Fostering the Development of Intellectual Property Trading
in Hong Kong
Know the Dynamic Context
Hong Kong is one of the innovative and creative economy leaders in the region and currently a services-driven economy. As an established international financial and trading centre, Hong Kong has the potential infrastructure for trading intellectual property (IP).
IP trading generally refers to the buying, selling and transferring of IP rights under mutually agreed terms and conditions. IP trading may include acquisition and licensing of inventive patents, industrial designs, semi-conductor layout-designs, plant varieties, copyright works, trademarks for goods and services, trade secrets and more.
The IP trading business is supported by a range of IP intermediaries who add value to the transactions that may not be possible for direct trading. Examples of IP intermediaries include IP consultants, IP brokers, IP conference organizers, IP valuers, IP financiers, IP agents, IP lawyers, IP mediators, and IP arbitrators.
Examples of IP trading may include the sale and purchase (eg through assignment or licensing) of:-
an inventive energy-saving technology patent protected in the target market for manufacturing or processing,
an avant-garde furniture design protected in the target market for production or distribution,
an original layout-design of integrated circuit, protected in the target market for production or distribution,
an original copyright film screenplay for adaptation and exploitation in the target market; and
a distinctive trademark for use in a wide range of fashion and accessories, protected in the target market.
Face the Common Challenges
The common challenges for the innovative and creative sector include the lack of capacity to capitalize the real value of their IP portfolios. They need to find buyers, assignees or licensees for exploiting their IP. They do not have a trading platform to monetize their inventive patents, avant-garde designs, original layout-designs of integrated circuits, original copyright works, distinctive trademarks, and other forms of IP.
At the same time, there are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that may like to transform themselves and to enhance their competitiveness through product or service differentiation. By making use of available IP portfolios in the market, they can save the transaction costs to find partners, financiers, venture capitalists and technology consultants to support their research and development.
Seize the Strategic Opportunities
The following aspects of Hong Kong's favourable and secure business environment create an ideal foundation for the development of IP trading in Hong Kong:
Hong Kong practises the rule of law.
Hong Kong has a simple, predictable and low tax system.
Hong Kong does not have any foreign exchange control.
Hong Kong is located at the heart of Asia and is the gateway to Mainland China.
Hong Kong has bi-lingual professional IP agencies and law firms providing a comprehensive range of IP services.
Establish the IP Trading Platform
The IP trading platform can be established via a network model which permits many-to-many relationships in the IP trading context. Its simple structure consists of (1) IP rights to sell, (2) IP rights to buy and (3) and the kind of supporting services that IP intermediaries can provide (see the concept model below).
Map the Way Forward
From challenge to opportunity Hong Kong is developing capacity to enhance our commercial and economic development in the IP context. As a government agency, we wish to take intellectual property leadership as a catalyst for change towards integrated IP trading in Hong Kong. We will provide conceptual and structural insights on the value of innovation, creativity and intellectual property. We will collaborate with agencies in both the public and private sectors that share the vision to advance common interests and to accomplish the common goal.
We will support relevant initiatives to raise various sectors’ awareness of the trend and how they can play their respective roles in realizing the outcomes. We believe that the IP trading development in Hong Kong will in turn attract and demand more high-end intellectual property related services which would be translated in boosting Hong Kong’s services economy as a whole.
2013 Guangdong/Hong Kong Seminar on Intellectual Property (IP) and Development of Small and Medium Enterprises (Qingyuan) - "IP Trading and Capitalisation" (5 June 2013, Qingyuan) Programme Rundown (Chinese version only) (PDF Format)
Mainland, Hong Kong SAR and Macao SAR Intellectual Property Symposium 2012
(14 September 2012, Dalian)
Organisers: State Intellectual Property Office, Intellectual Property Department,
Hong Kong SAR Government and Macao Economic Services, Macao SAR Government
2012 Guangdong/Hong Kong Seminar on Intellectual Property (IP) and Development of Small and Medium Enterprises (Foshan) - "IP Trading and Capitalisation" (5 June 2012, Foshan) Programme Rundown (Chinese version only) (PDF Format)
Follow stakeholders’ feedback and development
No single agency can achieve the strategic goal alone. Please see stakeholders’ feedback and developments below: