Editorial of JIPLP on Hong Kong patent law

Short read: My editorial of the Journal of Intellectual Property Law and Practice (Oxford University Press) is online: ‘First thoughts on Hong Kong’s new patent system; second thoughts on its further medical use claims‘ (PDF). 
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Hong Kong will probably get independent patent, China’s SIPO will teach HK how to examine



After some welcome words of Professor Michael Hor (photo middle), the relatively new Dean of the Faculty of Law of HKU, Professor Paul Cheung (photo: right), Associate Vice President, Director of HKU Tech Transfer Office, talked briefly about the relationship of patents and innovation in China. He argued that the growth in the Chinese patents was indicative of the growth in innovation. (I would like to add to Professor Cheung’s words that the lion’s share of the patents or utility model patents and not invention patents, and that the quality of the patents might be very low since provincial and municipal governments provide subsidies for patents. A better yardstick might be the registration of patents by Chinese persons and companies abroad).

Then Ms Ada Leung (photo), the new Director of Hong Kong Intellectual Property Department (IPD) spoke about the 2011 public consultation on plans for the introduction of an Original Grant Patent (OGP) system in Hong Kong. At the moment the IPD can only re-register patents that were examined and granted by the Office for the Harmonisation of the Internal Market (OHIM), United Kingdom’s Intellectual Property Office (IPO) or China’s State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO). Via the public consultation the IPD is listening to the arguments of scholars, practitioners, interested parties and the public to find out the following: – whether Hong Kong IPD should be able to register OGPs, next to re-registering patents that have been granted by OHIM, IPO or SIPO; – and in case the answer is yes, whether Hong Kong should be able to do the examination themselves, which means acquire the knowledge and experience, or outsource it to a place that has the knowledge and experience. Ms Leung announced that in the first half of 2015 a new bill will be announced, which takes into account the comments of the public consultation. It seems that Hong Kong will choose for an OGP system next to the possibility of re-registration and is willing to build up the expertise in examination from scratch. Ms Leung told that the plan is that SIPO will help IPD with building up the expertise. This is a surprising choice given SIPO’s backlog and the alternatives of places that can help Hong Kong up to speed to set high standards of examination so that quality patents will be granted. See more of the Worldwide Patent Law Reform and Hong Kong’s Response Workshop here: http://www.ipdragon.org/2015/01/17/worldwide-patent-law-reform-and-hong-kongs-response-hku-workshop/.

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IP Dragon Roar Podcast 1 “Chips, Trends, Cigs”

Here is IP Dragon Roar’s first podcast about “Chips, Trends, Cigs”.



First Jamon Yerger and Matthew Kowalak discuss the following blog posts:

Manchurian Candidate of Chips: Backdoor or IP Challenge?

Trend Thirsty Thursday: Made Better in China

Plain Cigarette Packaging Debate Ignited Again in Hong Kong


Then Jamon interviews Danny Friedmann.



Listen to the podcast here



IP Dragon Roar Podcast 2 ‘Spirit, Software, World-of-Warcraft, Compulsory Licensing” you can find here.

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Impersonator Does Not Fake a Documentary on Trademark Counterfeits

Owen Schumacher is a gifted Dutch comedian and impersonator. He has made a documentary series about what people’s perceptions are of real and fake. The third episode of the documentary is on brands, genuine and fake. Mr Schumacher, like yours truly, studied intellectual property law at the Institute for Information Law (IViR) in Amsterdam, the […]

Ownership and the Right to Upload versus the Obligation to Remove

In Hong Kong uploading and downloading copyrighted material without permission by the right owner is illegal



Hong Kong’s Motion Picture Industry Association (MPIA) estimated to have lost 308 million U.S. dollar, because of copyright piracy on YouTube. Read Karen Chu’s Hollywood Reporter article here.  MPIA is referring that the Hamburger Landgericht’s decision in GEMA versus YouTube should be applied again to illegally uploaded Hong Kong movies. Read more about GEMA v. YouTube  in Brigit Clark’s IP Kat analysis here.  MPIA’s case shines a light on the ownership issue.

