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Hong Kong Pushes To Become IP Trading Hub

by Mary Swire, Lowtax.net, Hong Kong
24 March, 2015

Hong Kong's Working Group on Intellectual Property (IP) Trading has released recommendations to further develop Hong Kong as an IP trading hub in the region.

The Chairman of the Working Group, the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Gregory So, said that, "on the basis of a strategic framework formulated in late 2013, the Working Group has drawn up 28 recommended measures," which the Government has accepted for adoption.

The recommended measures fall under four strategic areas: enhancing the IP protection regime; supporting IP creation and exploitation; fostering IP intermediary services and manpower capacity; and pursuing promotion, education, and external collaboration efforts.

Various actions are underway, including legislative changes through the Copyright (Amendment) Bill 2014, which will strengthen IP protections and is being scrutinized by the Legislative Council. In addition, legislative proposals are being developed to implement a revised patent system.

On fostering IP intermediary services, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council is to foster the growth of the region's largest online IP listings portal, the Asia IP Exchange. To enhance Hong Kong's capabilities and connections, the portal will ally with 28 local and overseas strategic partners and will feature over 25,000 entries of tradable IP rights.

The 2015-16 Budget also featured new measures in this area, including the launch of an IP Consultation Service Scheme to provide free initial IP advice to small- and medium-size enterprises.

To support IP creation and exploitation, the Working Group recommended that the Government should continue to expand Hong Kong's network of double tax agreements with its major trading and investment partners to provide withholding tax relief for royalties; and should consider tax incentives for IP trading, notably the expansion of the present tax deduction for capital expenditure incurred on the purchase of IP rights.

In addition, the Hong Kong Business Valuation Forum, an alliance formed by the Hong Kong Institute of Surveyors, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, and the Hong Kong Society of Financial Analysts, has released a standard on the reporting of IP values.

The Vice Chairman of the Working Group, Andrew Liao, confirmed he was "happy to see that some of the recommendations go to great lengths in addressing issues such as promoting the use of arbitration and mediation to resolve IP disputes, given the unique strength and role of Hong Kong as both a premier IP trading hub and a leading center for dispute resolution in the region."

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