CE says in­no­va­tion key to max­i­miz­ing in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - ROUNDTABLE - By EDITH LU in Hong Kong [email protected]­nadai­lyhk.com

De­vel­op­ing Hong Kong’s in­no­va­tion and tech­nol­ogy sec­tor is a high pri­or­ity for Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Car­rie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, who says in­no­va­tion is vi­tal to un­lock­ing the enor­mous value and ben­e­fits of in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty.

Lam was speak­ing at the open of the Busi­ness of IP Asia Fo­rum — the two-day event in Hong Kong on Thurs­day — which drew 2,500 peo­ple.

She said com­bin­ing IP and in­no­va­tion re­quires much more than hav­ing some great ideas in to­day’s highly com­pet­i­tive global mar­ket­place.

“True in­no­va­tion oc­curs when in­ven­tors can har­ness the power of IP and com­mer­cial in­sights, and suc­cess­fully trans­form new in­ven­tions into prod­ucts and ser­vices which can ben­e­fit users in need,” she said.

IP cre­ation and trad­ing are grow­ing rapidly in the Guang­dong-Hong Kong-Ma­cao Greater Bay Area. A sur­vey re­veals the num­ber of patent ap­pli­ca­tions from the Bay Area reached 176,000 last year. This sur­passed the to­tal of the world’s three other bay ar­eas. Tech gi­ants such as Huawei, ZTE and Ten­cent con­trib­uted the most.

Ben­e­fit­ing from op­por­tu­ni­ties brought about by the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive as well as the Bay Area, Lam said Hong Kong could serve as an IP trad­ing hub for the Asia-Pa­cific re­gion.

She said the spe­cial ad­min­is­tra­tive re­gion gov­ern­ment would dou­ble fund­ing for three schemes un­der the In­no­va­tion and Tech­nol­ogy Fund. This is with the aim of un­leash­ing Hong Kong com­pa­nies’ sci­en­tific re­search ca­pa­bil­i­ties and re­al­iz­ing re­search and devel­op­ment find­ings.

The city’s IP regime will also be aug­mented. The gov­ern­ment will con­tinue to take ac­tion to pro­tect the le­git­i­mate rights and in­ter­ests of IP rights’ hold­ers. Ac­cord­ing to the lat­est Global Com­pet­i­tive­ness Re­port by the World Eco­nomic Fo­rum, Hong Kong ranked ninth out of 140 economies in IP pro­tec­tion.

Mean­while, tax laws were amended in June to en­cour­age IP trad­ing. It has ex­panded prof­its-tax de­duc­tions for cap­i­tal ex­pen­di­ture in­curred for the pur­chase of IP rights from five to eight types. An orig­i­nal grant patent sys­tem is be­ing es­tab­lished as well and can be launched next year.

Mar­garet Fong Shun-man, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Hong Kong Trade Devel­op­ment Coun­cil, stressed Hong Kong’s im­por­tant role in IP val­uechain ac­tiv­i­ties.

“As well as be­ing a prom­i­nent cen­ter for in­no­va­tion, com­merce, trade and fi­nance in Asia, Hong Kong is a focal point for the gen­er­a­tion and trad­ing of IP, in­clud­ing tech­nol­ogy trans­fer, li­cens­ing, fran­chis­ing and copy­right trad­ing,” she said.

On the Chi­nese main­land, pro­tec­tion and uti­liza­tion of IP is ex­pected to be fa­vor­able for in­no­va­tion, busi­ness growth and so­cial devel­op­ment, said He Zhimin, deputy com­mis­sioner of Na­tional In­tel­lec­tual Prop­erty Ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Statis­tics re­leased by the World In­tel­lec­tual Prop­erty Or­ga­ni­za­tion early this month showed that the main­land is the driv­ing force for growth in patent fil­ings, as well as trade­mark and in­dus­trial de­sign ap­pli­ca­tions in 2017.

The amount of patent fil­ings world­wide reached 3.17 mil­lion; of these the main­land ac­counted for 44 per­cent.

“The tighter and tighter IP pro­tec­tion pol­icy has pro­vided guar­an­tees for over­seas com­pa­nies build­ing in­no­va­tive busi­nesses in China.

“It boosts tech­nol­ogy com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween over­seas and do­mes­tic en­ter­prises as well,” said He. He be­lieves stricter pro­tec­tion could at­tract more over­seas com­pa­nies as the main­land is open­ing its doors “wider and wider” to the world.

IN­FOR­MA­TION SER­VICES DEPART­MENT

He Zhimin,

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