Hongkong’s IP plan in 2022-2023AAA IPRIGHT2
There has been an announcement for the new budget of Hong Kong for the Intellectual Property field in 2022-2023, among other fields. The total budget is about HK$170 billion in expenditure plans to improve the economy and retain public trust. However, what is the specific plan to improve and enhance IP in Hong Kong utilizing the budget, and will it achieve the set goals?
Hong Kong’s finance chief has recently announced that there is a spending budget worth more than HK$170 billion (US$21.78 billion). This budget’s primary goal is to fight against the Covid-19 pandemic which is currently raging in this jurisdiction (about HK$67.5 billion to fund anti-pandemic efforts), at the same time, support the citizens, businesses, and improve other aspects of society.
According to sources, in regard to the IP field, the government is planning to allocate a considerable portion of the huge budget to improve the current IP regimes which have shown a lack of outstanding performance in recent times.
With this budget, in 2022-2023, the citizens and businesses in Hong Kong are expected to see a huge improvement in the IP regimes, specifically in the protection of IP rights and IP assets.
Lewis Ho, a partner at Loeb & Loeb LLP in Hong Kong stated about the plan to improve IP 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.”
Hong Kong government has also seen and realized the potential of Intellectual Property in society, most importantly, the approach and understanding of the public to this aspect. That’s why we will see great support allocated from the budget to the IPD.
Regarding this matter, Ho said: “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 ever-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 of 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.”
Making Hong Kong IP great
Supporting the IPD activities will result in the support of the businesses and the economy in general. According to Ho, he has high expectations on this matter but for the real plan and measures to implement this plan, we will still have to wait for the Government to issue guidance and a concrete plan.
In addition, with a large proportion of the budget for IP, it’s not just the citizens and businesses currently conducting activities in this region that will get the benefits, but it’s also a plan for the long run.
With the IP system improved, investors from other jurisdictions will have much more confidence and guarantee that they will achieve great resources when entering Hong Kong’s market.
Kelley Loo, a partner at Deacons in Hong Kong shares the same view of this budget plan, stating that a few substantive IP initiatives that are currently underway and in the pipeline might go into full operation with this budget: “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). The budget will certainly help the Hong Kong government push forward with the IP initiatives planned for this year.”
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