80+ IP Experts Gather to Foster R&D Commercialisation
The eighth edition of the Business of IP Asia Forum (BIP Asia Forum) jointly organised by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) and the Hong Kong Design Centre, opened today at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC).
The two-day forum brings together more than 80 intellectual property (IP) experts from leading global companies, including Virgin Hyperloop One, Amazon Web Services, Nestle SA, Procter & Gamble and Ant Financial, to share insights on a range of industry topics and discuss the advantages Hong Kong offers for exploring new business opportunities. With more than 90 exhibitors showcasing their products and services, and backed by the online platform Asia IP Exchange (www.asiaipex.com), the forum provides a valuable one-stop platform to foster cooperation between governments, industry, academia, research institutions and the business sector, and encourage IP trade and wider application of new technologies.
Giving the opening address at the forum, Carrie Lam, Chief Executive of the HKSAR, said: “Two far-reaching national strategies of Mainland China – the Belt and Road Initiative and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area development – will give rise to immense opportunities for Hong Kong. They certainly include serving as an Intellectual Property trading hub for the Asia-Pacific region.”
He Zhimin, Deputy Commissioner of National Intellectual Property Administration of the People’s Republic of China (CNIPA) also spoke at the opening session. He said the Administration has introduced new measures this year to further protect IP rights and promote the Greater Bay Area as an innovation and business centre.
Welcoming participants to the forum, Margaret Fong, Executive Director of the HKTDC, said that Hong Kong plays an important role in IP value-chain activities. “As well as being a prominent centre for innovation, commerce, trade and finance in Asia, Hong Kong is a focal point for the generation and trading of IP, including technology transfer, technology licensing, franchising and copyright trading.”
Innovators across the globe filed 3.17 million patent applications in 2017, up 5.8% on the previous year, according to the annual World Intellectual Property Indicators report published by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The Chinese mainland accounted for 44% of the world’s patent applications last year, with a total of 1.38 million patents filed – an increase of 15% on the previous year. The mainland retained its position as the world’s biggest filer of patents for the seventh consecutive year.
The other patent applications came mainly from the United States, Japan, South Korea, the European Union, Germany, India, Russia, Canada and Australia. The industry expects to see more patent applications in the future, with Hong Kong acting as a facilitator by offering a range of IP supporting services, including IP portfolio management, technology transfer and legal arbitration.
Look at Emerging IP Trends
Highlights on the first day of the BIP Asia Forum included two plenary sessions featuring key decision makers in the field of international IP. In the first session, Wang Binying, Deputy Director General of WIPO; Antony Taubman, Director of the Intellectual Property Division of the World Trade Organization; Freddy Harris, Chair of the ASEAN Working Group on Intellectual Property Cooperation and Director General of Intellectual Property at the Ministry of Law and Human Rights of the Republic of Indonesia; and Jacqueline Bracha, Deputy Director of the Israel Patent Office, shared insights into the development and socio-technological effects of the global IP regulatory regime.
In the second plenary session, Jack Chang, Chairman of the Quality Brands Protection Committee of China Association of Enterprises with Foreign Investment, was joined by Philippe Lucet, Vice President and General Counsel for R&D and IP, Nestle SA, and David Upite, Senior Counsel of Procter & Gamble, to outline actionable corporate best practices, both online and offline, for building a strong brand identity and crafting a comprehensive brand-protection strategy.
At the keynote luncheon, Benjamin Bai, Vice President & Chief IP Officer of Ant Financial said that IP protection is central to sustainable innovation and stressed that new technology will accelerate financial inclusion and make people’s lives easier. “The best patenting opportunities lie in solving the technical bottlenecks that limit blockchain application,” Mr Bai said, explaining that these bottlenecks include cross-chain communication, privacy protection and forging a new consensus on algorithms.
He observed that while there is a global race to patent blockchain technology, at this stage no single company is dominating blockchain patenting. As of August 2018, more than 2,600 blockchain patent applications have been filed around the world, with the United States and China accounting for 83% of the total.
“Using technologies such as blockchain, artificial intelligence and Internet of Things, Ant Finance is able to service 80% of customers that are not fully served by regular financial institutions, especially SMEs and individuals,” Mr Bai said. Alipay, one of the services provided by Ant Finance, is now available in more than 200 countries and regions in 27 currencies, while its local wallet footprint spans across Asia, covering Korea, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, India and Bangladesh.
Hong Kong Launch of IP Incubator Competition
Another highlight at today’s forum was the IPHatch Hong Kong Launch, co-organised by the HKTDC and Piece Future. This competition, aimed at encouraging start-ups to identify and convert valuable IP into assets, offers 10 IP portfolios from Panasonic Corporation, Nokia Technologies, the Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute Company Limited (ASTRI), and the City University of Hong Kong. Patent research covers various sectors including smart city development, advanced manufacturing, IoT, healthcare and wellness, and property technology.
The winners of the competition will be entitled to access these IP portfolios, receive free mentorship on business planning, participate in incubation and networking activities, enjoy three months’ free access to Lion Rock 72, the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks (HKSTP)-owned co-working space at InnoCentre in Kowloon Tong, and a fast pass to HKSTP’s “Incu-Tech” programme.
