Hong Kong rubber stamps first standard patent by original grant

The country’s new grant system now allows a direct route for patent protection.

Hong Kong has approved its first standard patent under a new system aimed to encourage innovators in the country.

The Patents Registry of the Intellectual Property Department (IPD) has granted the first standard patent under the original grant patent (OGP) system this week, within 14 months after the date of filing of the application by the applicant.

Launched in December 2019, the OGP system creates a direct route for innovators to seek standard patent protection in Hong Kong with a maximum term of 20 years, providing an alternative to the existing "re-registration" route.

Under the old route, patents must be approved by three designated patent management authorities outside the country. Otherwise, inventions may only have short-term protection of at most eight years.

“The fact that a standard patent can be obtained directly in Hong Kong without going through first the registration process outside Hong Kong provides a convenient, direct and expeditious route for patent applicants and helps attract and facilitate more such applications. It also demonstrates the efficiency and efficacy of  Hong Kong's very own patent system," the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Edward Yau said.

Yau added that the launch and continued development of the OGP system is one of the strategic measures that the Hong Kong Government is pursuing to ensure that the local patent system advances with the times and meets the needs of Hong Kong's innovation and technology and the creative industries, and in turn, its long-term economic development.

The invention of the first standard patent by original grant relates to the use of artificial intelligence to manage inventory in an e-commerce system. As of 31 May the Patents Registry had received a total of 426 OGP applications, of which 33% (142 applications) were submitted by Hong Kong residents or enterprises and 67% (284 applications) were from non-local applicants.

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