It all boils down to …
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Trademark Dilution/Delusion in HK: Greyhound Café is free-riding on Greyhound Lines’ Reputation

Greyhound Café, IFC, Central, Hong Kong Island, Photo Danny Friedmann


Can the Gaia Group who brought a restaurant chain first in Thailand (in 1997, as a line extension of its fashion label which it started in 1980 with men’s casual wear at Siam Center, followed by an expansion into women’s wear in 1990) the first Greyhound Café and now in Hong Kong with the name Greyhound Café, and use the mirror image of the iconic Greyhound Lines trademark, North America’s largest intercity bus company? Yes, they can. They did. But is it allowed? The restaurant chain’s concept is: “Life is a journey, full of pictures, places, stories, and good tasting recipes.” One asks oneself why the restaurants in IFC in Central and Ocean Terminal in Tsimshatsui cannot make their own journeys, make their own pictures, travel to their own places, come up with their own stories and recipes?

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Hong Kong’s parody on democracy? First pass bill, then consult public on Parody Exception

Some principled linearity please   Democracies’ very right to exist depends on the support the government is getting from its population. Hong Kong’s democracy might be in its infancy, but the government of the Special Administrative Region should know that passing the Copyright (Amendment) Bill 2011 without an explicit parody exception and only after that fact consult […]

Do Trademarks Killl? Or Are They Victim? A Hong Kong Story With A Happy Ending

Florence Ka-Yee Lam, lawyer at Wilkinson & Grist which was already founded in 1860, wrote an interesting legal brief for IAM magazine on a current decision by the trademark registry of Hong Kong that upheld the registration of Philip Morris’ trademark Marlboro Lights, see here. When one reads the original decision of the Trademark Registry […]

iPad, youPad, wePad? Who Is the Owner of the Trademark in China?

iPads for sale in the Apple Store at Central, Hong Kong Photo Danny Friedmann Apple introduced a third category, in between a laptop and smartphone, on January 27, 2010 (see the late Steve Jobs give the presentation here and demonstration here and here). April 3, 2010 it was intoduced in the U.S. and one month later in other places […]

Sanrio Brand Licensor Says The Darndest Things, Or Maybe Not

TGIF Peter Ollier wrote an article about how Disney and Sanrio are licensing some of their brands in China. Licensable “cuteness” popular among Hong Kong populationLanham Place, Mong KokPhoto: Danny Friedmann Roberto Lanzi, president of Sanrio Consumer Products for Europe, Middle East and Africa, was speaking at a panel called “Licensing and the flourishing region: […]

Rethinking Intellectual Property Protection in Hong Kong

After the welcome remarks by professor Douglas Arner (head Department of Law, HKU) and the opening speech by Peter Cheung, (director IPD, HKSAR Government) see here, the first panel presentation of the Round Table event organised by Law & Technology Centre of HKU and IP Law Center at Drake University started, moderated by assistant professor Haochen Sun, […]

“Rethinking IP” Round Table HKU – Drake University

Knowles Building, at HKUPhoto: Danny Friedmann Last Saturday morning, lawyers, academics and students from Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, Australia, Japan and the U.S., all passionate about intellectual property rights, gathered at the University of Hong Kong for a round table discussion on intellectual property and policy. It was organised by the Law & Technology Centre […]

Golden Combination: Chow Tai Fook and Disney

“You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes,” said Winnie the Pooh. Winnie the Pooh: “All this gold makes me crave for … honey.“Exhibition at Yitian Holiday Plaza,Windows of the World, ShenzhenPhoto Danny Friedmann Now Winnie is talking the talk […]

Hong Kong’s Original Grant Patent, Reciprocity And Hong Kong’s Future As Legal Hub

On the last day one can send his or her opinion on the patent registration system in Hong Kong to the government, you will find an overview of what we can expect and what we can hope for. The patent system of Hong Kong, largely influenced by the re-registration patent system it inherited as a dependent […]

Shenzhen Intellectual Property Index Starts Before Hong Kong’s

Race has only just begun, everything is still possible… Congratulations to Shenzhen with its own IP Index. There is a fierce competition going on between Asian cities to become the IP hub of Asia. And have your own IP index is conducive to attain this goal. For Hong Kong, with its peculiar patent system, read here, the competition […]

Independent Creation Valid Defense Against Copyright Infringement

Jonathan Mak, design student at Hong Kong Polytechnic University School of Design said that he did not rip-off the idea for the Apple tribute in which you can distinguish the silhouette of the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. Invisible Gold in Asia Facebook Page (set up by author of the book with the same name Professor David […]

Should Hong Kong (Also) Get Its Own “Normal” Patent System?

