In recent decades, Hong Kong has transformed from a manufacturing powerhouse into a trade and services centre. As the city seeks to diversify and re-industrialise, intellectual-property (IP) is bound to grow in importance.
IP authorities and business leaders from across the world gathered to discuss trends, paradigm shifts and opportunities in the IP market at the two-day Business of IP Asia (BIP Asia) Forum in Hong Kong last week. Jointly organised by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) and Hong Kong Design Centre, this leading annual IP event attracted more than 14,000 online and physical participants from over 40 countries and regions to share insights, network and explore business collaboration opportunities.
More than 70 seasoned industry leaders and well-established speakers outlined proposals to build a sustainable IP ecosystem and analysed the effective implementation of IP strategies for business expansion, while exploring the business potential of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) through forums, plenary sessions, workshops and product showcases.
Sustainable IP ecosystem insights
At the inaugural Policy Dialogue – Aspiration to Action: Co-creating a Resilient and Sustainable IP Ecosystem, IP authorities exchanged insights on enhancing the sustainability of the global IP ecosystem. Antony Taubman, Director of Intellectual Property Division at World Trade Organization (WTO) said: “We have witnessed a revolution in the way that intellectual property is traded and used to promote development and economic growth. Knowledge flow is also central to equitable development. The experience with COVID has shown that innovation and access to the fruits of innovation are essential and must be factored into all areas of policy and international trade. The Hong Kong Government is right to position the city as a regional IP trading centre and to provide the strategic, careful, integrated and systemic thinking required to make it work.”
The BIP Asia Forum’s Global Tech Summit addressed the Industrial Metaverse: Propelling Re-industrialisation in Hong Kong topic. The HKSAR Government has actively promoted re-industrialisation to boost the city’s sustainable economic growth. The summit brought together technology leaders and pioneers to analyse the transformation of the global manufacturing landscape and ways in which it could help revitalise Hong Kong’s manufacturing sector. Having led artificial intelligence (AI) initiatives in the Asia Pacific, Simon See, Senior Director and Chief Solution Architect; Global Head of NVIDIA AI Technology Center, NVIDIA Corporation, shared his views on metaverse and re-industrialisation.
Mr See said: “Many people believe that the metaverse is only for social purposes. However, it is indeed highly relevant to how industries operate. Digital twins, for example, can assist businesses in developing simulations and increasing efficiency. To build the metaverse, many IP and digital assets will need to be created, and no single company can do it all. The private sector, the education sector and communities are all needed to help build various components. That is why we need the ecosystem to grow as quickly as possible for the metaverse to become a reality.”
The sessions on the first day covered diverse IP-related topics. Inspo Talk: IP issues Revolving KOL/Influencer Marketing was an informative session for IP users who deploy personalities on social media. Legal experts also gave guidance at the IP Do’s and Don’ts on Social Media session, including a talk on the Introduction to the Madrid System for the International Registration of Marks.
Many firms plan to explore opportunities in the fast-expanding Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) trade bloc. On the second day of event, the Workshop on ASEAN Roadmap to Successful IP Commercialisation in a Knowledge-based Economy offered thoughts on how innovators could use inventions and expand in ASEAN. Another panel on business expansion assembled diverse representatives , ranging from research institutions and financial institutions to IP institutions, to exchange views on technological achievements and IP financing within the GBA.
The HKSAR Intellectual Property Department offered a wide range of training sessions for IP owners and users at the Forum. Topics ranged from deployment of copyright and designs in the digital age to the application of patents and key concepts for IP trading. There were also sessions answering questions on legal issues arising from disputes over IP appropriation.
In the IPHatch Asia – Enabling Deep Tech Startups with IPs and Business Networks session, Jason Loh, Founder and CEO of Piece Future, analysed the role of IP and business networks in deep tech start-up development. Start-ups discussed the importance of IP in business development, described their entrepreneurial journeys and offered advice on standing out amid the competition.
Co-organised by the HKTDC and Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC) for the first time this year, Innovation & IP Market included the Inno Showcase, Open Stage and Tech Consultation Salon. It brought together universities, R&D centres, start-ups, IP users and service providers to network and explore collaboration opportunities. Start-ups and SMEs also gained insights from various industry xperts on trademark registration, IP and tech commercialisation, invention protection and capitalising patents.
The HKTDC and The Chinese Manufacturers' Association of Hong Kong (CMA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to boost mutual cooperation on technology commercialisation to develop and promote Hong Kong as a global innovation and technology (I&T) hub and regional IP trading centre. This was the first MoU between the HKTDC and CMA.
BIP Asia Forum