Com­ple­men­tary economies united through co­op­er­a­tive frame­work as au­thor­i­ties turn eyes to­ward new ways to seize op­por­tu­ni­ties

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - IP SPECIAL - By ZHANG ZHAO zhangzhao@chi­

T h e S t a t e In t e l l e c t u a l Pr o p e r ty O ff i c e a n d t h e Com­merce and Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Bu­reau of Hong Kong signed the Co­op­er­a­tion Ar­range­ment in the Area of In­tel­lec­tual Prop­erty last week, with the aim of strengthening IP ex­changes and co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the main­land and the Hong Kong Special Ad­min­is­tra­tive Re­gion.

Gre­gory So, sec­re­tary of the CEDB, said SIPO has been pro­vid­ing Hong Kong with “staunch sup­port and tech­ni­cal as­sis­tance in our work on in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty”.

“The co­op­er­a­tion ar­range­ment reaf­firms the crit­i­cal role IP has played in pro­mot­ing in­no­va­tion and eco­nomic growth nowa­days,” he said. “It also pro­vides an im­por­tant ba­sis for both sides to strengthen fu­ture ex­changes and co­op­er­a­tion. I look for­ward to joint ef­forts by Hong Kong and the main­land to ex­plore, de­velop and em­brace new op­por­tu­ni­ties in the area of in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty for mu­tual ben­e­fits.”

Ar­eas cov­ered by the ar­range­ment in­clude the ex­change of in­for­ma­tion on IP laws and pro­tec­tion, pub­lic­ity and train­ing pro­grams, pro­mo­tion of IP trad­ing , or­ga­niz­ing re­lated ex­hi­bi­tions and sem­i­nars and op­ti­miz­ing the patent sys­tem.

“In the era of the knowl­edge econ­omy, in­no­va­tion is the engine for eco­nomic growth,” So said. “The gov­ern­ment spares no ef­fort in pro­mot­ing sci­en­tific in­no­va­tion, creative in­dus­tries and en­trepreneur­ship. The IP rights sys­tem is an im­por­tant part of the cause as it re­wards cre­ativ­ity and en­cour­ages in­no­va­tion.”

The main­land and Hong Kong IP au­thor­i­ties have launched a se­ries of ex­changes and co­op­er­a­tive mea­sures on laws and reg­u­la­tion, train­ing and patent man­age­ment since the two par­ties signed their first co­op­er­a­tion agree­ment in Novem­ber 2011.

“We believe that public ed­u­ca­tion is cru­cial to IP pro­tec­tion,” said Ada Le­ung, head of Hong Kong’s In­tel­lec tual Proper ty Depar tment. “We will con­tinue to or­ga­nize var­i­ous train­ing and pro­mo­tion pro­grams to win sup­port from the public, es­pe­cially the younger gen­er­a­tions.”

The re­cently signed ar­range­ment is ex­pected to bet­ter sat­isfy the grow­ing needs of in­no­va­tors in both the Chi­nese main­land and Hong Kong, ac­cord­ing to SIPO.

Over the past 20 years since its re­turn to the mothe r l a n d , Ho n g Ko n g h a s grown into one of Asia’s lead­ing in­ter­na­tional IP trad­ing cen­ters, with a rapidly ris­ing vol­ume of IP ser­vices for im­port and ex­port. In 2013, such ser­vice trade vol­ume reached HK$20.2 bil­lion ($2.6 bil­lion), ac­cord­ing to the Hong Kong gov­ern­ment’s 2016 pol­icy ad­dresses.

In 1997, res­i­dents from Hong Kong filed 802 pat- ent ap­pli­ca­tions with SIPO. The num­ber in­creased to 3,242 in 2013. The num­ber of granted patents in­creased from 726 to 2,867 over the same pe­riod.

The Asia IP Ex­change, a free on­line IP trad­ing plat­form and data­base de­vel­oped and man­aged by the Hong Kong Trade De­vel­op­ment Coun­cil, has formed al­liances with more than 30 strate­gic part­ners from around the world, and fea­tures over 25,000 trad­able IP list­ings, cov­er­ing ar­eas in­clud­ing biotech­nol­ogy, tex­tiles, medicine, elec­tron­ics, pub­li­ca­tion and nan­otech­nol­ogy.

“There is huge need for IP in Asia and world­wide, and the con­tin­u­ous shift of the IP mar­ket to the Chi­nese main­land means great op­por­tu­ni­ties for Hong Kong,” said former chief ex­ec­u­tive Le­ung Chun-ying.

“Hong Kong should, on the one hand, strengthen its in­no­va­tion ca­pac­ity and de­velop the creative in­dus­tries to en­sure its fu­ture lead­ing po­si­tion in the global econ­omy. On the other hand, it should take ad­van­tage of the ‘one countr y, two sys­tems’ to be­come a bridge link­ing the IP mar­kets in the main­land, Asia and the world,” he said.

“In the era of the knowl­edge econ­omy, in­no­va­tion is the engine for eco­nomic growth.” Gre­gory So, sec­re­tary of the Hong Kong Com­merce and Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Bu­reau

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