Hong Kong’s patent system spinning…Whirlpool in middle of flag, a suitable symbol  So far Hong Kong’s patent system has been mainly a re-registration system of Chinese patents, United Kingdom patents or European patents. Yesterday, October 4, 2011, the Hong Kong government issued a consultation paper, about whether this should change. Should Hong Kong be able to […]

Looking into the Back Mirror: “If I Were For Real”

If I were for real, is a 1981 Taiwanese movie (including Hong Kong teams) that was censored in Hong Kong when it was still a British crown colony, because it was deemed too critical about the privileged life of the happy few of party officials. Li Hsiao-chang (played by Alan Tam) tries to face the […]

Taiwan Shining Intellectual Property Blueprint For China Or Wishful Thinking?

What works for Taiwan, does (not)necessarily works for China,and vice versa. During the press conference for the “Piracy Out, Competitiveness Up” campaign in Taipei (Taiwan) the chief secretary of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Hung Shu-min said that Taiwan could be a model worth modelling for China in regard to bringing down business software piracy levels. […]

8th Asia-Pacific IP Forum in Hong Kong

Thursday 29 September, the eight Asia-Pacific IP Forum will be held at the Kowloon Shangri-La in Hong Kong. It is a fully packed day organised by Managing Intellectual Property magazine, free for in-house counsels. The following speakers will talk about the following subjects: Chew Kherk Ying, partner, Wong & Partners, Malaysia, Celeste Ang, partner, Baker & McKenzie,Wong […]

Open Letter to the UN Special Rapporteur: Nothing Wrong With Graduated Response

Dear Mr Frank La Rue, With interest I have read your report (May 16, 2011) for the Human Rights Council on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, and the concern you have for the graduated response. I was unpleasantly surprised by the uncritical reception of the document in the media. […]

Cyber attacks: “Biggest Transfer of IP in History” Points To China

After eating a rat, one should stay vigilant.Photo: Tan Fugui Computer security company McAfee discovered that during a 5 year time span 72 organisation were infiltrated via the internet. Jim Finkle reports for Reuters about what Dmitri Alperovitch, McAfee Lab’s vice president of Threat Research calls “the biggest transfer of wealth in terms of intellectual property in […]

When You Give This Horse Wings It’s Still Brand Dilution

It’s a car …, it’s a plane …Picture: Danny Friedmann … it’s a piano. Times Square, Causeway Bay, Hong KongPicture: Danny Friedmann The Pegasus Guoqin costs more than 2.86 million Renminbi (over US $410,000). Although it is painted in the “Ferrari rosso” (rosso corsa) colour, has a horse on top (although with wings, just like Pegasus), you […]

Trademark Logo Goes Up in Smoke To Save Australians? Let’s Check The HK-Australian Bilateral Investment Treaty

How to warn peopleagainst blindness who cannot do not want to see? Cigarette manufacturer Philip Morris was not amused when Australia announced last November 2010 that it would prohibit brand logos on cigarette packets, to prevent exposure to children that might be lured to the flames of eternal damnation. Smoking kills 15,000 deaths in Australia each year. According to the […]

Induced Patent Infringement Standard: How To Avoid Proving Intent And Fast Forward To Actual Knowledge

Q:”How do you want your induced patent infringement?“A:”Willful blind, not deepfried“ Spicy vegetarian deep-fried noodle nestSource: Veggy Monkey Eats The U.S. Supreme Court decided Global-Tech versus SEB May 31, 2011. It gives a standard for induced patent infringement: namely willful blindness, that goes beyond recklessness and negligence. The facts are interesting too for IP Dragon:“Pentalpha is […]

On Counterfeit liquor and wine

People’s Republic of China During the massive IP enforcement campaign “Bright Sword” police cracked down in Beijing, Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Guizhou in 40 cases involving the production and selling of fake alcohol. China Daily wrote: “March 23 to 25, police raided 272 production and sales outlets nationwide and found more than 300 devices used for […]

Why Could Polo Ralph Lauren/Burberry Clone Get Trademark In Hong Kong?

