Considerations before applying for a patent

1. Basics of a patent

You should first familiarise yourself with some basic patent law and principles in order to have some idea as to what a patent is and whether your invention is patentable. You may find some basic information relating to patents here.

Information about patent applications and granted patents is published on the Online Search System and in the Hong Kong Intellectual Property Journal.

2. Prior art search

A patentable invention must be new. You should conduct a prior art search to make sure your invention fulfills this requirement. You may go to the Online Search System and click "About Patent Search" for further details.

3. Self assessment

You may want to carefully assess whether your invention is worth patenting. Here are some factors you may wish to consider:

4. Patent Specification

Amongst all the forms and documents required during the patent application process, the patent specification should be the most complex and important one. A patent specification includes the following sections:

For examples of a patent specification, you may go to the Online Search System. For example, to search for the patent specifications of inventions relating to a “thermometer”, you may go to the patent online search system and look up “thermometer” under “Title of Invention”. The patent specification of a particular invention can be viewed under the heading of “Published Documents” after clicking the title of the invention in the search result list.

Since the patent specification is an important legal document, you are advised to seek professional help from those who have the necessary technical and legal skills.

You may find information on some associations of IP practitioners here:

The Patents Registry does not undertake to give legal advice and this webpage carries no legal authority. The Patents Registry will therefore not accept any responsibility for the consequences of any omissions or inaccuracies in this webpage.

For more information about applying for different types of patents (such as the application process and documentation and information required), you may refer to “Application for Patent Protection in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region” (PDF Booklet) or the following:

How to apply for a standard patent (O) How to apply for a standard patent (R) How to apply for a short-term patent

Important Reminder: Applicants and their employees or agents must not offer an advantage as defined in the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance (Cap. 201) to any government officer in connection with their applications or while having dealings of any kind with government departments.