The ninth edition of the Business of IP Asia Forum (BIP Asia Forum) – organised by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) and Hong Kong Design Centre – opened today and runs for two days (5 and 6 December) at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC). This year’s theme is “IP: Building an Innovative and Inclusive Future for Business”.
The 2019 forum brings together more than 70 prominent speakers, including business leaders from leading technology corporations such as Canon, Microsoft, Nvidia, Google and Impossible Foods, who will share insights into IP strategies for sustainable corporate growth. Carrie Lam, Chief Executive of the HKSAR and Gan Shaoning, Deputy Commissioner of the National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) of the People’s Republic of China, officiated at this morning’s opening ceremony. Francis Gurry, Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), delivered a congratulatory message.
According to the latest figures from WIPO, the number of worldwide patent applications is currently in its ninth consecutive year of growth, with a year-on-year increase of 5.2% in 2018 to around 3.3 million. In her welcome remarks, commenting on Hong Kong’s advantages as an innovation and intellectual property (IP) trading hub, HKTDC Executive Director Margaret Fong said: “We will continue to build on our strengths, including a sound legal system and dispute resolution framework, robust IP protection regime, strong IP support services and comprehensive financial services. Hong Kong plays a vital role in supporting the incredible level of IP activity in Mainland China and Asia as a whole, providing a connection to the international market.” Ms Fong added that the city will continue to be a focal point for the generation and trading of IP, including technology transfer, licensing, franchising and copyright trading.
Asian entrepreneurs and experts highlight power of IP strategy
In recent years, Asia has experienced the fastest growth of IP usage. This morning’s plenary session brought together Kenichi Nagasawa, Managing Executive Officer and Group Executive of Corporate Intellectual Property & Legal Headquarters at Canon Inc, and Winnie Yeung, Assistant General Counsel, Corporate, External and Legal Affairs at Microsoft, to share their insights on corporate IP strategies.
Subsequent breakout sessions invited expert speakers to discuss IP developments in Asia and the IP ecosystem in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. Speakers included Soh Kar Liang, President of the ASEAN Intellectual Property Association; Hirohito Katsunuma, President of the Asian Patent Attorneys Association; Satoshi Konno, Managing Director of Innovation Division, IP Bridge Inc; Hunk Li, Vice President of Comba Telecom Systems Holdings Limited; Ally Zhuang, Deputy General Manager and Chief Legal Officer of Guangzhou Shiyuan Electronic Technology Company Limited. At the keynote luncheon, Ge Jun, Global CEO of ToJoy Shared Holding Group, presented on the likely IP trends in the context of a shared economy. Concurrent breakout sessions in the afternoon covered a range of topics, including co-branding, IP legal tips, business best practices regarding common IP, trademark problems, and legal policies relating to artificial intelligence.
IP start-ups compete for patents
Launched last year, the eagerly awaited open-innovation competition “IPHatch Hong Kong” will be held again this year under the theme “Jumpstarting Your Business”. Leading international companies Panasonic and Nokia will provide 10 IP portfolios – covering various sectors ranging from smart city to the Internet of Things (IoT) – to encourage start-ups and entrepreneurs to be creative in using patented technologies to expand their businesses.
Charles Lo, Director and Founder of MAE and Upmood, was one of last year’s “IPHatch Hong Kong” winners. He was awarded a licence for an IP portfolio offered by Nokia, integrating their patented technology into his emotion tracking bracelet. By expanding the scope of services offered by his company, Mr Lo has been able to enlarge his target customer group from small enterprises to big corporates such as theme parks. The next step will be collaborating with Universal Music to publish a song list for music therapy.
Another winner was Mok Wai-pong, Chief Technology Officer of Imagixe Limited, who won an image correction sensor licence offered by Panasonic, using it for the development of lightweight tools for smart orthosis and healthcare in order to benefit the disabled. Also winning at the first “IPHatch Hong Kong” in 2018 was Daniel Chun, Founder & CEO, AIRXED Technology Limited. Mr Chun was awarded a patented technology licence offered by Panasonic, which allowed him to progress quickly in a project related to the development of smart home appliances.