The outdoor advertisement of Polo Santa Roberta no longer has theBurberry tartan pattern background “Buy one get one free” Is this what luxury goods manufacturers such as Polo Ralph Lauren and Burberry want to be associated with?  Here you can see the ® of registered trademark on the promotional poster Still Polo Santa Roberta bags use […]

Mickey Mouse Went To the Ladies’ Market in Hong Kong Without Disney Knowing It

Unauthorised Use of Disney’s copyright  Smoothite versus Samsonite

Patents in Hong Kong

Hong Kong has for many years had only a deposit-type patent system. Applicants re-register patents covering China or the UK, (including European Patents designating UK) and they are granted without substantive examination. It is a simple and cheap 2 step process. But there is a growing call for change from Hong Kong business. In the […]

Message from IP Dragon: Happy 2011 from Shenzhen

IP Dragon wishes all his readers a happy, healthy and productive new year. Just moved from Hong Kong to Shenzhen. Only a few kilometers apart but a world of difference. From common law tradition to civil law tradition. From the Special Economic Region to a Special Economic Zone. Although I will still be going to […]

Did BAIC Know It Was Joyriding With Ford’s Trade Secrets?

8 articles to go: IP Dragon on its way to its 1000th article November 17, 2010 Xiang Dong Yu, an automobile engineer who worked for Ford Motor Corporation from 1997-2007, pleaded guilty to two counts of theft of trade secrets, as was announced by the Department of Justice of the Eastern District of Michigan. Between […]

Is Hong Kong’s Copyright Stopping the Publication of Li Peng’s Historic Significant Diary?

Benjamin Kam Lim reports for Reuters that the diary of Li Peng that describes Li’s version of what happened during the events that lead up to the June 3, 1989 massacre, that Hong Kong publisher New Centuty Press was going publish this June 22, will be halted, because the copyright holder allegedly is banning it. […]

Cheese With A Double Identity Crisis: Dutch, No Chinese, No Kiwi

Last Saturday this consumer strolled through the Park N Shop Super Store in Tsuen Wan, near the Tsuen Wan MTR line towards Central, Hong Kong, and was confused not once, but twice. Firstly, because when he saw Edam on the package, he associated the cheese with the city in the Netherlands with the same name. […]

How To Acquire IP in China? Alan Adcock Gives The Steps

Alan Adcock, deputy director of Thai law firm Tilleke & Gibbins, has worked before for Lovells and Rouse & Co. International in both Shanghai and Hong Kong, wrote the article: ‘5 Essential Steps to Acquiring IP in China’. 1. Identifying the technology;2. Confirming ownership;3. Assuring non-infringement;4. Obtaining further assurances;5. Government approval. Read Mr Adock’s article […]

Giorgio Armani Not Amused By Giormani of Hong Kong

IP Dragon was strolling in Sha Tin (沙田), minding his own business, until he came across a Giormani shop. Was Giorgio Armani saving costs by using less lettering on the billboards? Italian designer Giorgio Armani, who built the vast Emporio Armani (empire Armani) of clothing and luxury products, will probably not be amused that Kelvin […]

HK Government Wants Your Views on Copyright Tribunal Rules

click picture to enlarge Which direction should the Copyright Tribunal Rules go? Since 1999 Hong Kong uses a Copyright Tribunal, which is an independent and quasi-judicial body established under the Copyright Ordinance to hear and resolve disputes about: – Licensing schemes; – Licensing by licensing bodies; – Determining the award for employees for using his/her […]

Harvest of Counterfeit Louis Vuitton and Gucci in 15 Minutes at Mong Kok Station

I was standing less than 15 minutes at the MTR station of Mong Kok, the most bustling and dense populated part of Kowloon, the peninsula of Hong Kong. I saw 5 ladies with a bag that could be counterfeit. Some were a bit shocked that I did not want to make a picture of them, […]

60 percent of Hong Kong Young Download Films or Music Illegally

Adrian Wan, of the South China Morning of Friday, August 21st, reported that 60 percent of young people in Hong Kong download films or music illegally, according to Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups (HKFYG) survey. 17 perent of 559 respondents aged 10 to 24 were unsure whether they were breaking copyright law. More can […]

If You Have .hk HKIRC Will Give You .香港 For Free

James Nurton of Managing IP reports about an announcement from the Hong Kong Internet Registration Corportation (HKIRC). If ICANN will introduce new non-Roman country code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) names, including Chinese characters, HKIRC will give everyone with a .hk address an extra .香港 for free. Read Mr Nurton’s article here.

