Chapter 7: Protection of Intellectual Property in Hong Kong
Michael Pendleton1 7.1. INTRODUCTION Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the People’s Republic of China. Much of China’s entire legal system was created in the early 1980s, the Trademark Law 1982 for example. However, Hong Kong has as long a history and immersion in intellectual property as many countries of Western Europe or the United States. This, of course, is due to the influence of the United Kingdom during the period in which it colonized Hong Kong. As a result, Hong Kong’s intellectual property laws are rich and diverse. For at least a century, these laws have also been heavily biased in favour of the rights holder, the colonial power having taken the view that this is essential to enticing foreign capital. Indeed Hong Kong, which is a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), was the first member of the WTO to seek TRIPS compliance for its intellectual property laws. Hong Kong is a member of the WTO independently of China and in its own right. In fact, it is the only non-sovereign member state of the WTO. In addition to the complexity of Hong Kong’s intellectual property law, the judge-made law, that is the common law, is equally rich and diverse. For a long time, and even to an extent today, members of the Hong Kong judiciary were appointed from the ranks of experienced barristers (advocates) from foreign jurisdictions such as England, Australia, New Zealand and other Commonwealth countries. Today, large numbers of its judges...
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