The Patents (Amendment) Ordinance 2016 and the Patents (General) (Amendment) Rules 2019 were gazetted in October 2019.

The new patent system will refine the existing short-term patent system and prohibit the use of certain misleading or confusing titles and descriptions relating to patent practise in Hong Kong.

Noting that the launch of the new system is a milestone in the development of Hong Kong’s patent regime, the Commerce & Economic Development Bureau said the system will greatly facilitate the development of the city as an innovation and intellectual property trading hub.

The Government is committed to reforming the local patent system in order to ensure that it would continue to meet present-day circumstances and also facilitate the development of Hong Kong’s innovation and technology sector.

In this connection, the Patents (Amendment) Ordinance 2016 and the Patents (General) (Amendment) Rules 2019 were enacted with the commencement date of 19 December 2019 to provide for the necessary legal and procedural framework for a new patent system.

The new patent system mainly introduces an original grant patent system for standard patents, refines the existing short-term patent system and introduces an interim regulatory measure of prohibiting the use of certain confusing or misleading titles and descriptions relating to patent practise in Hong Kong.

Another source shows that the patent system is a legal safeguard for protecting innovation and promoting technological research.

Under the pre-existing system for obtaining standard patent protection in Hong Kong, one must first file an application with one of the designated patent offices outside Hong Kong and then apply for re-registration in Hong Kong.

Under the new original grant patent system, a standard patent application can, however, be directly filed in Hong Kong.

The Professor and Inventor of Non-invasive Prenatal Test (NIPT), stated that he has been engaging in biotech research for over 20 years. It is always been his firm belief that valuable technological inventions call for better legal protection.

He noted that the new patent system gives researches and others an option of filing standard patent applications directly in Hong Kong, and brings them more convenience.

It offers the research and development sector an ideal environment of patent protection and facilitates the development of innovation and technology in Hong Kong.


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