Article 6ter Paris Convention Online: Hong Kong (2), China (0), Netherlands (37)

March 31, 2009, WIPO’s first electronic publication of signs, emblems etc. protected under article 6ter Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, see here. On this day (July 13, 2009), if you type in China, you see only the emblem and flag of Hong Kong S.A.R. witn the stylised form of Bauhemia Blakeana. That […]

Two Encouraging Surveys: On Public Awareness and Business Attitudes of Intellectual Property Rights in Hong Kong

Selene Ng of Wilkinson and Grist wrote an article on the site of IAM Magazine about an encouraging outcome of a survey on public awareness of intellectual property protection by the Hong Kong population. The Survey on Public Awareness of Intellectual Property Right Protection 香港市民保護知識產權意識調查 2008 conducted by Mercador Solutions Associates Ltd., commissioned by the IP Department of Hong […]

BSA Software Piracy Study: Hong Kong 48 Percent, Ranks Average

Business Software Allicance (BSA) publishes its 2008 study of software piracy: May 2009, Sixth Annual BSA-IDG Software 08 Piracy Study. With 48 percent, Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region whose software piracy ranking is between a country with a low and a country with a high software piracy percentage, causing a loss of 225 million […]

How to Sanction Lack of IPR Enforcement in China: Priority Watch List (IILA) or Foreign Country/Section 306 Monitoring Status (IACC)

The International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition (IACC) is an organisation that represents companies concerned with trademark counterfeiting and copyright piracy. The IACC submitted the following recommendations to the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) in their annual Special 301 review of intellectual property protection issues in foreign countries. As in the past years, China and Russia […]

US Customs Seizure Statistics 2008: “China number one, India number two and Hong Kong number three counterfeit producer”

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and U.S. Customs Enforcement divisions of Homeland Security gives some statistics about the numbers, characteristics and origins of counterfeit goods seized in the U.S. in 2008.IPR seizures of goods from China rose 40 % by value in 2008. Footwear from China accounts for almost 96% of all […]

Hong Kong SAR and Peru Signed Cooperation Arrangement on Trade and Investment Facilitation

China’s Ministery of Commerce announced that the FTA with Peru will be effective next year, see here. Hong Kong S.A.R., which is a separate jurisdiction from the People’s Republic of China, is not included in this agreement.Song Shutao of Xinhua wrote in May 2008 that Hong Kong S.A.R. and Peru signed a Cooperation Arrangement on […]

Creative Commons Hong Kong Launch

Remember my post in 2005 about the Creative Commons license system that was adapted (‘ported’ in CC-speak) to the jurisdiction of the People’s Republic of China, read here. Ms Michelle Thorne wrote on the Creative Commons weblog that on October 25th, it was Hong Kong’s turn. Read Ms Thorne’s article here. How the jurisdictions of […]

How do the People’s Republic of China and Hong Kong relate to each other regarding IPRs

This article by Danny Friedmann (IP Dragon 知識產權龍) is also published on the website of the Netherlands Hong Kong Society and Duncan Bucknell Company, the consulting firm that specialises in global intellectual property strategy, see here and here. Since 1997, Hong Kong is part of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). But the former British […]

16 Copyright Piracy Suspects Identified During Operation Torpedo in Hong Kong

According to a press release by Karri Ho from the International Federation Against Copyright Theft – Greater China (IFACT-GC), from September 29 to October 1, IFACT-GC representing the Motion Picture Association (MPA) and the CJ Mark Committee (CJ Mark) in Hong Kong, which represents Japanese rights owners, joined forces with over 120 officers from the […]

WIPO Internet Treaties In Effect in Hong Kong After PRC

The WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT) and WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT), which are considered necessary to adapt the copyright law and related rights law to the challenges of digital technologies, came into effect in Hong Kong SAR (which is a separate jurisdiction from the People’s Republic of China) on October 1st, 2008. Read more […]

Shanghai Signboards: We Sell Only Real Products, Really…

Next month you can find in Shanghai 100 shops that have a 真 (zhen1) sign in their window, which means that they only sell genuine products. The Shanghai Intellectual Property Administration will control and coordinate the distribution of the signboards. The authenticity of all goods will be checked. Shops must make sure suppliers provide intellectual […]

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