Sharpening competitive edge for cross-media collaboration
The total revenue generated from the global games market is estimated to reach US$148.8 billion in 2019, 46% of which ($68.2 billion) will be generated by the mobile game industry – with the Asia Pacific region remaining the biggest market. In a seminar this afternoon, focusing on the opportunities for game IPs, Hendrick Sin, Co-founder and Vice Chairman of CMGE Technology Group Limited, Xu Yiran, Chairman and CEO of Leyou Technology Holdings Limited, and Kevin Lee, Founder and CEO of Redspots Creative (Hong Kong) Company Limited, explained the developing trend for personalised products and services in the mobile game sector, discussing the interrelation between different media in the cultural and creative industry.
Global Tech Summit opens tomorrow
The protection of intellectual property is important in promoting creativity and technological innovation. At the Global Tech Summit tomorrow morning, various technology leaders will explore developments in the innovation and technology market from different aspects including autonomous vehicles, smart city, 5G, food technology and smart manufacturing. World-class speakers will include Dan Berman, Director of Business Development, Autonomous Driving at Nvidia; Timothy Tam, Head of Public Policy and Government Affairs (Hong Kong) at Google; Hilton Wong, Assistant Vice President, Mobility Solutions Consultancy at CSL Mobile Limited; Heidi Nam, General Manager (Hong Kong) at Impossible Foods; and enterprises from the Hong Kong Science and Technology Park, including: Dr Shuyu Chen, Chief Executive Officer of the Acoustic Metamaterials Group; Dr Daniel Shi, Senior Director, Integrated Circuits and Systems at the Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute; and Roy Lim, Vice President of Tung Hing Automation.
Invention and innovation are the driving forces of economic growth and the key to success for entrepreneurs. Co-organised with the Hong Kong Exporters’ Association, the Hong Kong Invention Congress will gather experts from Geneva, including President David Taji and Director Gaelle Grosjean of the International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva, to share their insights on trends relating to the commercialisation of innovation. Representatives from corporates such as Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group, KOLN 3D and Circular Wave Drive will join the session to tell the stories behind their inventions.
Several concurrent breakout sessions will be held during the forum, one of which is co-organised with the Department of Justice of the HKSAR tomorrow afternoon. “Legal Infrastructure for a Sustainable, Resilient and Inclusive Future for Business of IP” will feature a number of high-profile speakers who will share on the protection of trademarks and brand building, as well as dispute resolution involving IP rights.
Throughout BIP Asia, the Hong Kong Bar Association and the Licensing Executives Society China, Hong Kong Sub-Chapter will provide free on-site IP consultation services, with the HKTDC and the Intellectual Property Department of the HKSAR jointly presenting an “IP Manager Training Programme” to help build manpower capacity in SMEs. In addition, IP practitioners from different sectors and countries/regions have come together in the Exhibition Zone to seize networking opportunities with IP service providers, global intellectual property organisations, universities and research and development centres.
Running concurrently with the BIP Asia Forum at the HKCEC are the Asian E-tailing Summit, HKTDC SmartBiz Expo, HKTDC Hong Kong International Franchising Show and DesignInspire, where SMEs can explore different technologies, platforms and models to support business growth and expand their networks at the same time.
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The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is a statutory body established in 1966 to promote, assist and develop Hong Kong’s trade. With 50 offices globally, including 13 in Mainland China, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a two-way global investment and business hub. The HKTDC organises international exhibitions, conferences and business missions to create business opportunities for companies, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), in the mainland and international markets. The HKTDC also provides up-to-date market insights and product information via trade publications, research reports and digital news channels. For more information, please visit: www.hktdc.com/aboutus. Follow us on Twitter @hktdc and LinkedIn.