Patent law is a complex and specialized area of law. This area of law is constantly developing to keep pace with technological developments and advances. A scientific / technical background is a major advantage in understanding new technology and enables more effective protection of patent rights.
We have experience in handling substantive litigation in a variety of technological fields from interlocutory stage, through trial all the way to appeal.
We have co-ordinated and assisted clients with litigation for the same subject matter commenced in various different jurisdictions at the same time.
We have acted to enforce patent rights and to defend actions brought for patent infringement.
Patents granted under the Ordinance are known as Standard Patents. Grant of a Standard Patent is based on registration in Hong Kong of patents which have been granted by certain designated patent offices. The designated offices at this time are the UK Patent Office, the European Patent Office, for patents designating the UK and the Chinese Patent Office.
Once the patent has been granted in Hong Kong it is independent of the original patent granted by the designated office. The patent is valid for 20 years and it can be rectified, amended, revoked, enforced and its validity can be tested in the Courts in Hong Kong in accordance with Hong Kong law.
The grant of patent is a two stage process. The first stage requires the applicant to record in the register the patent application published by the designated office and the second stage requires the applicant to register the patent granted by the designated office. The Hong Kong Patent Office only examines the application to ensure compliance with formalities, but does not carry out any substantive examination.
Hong Kong now also grants short term patents for products or processes which are designed to protect inventions which have a short commercial life. These short term patents enjoy protection for a maximum period of 8 years and are available to any person.
Short term patents are granted with an examination as to formalities only and with no substantive search or examination before grant. An applicant must file a search report in relation to the invention made by an authorized searching authority. A short term patent will be granted once the formalities have been satisfied.
The validity of these short term patents can be tested through the courts and in any proceedings for the enforcement of a short term patent, the proprietor must establish the validity of the patent.
Hong Kong has a unique framework for protection of new inventions. The system is of re-registration as opposed to original grant of patent.
Two types of patents can be secured namely standard patents and short term patents. Standard patents give you a monopoly for 20 years while short term patents give protection for 8 years.
The legislation imposes strict deadlines to acquire patent rights in Hong Kong. Failure to meet these deadlines will result in loss of opportunity to protect your invention in Hong Kong.
In seeking patent protection it is vital to remember not to disclose your invention to anyone before you have made an application for patent protection. We have 28 year’s experience in preparing patents for international clients. We have successfully obtained patents for clients in various industries, such as mechanical engineering and building construction, not only in Hong Kong but in many countries around the world.