Cross-border IP developments between HK and mainland China


Edward Chatterton and Wilson Lung

Cross-border IP developments between HK and mainland China

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The Chinese government’s last Five-Year Plan supported turning Hong Kong into a regional IP trading centre. Two years on, Edward Chatterton and Wilson Lung of DLA Piper discuss the deepening cooperation between Mainland China and Hong Kong.

Expedited examination of patent applications

In a recent change, permanent residents, companies and other legal entities and organisations in Hong Kong can now apply to the representative offices of the China National Intellectual Property Administration in Guangzhou or Shenzhen for expedited examination of qualified patent applications filed in China. To qualify for expedited examination, a patent application must be:

  • An invention patent application pending substantive examination; and
  • In certain key technical fields, including:
  • National key industries, such as energy conservation and environmental protection, new generation IT, biology, high-end equipment manufacturing, new energy, new materials, new energy vehicles and intelligent manufacturing; and
  • Fields involving the Internet, big data, cloud computing and related technologies.

In 2021, the average examination time for an invention patent application in China was 18.5 months. Although this timeframe is similar to other important jurisdictions, the expedited timeframe should help to reduce the examination time by around six months, facilitating the faster protection of inventions, enabling owners to commercialise them more efficiently and, it is hoped, incentivising innovation.

Hong Kong, China, Five-Year plan, Mainland Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters (Reciprocal Enforcement) Ordinance, People's Bank of China