Patent protection in Hong Kong

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Covid-19 Update

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Hong Kong (officially, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China) lies at the eastern side of the Pearl River estuary and is the most densely populated area in the world, having around 7.5 million inhabitan

Hong Kong

There are 2 types of patent in Hong Kong:

  • a 20 year standard term patent;
  • an 8 year short-term patent

20 year standard term patent
Patents in Hong Kong can be based upon a parent patent application in the United Kingdom, China or European patent office, or (from 2018) can be filed directly at the Hong Kong intellectual property Department.
The normal criteria of novelty and inventive step apply for Hong Kong patents.

If the Hong Kong patent is based upon a Chinese, UK or European patent application, then grant of the Hong Kong patent must wait until the parent Chinese, UK or European patent is also granted, and will be granted with the same claims as the base parent patent.

Using the direct filing procedure, a Hong Kong patent is examined independently for novelty and inventive step and does not depend upon grant of a patent in the UK China or the European patent office. Direct filed Hong Kong patents can have a different worded claims set to other UK, Chinese or European patents for the same invention.

8 year short-term patent
Short term patents are filed directly at the Hong Kong patent office. The level of examination and the criteria for patentability are relaxed compared to the standard 20 year term patent. In particular, the level of inventive step required for a short-term patent is lower than for a standard 20 year term patent.

To file a patent application in Hong Kong we would need the following information and your faxed, email or postal instructions detailing the following:

  • name and address of the applicant (the owner of the rights);
  • name and home addresses of each inventor;
  • information as to how the applicants derived their rights in the invention (e.g. by virtue of employment of the inventors);
  • a copy of specification, claims, abstract and formal drawings; and
  • details of any priority claim: priority country, priority date and application number; OR
  • if you have an existing UK, Chinese or European patent application or recently granted UK, Chinese or European patent, on which the Hong Kong patent is to be based, the CN, UK or EP patent application number or patent number.

A power of attorney will required on filing or shortly after filing. No notarisation or legalisation of documents is required.

For further information, please read our white paper, which can be downloaded using the link at the bottom of this page or contact one of our Chartered or European patent attorneys.