Yoshinori Nakagawa, Chief Intellectual Property Specialist of Panasonic Corporation; Jari Vaario, Head of Asia IP Regulatory of Nokia Technologies; and KC Sum, Head of Intellectual Property & Knowledge Management of ASTRI, kick-started the launch by unveiling some of their latest technologies. Winners from last year’s IPHatch Singapore were also on hand to share their experience in incorporating technology portfolios. In the breakout session that followed, George Lam, Chairman of Hong Kong Cyberport Management Company Limited, and Devin Ehrig, co-founder of local start-up Shadow Factory, discussed how start-ups can move their businesses to greater heights by incorporating IPs.
Growing Opportunities in Cross-media Collaboration
Co-organised with China Daily, the breakout session titled “Era of IP Convergence: Maximising Benefits of Cross-media Collaboration” discussed the business opportunities arising from cross-media deployment such as novels, anime, films, TV dramas and mobile games. In 2017, total revenue generated from IP-based mobile games on the Chinese mainland surpassed Rmb70 billion, highlighting the strong potential in the IP market. Joining the session were Leon Gao, President and founder of EntGroup; Leo Huang, General Manager of Creative Power Entertaining Co Ltd and creator of the Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf and Happy Heroes cartoon series; Xie Guangcai, Executive Vice President of ChineseAll Digital Publishing Group; Hendrick Sin, co-founder and Vice Chairman of CMGE Technology Group Limited; Sophie Xie, Chief Executive Officer and Director of Shanda Games Limited; and Xu Han, creator of Ali the Fox and founder, Board Chairman and CEO of Dream Castle.
Global Tech Summit Focuses on Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence (AI) will contribute close to US$16 trillion to the global economy by 2030 and is set to be the key source of transformation, disruption and competitive advantage in the world’s fast-changing business arena. The Global Tech Summit, being held tomorrow as part of the forum, will feature heavyweight speakers including Anita Sengupta, Senior Vice President of Engineering Systems of Virgin Hyperloop One; Olivier Klein, Head of Emerging Technologies, Asia Pacific, of Amazon Web Services; Shang Hailong, Managing Director of SenseTime Hong Kong; Miles Wen, co-founder and CEO of Fano Labs; Rex Sham, co-founder and Chief Science Officer of Insight Robotics; and Tony Sung, co-founder of NEX Team.
The forum also offers various breakout sessions, one of which is co-organised with the Department of Justice of the HKSAR to discuss issues ranging from IP protection strategies to the mediation and arbitration of IP disputes. The session features a strong lineup of speakers, including Teresa Cheng, Secretary for Justice of the HKSAR, and Zhao Meisheng, Deputy Director-General, Intellectual Property Utilization Promotion Department, National Intellectual Property Administration of the People’s Republic of China (CNIPA).
IP Development and Brand Protection
Enterprises from Hong Kong and the mainland are tapping into opportunities arising from the Belt and Road Initiative. A session co-organised with the International Trademark Association tomorrow, titled “Secure the Trust of Your Brands along the Belt and Road”, will feature customs officials from Hong Kong, Laos, Sri Lanka and Malaysia, as well as representatives from Johnson and Johnson, Procter & Gamble and the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry FH, discussing how businesses can protect their brands along the Belt and Road.
Cooperation in the Pearl River Delta region has recently been boosted by developments such as the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link and the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge. As connectivity continues to grow, the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Development plan is set to offer tremendous opportunities for the IP industry. A breakout session tomorrow, co-organised with the Guangzhou Development District Intellectual Property Association, will feature officials from the Greater Bay Area to update participants on the region’s IP development, while an expert from Peking University will outline business models and legal rules for IP operations under the global trading environment. Representatives from various organisations and listed companies, including CVTE, will share their experiences in managing IP assets.
Agreement with India Boosts Asia IP Exchange
The HKTDC will sign a cooperation agreement with the National Research Development Corporation of India at the forum tomorrow, taking the total number of strategic partners in the Asia IP Exchange (AsiaIPEX) to 39. The HKTDC has also signed agreements with Australia, Italy and the Czech Republic this year. AsiaIPEX now features more than 28,000 tradable IP listings, ranging from patents and trademarks to copyrights and registered designs, in areas such as biotechnology, medicine, electronics, engineering, film and publications, strengthening the links between global IP owners, intermediary service providers and manufacturers.
The HKTDC is holding five events at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre this week – the Asian E-tailing Summit, HKTDC SmartBiz Expo, HKTDC Hong Kong International Franchising Show, the Business of IP Asia Forum and DesignInspire, aiming to help small and medium-sized enterprises enhance their competitiveness and cost-effectiveness and develop new business areas and markets to adapt to the ever-changing economic landscape.
Business of IP Asia Forum: http://www.bipasiaforum.com
IP Hatch Hong Kong: http://www.iphatchday.com/hongkong
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Established in 1966, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is a statutory body dedicated to creating opportunities for Hong Kong’s businesses. With 50 offices globally, including 13 on the Chinese mainland, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a platform for doing business with China, Asia and the world. With more than 50 years of experience, the HKTDC organises international exhibitions, conferences and business missions to provide companies, particularly SMEs, with business opportunities on the mainland and in international markets, while providing business insights and information via trade publications, research reports and digital channels including the media room. For more information, please visit:www.hktdc.com/aboutus. Follow us on Google+, [email protected], LinkedIn.