Largest IP pool on technology patents in Hong Kong to be established

[Hong Kong, 6 March 2015] Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI) has recently signed Memorandums of Understanding with PolyU Technology and Consultancy Company Limited (PTeC), HKBU R&D Licensing Limited and Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC) to form the largest pool of intellectual properties (IP) related to information and communication technologies (ICT) developed locally in Hong Kong.

Putting together their respective ICT patents, more than 560 in total, the four institutions intend to establish a one-stop shop readily accessible by potential industry buyers. The partners agree to let ASTRI group related patents into portfolios in selected areas for stronger appeal, optimal valuation and the best product strategy to meet market needs.

Chairman of ASTRI Mr Wong Ming-yam explained, “The formation of an IP pool bringing together research efforts of universities and research institutes is in line with the Government’s recent call for organizations to provide support to facilitate industry to fully utilize intellectual properties for growth and strengthen Hong Kong’s position as a world technology hub.” He added, “An IP pool grouped by technology sectors will facilitate the selection and integration of IPs for product development. It also provides a convenient one-stop platform for start-ups including those from recent university graduates, small and medium-sized enterprises and multinationals to acquire cost-saving and appropriate patents to support R&D and enhance their competitiveness. I expect the IP pool to grow over time, as more entities from within and outside Hong Kong join the pool.”

According to a report published by Hong Kong Trade Development Council in March 2013*, Hong Kong surpasses Singapore and Shanghai in terms of its geographical location, institutional structure, staff’s efficiency and professionalism, as well as other factors, and as a result is considered to be the best option to become an IP trading hub in the Asia-Pacific Region. The Working Group on IP Trading was set up about the same time to advise on the overall strategies to promote the development of Hong Kong as an IP trading hub and to identify appropriate policy and other support measures to facilitate IP trading in Hong Kong.

“We are pleased to join hands with PTeC, HKBU R&D Licensing Limited and HKPC to spearhead this initiative in support of the SAR Government’s plan in this area,” said Dr Frank Tong, ASTRI’s CEO. “The IP pool will bring about synergistic effect in creating value for both IP owners, such as universities and research centres, and other stakeholders in the supply chain to exploit the opportunities IP trading may offer to Hong Kong.”

The four-partite collaboration is the first phase of a comprehensive effort to cultivate the business potential of ICT patents in Hong Kong. Other universities and R&D institutions will be invited to join the programme in hope of creating the greatest economic impact.

*Hong Kong: Asia’s hub for IP trading, HKTDC Research, 12 March 2013