The Patents (Amendment) Ordinance 2016 is scheduled to be in force on 19 December 2019. This article is concerned with the new patent system to be launched under the Ordinance in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong has a unique patent system due to its historic background. The Patents Ordinance (Cap. 514) along with other related rules (Caps. 514A – 514C) forming the main part of the city's patent laws, are basically derived from the UK common law system. After the transfer of sovereignty to China, Hong Kong has adopted some adjustments into its law system accordingly. In view of the economic and technological development plan of the city, amendment to the patent laws and the reform of the patent system is still in progress in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong is an arbitration-friendly city, while the government of the city keeps boosting its intellectual property system, paving the way to become an IP trading hub in Asia. In that context, the Arbitration (Amendment) Ordinance has come into effect on 1 January 2018, after it was passed by the Legislative Council on 14 June 2017. The Amendment clarifies that all disputes relating to Intellectual property rights (IPRs) can be arbitrated, whether or not the IPRs are registered, or subsist in Hong Kong.
A provisional patent application is a special type of application for patent available in the US, Australia, India and some European countries such as the UK. A provisional application can be a useful tool for applicants to manipulate certain patenting strategies for their inventions, provided that it has been used in an appropriate way. US provisional patent applications, which have been widely used since its introduction in 1995, will be taken to discuss some basic concepts of a provisional patent application.
There are three types of patent rights in China, namely invention patent, utility model and design patent. Choosing the right type of patent is crucial in order to obtain a valid protection for inventions or designs. This article will give you a brief introduction on the three types of patents with our general advice on how to select a suitable type of patent rights in China.