Elgar Intellectual Property Law and Practice series
Edited by Stefan Luginbuehl and Peter Ganea
Chapter 22: INTRODUCTION TO THE PATENT SYSTEM IN HONG KONG SAR
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China came into existence on 1 July 1997. Immediately prior to that Hong Kong had been a British colony for over 150 years. Hong Kong Island and the Kowloon Peninsula had been ceded to Great Britain in 1842 and 1860 respectively. In 1898, Britain leased the much larger New Territories for 99 years. In 1984 Britain agreed with China to retrocede Hong Kong Island and Kowloon Peninsula when its lease on the New Territories expired on 1 July 1997. Under the agreement, called the Joint Declaration, China agreed that Hong Kong would become a Special Administrative Region of China with a high degree of autonomy and that the previous British common law legal system would remain in place for at least 50 years. In 1990, China enacted the Basic Law for the HKSAR which implemented the Joint Declaration. China agreed that Hong Kong would become a Special Administrative Region of China with a high degree of autonomy and that the previous British common law legal system would remain in place for at least 50 years. In 1990, China enacted the Basic Law for the HKSAR which implemented the Joint Declaration. The Basic Law acts as Hong Kong’s mini-constitution and provides that Hong Kong courts shall exercise judicial powers independently from the mainland of China. A Court of Final Appeal was created in Hong Kong as a final appellate court to replace the Privy Council. Prior to 1997, Hong Kong did not have its own patent system. UK patents (or European patents designating the UK) were re-registered in Hong Kong under the Registration of Patents Ordinance. Infringement actions were brought under the 1977 UK Patents Act which was extended to Hong Kong.
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