World Intellectual Property Organization

Hong Kong Productivity Council - IP Services for SMEsBest Practices: Hong Kong

The Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC) established the Intellectual Property Services Centre (IPSC) as a means to foster the development of high value-added industries and to streamline product innovation process in Hong Kong aiming to assist local companies and inventors to protect their intellectual works through patent, trademark and design registrations.

Patent Application Grant

In order to encourage enterprises and inventors to protect their technological research results and transform their innovation results into assets, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government has allocated funds to sponsor local companies and inventors applying for patents in Hong Kong and overseas. The scheme is administered by the Innovation and Technology Commission and commenced on 29 April 1998 (for other schemes administered by the Hong Kong Innovation Technology Commission, see the booklet "How can your company benefit from the Government's Funding Schemes?"). HKPC is one of the implementation organizations. All local companies, Hong Kong permanent residents or Hong Kong residents who have a residency of not less than 7 years, and who have never owned any patents before will be eligible to apply. For each approved application, a grant of not more than HK$100,000 or 90% of the total costs of the patent application, whichever is lower, will be provided.

As of 4 March 2002, 633 applications have been received, of which 235 have qualified for the grant. Amongst the applications, 227 applicants are companies and 406 are individuals.

The following figures show the distribution of industry groups for various applications to the Patent Application Grant. It is obvious that most inventions are related to Machinery & Equipment, Information Technology, Toys & Plastics and Electrical Household Appliances.

Industry Group

No. of case

Textile, Apparel & Footwear

16

Toy & Plastic

100

Machinery & Equipment

206

Telecom & Audio Video Equip.

31

Electrical Household Appliances

95

Watches & Jewellery

26

Information Technology

108

Printing & Packaging

10

Food, Biotechnology & Healthcare

10

Govt., Utilities & Environmental Protection

18

 

Patent Search Services

The IPSC has access to the world’s patent literature via computer terminals. The IPSC offers the following search options in order to fulfill the patent information needs of users.

  • Subject Search – covers the search for a particular product idea, technology area or manufacturing process
  • Company/ Assignee Search – identifies patents assigned to a particular company. The full company name is all that is required for retrieving worldwide-published patents owned by the company.
  • Patent Family Search – is useful in identifying the equivalent patents in other nations for those products or manufacturing processes which are of international marketing potential.
  • Legal Status Search – indicates various legal actions in regard to an invention, including patent expiration, reexamination, reassignment, patent validity challenges and so on.

Application for Intellectual Property Rights

IPSC serves both companies and individuals from Hong Kong and overseas, helping them to register their trademarks, patents and industrial designs in the HKSAR or other intellectual property institutions all over the world (including the People's Republic of China (PRC) Mainland and Taiwan).

Intellectual Property Seminars

Apart from the above mentioned support services, HKPC also focuses on promoting a better understanding of intellectual property rights by the business community and the general public. Therefore, HKPC organizes periodical seminars to promote awareness of intellectual property rights in Hong Kong.

Consultation Clinic

The IPSC and its overseas counterpart organizations act as a source of information to applicants in assisting to assess whether their products or technologies fit the criteria of qualifying for patent and to verify whether their patent applications are drafted in suitable style and detail.

Publications – “Patents Update”

The IPSC’s monthly journal “Patents Update” targets twelve industrial sectors i.e. clocks & watches, toys, telecommunication technology, consumer electronics, household appliances, critical parts and components, environment, buildings, new materials, non-conventional processes, new technologies and business models. It provides up-to-date information to local companies and innovators on the latest patents granted in their field of interest, latest product news, and innovative ideas. Patents Update is an English on-line journal which can be subscribed and reviewed on the website http://www.ipsc.org.hk. The monthly journal reports on the latest patented products from all over the world, and collects global information on patents. It allows innovators and entrepreneurs to keep abreast with the latest trends.

TechMart - Marketplace

TechMart was established by HKPC as a part of the Product Development and Innovation Institute to build a multi-tier business resource that links technology providers, industrialists, market buyers and investors across the world.

Focusing on invention, innovation and industrialisation, TechMart offers services ranging from intellectual property protection and commercialization to technical support in manufacturing and compliance testing to turn new ideas into successful products. The services offered by TechMart in the focus areas of intelligence, investment and innovative enterprise assist local technology companies as well as entrepreneurs by providing up-to-date market information, a buyers’ network, financing and business consultancy on technology management and business and market planning services.

TechMart has a network of partners with synergies to facilitate the development of business ventures. The network consists of four types of partners, namely, technology providers (or technology partners), industrialists (or industry partners), market buyers (or market partners) and investors (or financing partners). Techmart serves as a meeting and market place to facilitate the technology commercialization, business partnership and cooperative ventures for all industries and technologies concerned. Technology items, business propositions and products & services are available in the website (http://www.hktechmart.com) for promotion and display.

TechMart also has the following programs enabling IP owners, potential buyers and sellers to come together and identify business opportunities for their IP assets.

Technology Evaluation/Assessment

One of the main services provided consists in the financial valuation and consultancy services of intangible assets such as goodwill, trademarks, patents, copyright and non-patented technology of private and public companies. The primary goal is to provide independent and multi-disciplined professional valuation with impartiality to clients to help them make decisions on how to exploit their IP assets.

Technology and Business Intelligence Centre

The Technology and Business Intelligence Centre was developed jointly by IPSC of TechMart and Dialog to provide an online worldwide information search service. This service provides SMEs with useful information on business opportunities in exploiting their intellectual property. It also enables SMEs to use patent databases themselves. Titles searches are free of charge. All publications and documents are available through secure online purchase by credit card.

Business Opportunities On-line and Innovative Publication

The Technology & Business Intelligence Centre in TechMart’s website offers the latest technology and marketing information from around the world. This website serves as a one stop marketing platform for clients to supply and search for technology information, investment opportunities, business partners or innovative products. A VIP membership program is offered free of charge, by registering online. Members can visit the projects in the database as well as provide and display their projects in the website for the viewing by other Members.

Publication of “Innovative Legends” – “The Secret of Success” Series

The quarterly “Secret of Success” has been released in January 2002. This publication includes interviews with innovative pioneers and technology inventors regarding their successful experiences.

TechMart Innovative Inventions’ Podium

The “TechMart Innovative Inventions’ Podium” is a one-day program organized by TechMart that will be held on a quarterly basis. Projects with great investment potential from PRC Mainland looking for investment or business partners will be presented. It is estimated that close to 100 projects ranging from new materials, innovative products, IT technology and systems, nanotechnology application, pharmaceuticals will be available for local or overseas buyers.

For more information on the IP services for SMEs of the Hong Kong Productivity Council, please contact ipsc@hkpc.org or hktechmart@hkpc.org or visit the web sites at http://www.ipsc.org.hk or http://www.hktechmart.com

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