FHKI and HKPC Released “Hong Kong Patent Landscape Report”
Hong Kong Patent Applications Growing at 4.7% Annually Outperforming Global Average
Federation of Hong Kong Industries (FHKI) and Funding Schemes Division of Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC) released the Hong Kong Patent Landscape Report (the Report) today (31 August). Funded by the Trade and Industrial Organisation Support Fund of the Trade and Industry Department, the first city-level research of its kind took about two years to complete. The event was officiated by Guest of Honour Thomas Tsang, Deputy Director of Intellectual Property.
The report pointed out that in 2016-2020, the worldwide PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty)  patent invention collection grew steadily every year, with a total increase of about 18%. The top 3 global PCT invention sources were the United States, Mainland China and Japan. Hong Kong ranked 24th with 5,738 PCT inventions and ranked 12th with 764 PCT inventions per million population in this period.
During 2018-2020, the average annual growth rate of Hong Kong innovators' PCT inventions reached 4.7%, higher than the global average of 4.5%. In particular, the number of patent applications in Hong Kong has shown rapid growth in the fields of biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, recording 166.7% and 122.2% growth from 2016 to 2020 respectively. Besides, the number of patent applications in the digital communication sector also recorded a high growth rate of 133.3%. during this period.
With the 14th Five-Year Plan supporting Hong Kong to develop as an international I&T hub and regional intellectual property (IP) trading centre, the report outlined the trend of patent activities and technological innovation in Hong Kong and the world in the past ten years, with the objectives to help local enterprises identifying blue oceans for future technology development, thereby supporting their business and I&T development. The report also aimed to provide specific policy recommendations for promoting Hong Kong's patent system, IP trade, and the development of the I&T industry.
Guest of Honour Thomas Tsang, Deputy Director of Intellectual Property, stated that the Hong Kong Patent Landscape Report is the first city-level patent analysis research in Hong Kong. “The establishment of legal rights in intellectual property is the foundation of intellectual property trading,” he noted. “The Chief Executive's 2022 Policy Address has outlined a roadmap and multi-pronged measures, encompassing short, medium, and long-term plans, to further develop and promote Hong Kong's position as a regional intellectual property trading centre, with emphasis on, amongst others, strengthening of intellectual property (including patents) regime. The active organization and execution of this research project respectively by FHKI and the HKPC underscores FHKI's forward-looking vision and the HKPC's unique role and collaborative capabilities in the industry.”
FHKI Deputy Chairman Gary Lau pointed out the importance of patent applications in protecting enterprises’ IP, enhancing and safeguarding companies’ intangible value, and attracting investors. He suggested that the Government should promote awareness among SMEs, stating, “In response to the limited resources available to SMEs for patent applications, the Government has implemented a series of measures in recent years to assist businesses in seeking intellectual property protection. FHKI urges the Government to provide enterprises with a more convenient patent application procedure, and more promotion and training to SMEs, encouraging them to incorporate patent applications into their R&D planning to protect their IPs.”
 The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) is an international patent law treaty performed by the World Intellectual Property Organization. Until 2023, there are 157 Contracting States. A single filing of a PCT application is made with a Receiving Office (RO) in one language. By filing one international patent application under the PCT, applicants can simultaneously seek protection for an invention in a large number of countries.
Picture 1：Deputy Director of Intellectual Property Thomas Tsang (Centre), FHKI Deputy Chairman Gary Lau (left 2), FHKI Director-General Bonnie Chan (right 2), Chief Operating Officer of HKPC Vivian Lin (left 1) and Chairman of Hong Kong Shippers’ Council, HKPC Former Chairman Willy Lin (left 2) had a group photo on stage.
Picture 2：Deputy Director of Intellectual Property Thomas Tsang
Picture 3：FHKI Deputy Chairman Gary Lau
Picture 4：Dr Yahong Li, Associate Professor, Department of Law at the University of Hong Kong
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**The full research report can be downloaded here.
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