Hong Kong Budget and its IP Implications

22 March 2022

Hong Kong Budget and its IP Implications

With the budget of Hong Kong for 2022-2023, which includes about HK$170 billion in expenditure plans to improve the economy and retain public trust, what does this mean for Intellectual Property?
“The budget is intended to improve current IP regimes and thereby provide a more robust IP protection in Hong Kong,” says Lewis Ho, a partner at Loeb & Loeb LLP in Hong Kong. “Among all the proposed plans, the most direct and influential plans will be the implementation of the Madrid Protocol and amendment to the Copyright Ordinance. Together with the original grant patent system already in place, IP protection in Hong Kong will be more comprehensive and in line with international standards.”

He adds, “The budget also allocates resources to the IPD to enhance its free IP consultation service, and to collaborate with Mainland authorities in exploring facilitation measures for cross‑boundary IP protection. As IP becomes an every-increasing important asset to the business, and cross-border and online businesses are getting more popular, I think businesses will be benefited from the IPD’s initiatives no matter from IP, legal or commercials perspectives. Resources will be also allocated to the promotion of IP mediation and arbitration services, and Hong Kong's IP professional services through different channels. These may bring more opportunities to IP professionals like lawyers and IP agencies going forward.” 
“IPD’s activities such as IP consultation service and collaboration with Mainland authorities will also bring positive effects on the IP environment in Hong Kong, but whether there will be any deliverables or concrete measures coming out this year remains to be seen,” he says.

He says that on the whole, with a more comprehensive and robust IP regime, investors may be more willing to invest in companies or technologies originated from Hong Kong, or expand their business to Hong Kong.
Kelley Loo, a partner at Deacons in Hong Kong agrees, saying that this is to cater for a few substantive IP initiatives that are currently underway and in the pipeline.

“For example, enhancing the Intellectual Property Department’s capacity to conduct the substantive examination in processing “original grant patents”, to implement the Madrid Protocol concerning international registration marks in Hong Kong and to update Hong Kong’s copyright law (in which a public consultation had been launched late last year),” she says. “The budget will certainly help the Hong Kong government push forward with the IP initiatives planned for this year.”

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