Professor Randall Rader Preaches the Blessings of Patents for Innovation at Hong Kong University



Professor Randall Rader (George Washington University School of Law), former Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, who is now busy working as an arbitrator gave the keynote speech “US Patent System and the Lessons to Hong Kong”.

Professor Rader gave example of the blessings of the patent system by pointing to cancer research. Not only one cannot map the genome of healthy cells but also of cancerous cells. In the latter case there are many anomalies in the cell. Because there are so many, not one single inventor can come up with all medical solutions. Professor Rader argued that the patent system is crucial not only because it is a way for inventors to get a loan at a bank or be rewarded and continue their research, but because of the disclosures intrinsic to the patent system it is the way for other researchers to learn about the research and to collaborate and be linked to other scientists. Therefore the Hong Kong patent system can be a conduit for facilitating this international collaboration.

Most learning, Professor Rader, asserted goes incrementally, little by little. Unlike insights by people like Einstein, who happened to be a patent examiner at the Swiss patent office. Professor Rader pointed out the relation between Einstein’s work to examine the transmission of electric signals and electrical-mechanical synchronization of time, and his thought experiments that led him to his conclusion about the nature of light and the fundamental connection between space and time.

“Maybe the next Einstein was born in Manila or Hong Kong and can be identified by the patent system.”

Professor Rader argued that successful corporations can be identified by their IP. From idle ideas to profit via the patent.

According to Professor Rader Hong Kong is well positioned to a centre for adjudication, since the special administrative region has one foot in common law and one foot in the civil law.

Professor Rader argued that the grant of a patent to the inventor was a fundamental human right: dignity to the inventor for a valuable contribution to society, in many times a life’s endeavour.

For Professor Rader the question whether patents are stimulating or stifling innovation is unequivocally clear: each patent that is granted should by definition be an advance over the prior art. Professor Rader asserted that there is no such thing as the tragedy of the anti-commons in regard to inventions in biomedical research, and, referring to an article by Michael Heller and Rebecca Eisenberg “Can Patents Deter Innovation? The Anticommons in Biomedical Research” Science 280, 698 (1998),, said that it could not be proofed. However, I think it was Heller and Eisenberg’s goal to signal potential problems with the patent system. Therefore, one can argue that there is also no conclusive proof that the patent system is only beneficial for the creation of innovation.

See more of the Worldwide Patent Law Reform and Hong Kong’s Response HKU Workshop here:

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Albert S.K. Ho of Hong Kong Customs Gives Preview of the Future of Enforcement, Including 3D Printing

During the IP HK-EU Series 2013 Expert Conference, which was entitled “Hong Kong – European Union Cooperation in Protecting and Developing Intellectual Property and Brands: Current Situation and Future Trend”, September 2 at the Hong Kong Baptist University, Albert Ho, Assistant Commissioner, Intelligence and Investigation Branch, Hong Kong Customs and Excise, shared some great ideas that would help right holders worldwide enforce their rights in Hong Kong.


Innovative rights holders can stay one step ahead the producers of counterfeits, but they have to inform the customs of how to distinguish between genuine and counterfeit products. The practice was that a representative of the rights holders goes to the customs and checks whether the products are genuine or not, or gives the customs training to be able to do this by themselves. Hong Kong Customs and Excise has been thinking outside of the box about ways that rights holders outside Kong Kong can help determine Hong Kong Customs what is counterfeit.



Hong Kong Customs and Excise is developing electronic recordation of the goods;
A video-link could be established between Hong Kong Customs and the rights holder, so that the latter can virtually examine whether the goods are counterfeit;
The rights holder can send the design file of their product which includes some indicators that distinguish genuine from counterfeit to Hong Kong Customs, which they subsequently can print out via a 3D printer.


“New at IP Dragon: HK Customs will experiment with 3D printing to enforce” vBdTq

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