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Working Group on Intellectual Property (IP) Trading releases report on driving the development of Hong Kong as an IP trading hub (with photos)

     The Working Group on IP Trading (Working Group) released today (March 23) a report with recommendations on measures to further develop Hong Kong as an IP trading hub in the region.

     The Chairman of the Working Group, the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Gregory So, unveiled the Working Group's report at a press conference held today. "On the basis of a strategic framework formulated in late 2013, the Working Group has drawn up 28 recommended measures to position and promote Hong Kong as the premier IP trading hub in Asia, which is set as our vision," Mr So said. The Government has accepted the Working Group's report for implementation.

     The 28 recommended measures (see Annex) fall under four strategic areas, namely enhancing the IP protection regime; supporting IP creation and exploitation; fostering IP intermediary services and manpower capacity; and pursuing promotion, education and external collaboration efforts.

     Various actions are underway. For example, the Government has been taking steps to enhance Hong Kong's IP protection regime, including the introduction of the Copyright (Amendment) Bill 2014 which is being scrutinised by the Legislative Council, and the preparation of legislative proposals to implement the "Original Grant" patent system in Hong Kong. On fostering IP intermediary services, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council is pioneering the region's largest online IP listings portal, Asia IP Exchange (, to facilitate international IP trading and enhance Hong Kong's capabilities and connections, allying with 28 strategic partners local and overseas and featuring over 25 000 entries of tradable IP rights (including copyright, patents, registered designs and trade marks).

     In addition to our ongoing efforts, as the Financial Secretary announced in the 2015-16 Budget, the Government will set aside $23 million in the coming three years to roll out a series of new support measures, for example:

(i) launching an IP Consultation Service Scheme to provide free initial IP advice to small and medium enterprises (SMEs);
(ii) organising and sponsoring IP manpower training;
(iii) facilitating the provision of highly specialised IP intermediary services (such as IP valuation and due diligence, and IP arbitration and mediation); and
(iv) launching of promotion and public education campaigns.

     The Intellectual Property Department (IPD) has joined hands with the IP Committee of the Law Society of Hong Kong in launching an IP Consultation Service Scheme to provide free initial advice to SMEs on a pilot basis, in a bid to assist them to systematically identify and understand the IP they possess, to communicate the IP value with business partners and financiers, and to adopt appropriate IP management and commercialisation strategies for driving business growth.

     To foster IP manpower capacity, the IPD will launch an IP Manager Scheme by providing training to managerial staff of SMEs and encouraging them to appoint in-house IP Managers, who will be responsible for overseeing the compliance, management, exploitation and commercialisation of IP assets. The IPD also plans to sponsor and promote training courses in IP-related subjects organised by professional bodies as appropriate.

     The Vice-Chairman of the Working Group, Mr Andrew Liao, said, "Seen from the perspective of a practitioner in professional services for a long time, the development of intermediary services that would lower business risks and facilitate commercial transactions is important. I am happy to see that some of the recommendations go to great lengths in addressing issues such as promoting the use of arbitration and mediation to resolve IP disputes given the unique strength and role of Hong Kong as both a premier IP trading hub and a leading centre for dispute resolution in the region."

     Mr So was also pleased to note that the Hong Kong Business Valuation Forum, an alliance formed by the Hong Kong Institute of Surveyors, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and the Hong Kong Society of Financial Analysts, released today a pioneering Statement of Standard on the reporting of IP valuation for its Registered Business Valuers to follow, in support of the Government's efforts to promote IP trading. IP professionals may make use of this useful tool to facilitate IP commercialisation and financing.

     With a view to promoting Hong Kong as an IP trading hub and facilitating various stakeholders in conducting IP trading in Hong Kong, a dedicated website called "Hong Kong - The IP Trading Hub" with the domain name of will be launched tomorrow.

     "Hong Kong has a distinguished history of being the 'super-connector' between Mainland China and the rest of the world. With our sound financial and legal systems, a low-tax regime and world-class service industries, Hong Kong is well poised to embrace the immense opportunities brought about by the IP age. The Government will work in full swing with the public sector and professional bodies, industry players and all other stakeholders in this 'game-changer' to stay ahead of the competitive curve," Mr So said.

     Mr So concluded by thanking Vice-Chairman Mr Liao and other Working Group members for their invaluable service and advice.

     The Government set up the Working Group in March 2013 to advise on the overall strategy to promote Hong Kong as a premier IP trading hub in the region, and identify possible policies and measures in support. The Working Group comprises Government representatives, industry stakeholders and experts from different fields.

     The full Report of the Working Group is available at the Government's website:

Ends/Monday, March 23, 2015
Issued at HKT 19:07


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