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Hong Kong: Revised patent system under way

On 2 June 2016, the Legislative Council passed the Patents (Amendment) Bill 2015 to amend the existing patent legislation in Hong Kong. After a thorough revision, a new "original grant" patent (OGP) system for standard patents will be introduced for standard patents, while retaining the current "re-registration" system in parallel. The OGP system will enable applicants to file applications for standard patents directly at the Hong Kong Intellectual Property Department (HKIPD), without obtaining a patent in a designated patent office outside of Hong Kong first. Initially, substantive examination will be outsourced to the State Intellectual Property Office of the P.R. China (SIPO).

Further amendments aim at refining the current "short-term patent" system by introducing substantive examination for short-term patents and by increasing the maximum number of independent claims allowed in an application. Regulatory measures for patent agencies will also be introduced. The revised patent system is scheduled to enter into force in late 2017 or early 2018. More details can be found in a dedicated section on the HKIPD website.

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