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Copyright is the right given to the owner of an original work. This right can subsist in literary works such as books and computer software, musical works such as musical compositions, dramatic works such as plays, artistic works such as drawings, paintings and sculptures, sound recordings, films, broadcasts, cable programmes and the typographical arrangements of published editions of literary, dramatic or musical works, as well as performers' performances. Copyright works made available on the Internet are also protected.

Copyright for computer software/system

Copyright for computer software/system refer to the copyright subsisting in computer software/systems. This includes the copyright which has been created, acquired or licensed for direct production of income or profit in the course of trade or business, but excludes the copyright in computer software / systems solely for end use.


A design means features of shape, configuration, pattern or ornament applied to an article by any industrial process, being features which in the finished article appeal to and are judged by the eye, but does not include:

  1. a method or principle of construction; or
  2. features of shape or configuration of an article which -
  1. are dictated solely by the function which the article has to perform; or
  2. are dependent upon the appearance of another article of which the article is intended by the designer to form an integral part.

Enforcement of IP rights

In general, IP rights are protected by the law.  Where there is unlawful violation of IP rights, the IP owners or the government can enforce the IP rights by civil or criminal proceedings for seeking necessary civil relief or criminal sanctions, as the case may be.

IP arbitration and mediation

Arbitration is a flexible method of dispute resolution which can provide parties with an efficient, confidential, fair, final and binding resolution. The arbitration is usually conducted in accordance with the terms of the parties' arbitration agreement which is usually found in the provisions of a commercial contract, under which the parties have agreed to submit their disputes to be resolved by an arbitral tribunal composed by arbitrator(s) who is/are (an) independent third party/parties appointed by or on behalf of the parties in dispute.  Arbitral awards are final and binding.

Mediation is a voluntary, confidential, non-binding, private dispute resolution process in which a neutral person, the mediator, helps the parties to reach their own negotiated settlement agreement.

IP buy and sell

It generally refers to business transactions involving sale and purchase of IP.

IP creation

The process of creating intellectual property which may involve researches and development underlying such creation.

IP due diligence

IP due diligence is an exercise where skilled IP practitioners define, examine and analyse the IP portfolio of a target entity to advise on the strength, scope and enforceability of the IP assets to evaluate the value for acquisition.

IP financing

IP financing refers to IP rights being sold, licensed or used as collateral for debt finance.

IP insurance

IP insurance generally refers to the business measure or arrangement under which the insurer, on receipt of either regular or a lump sum of premium, agrees to pay compensation to the insured in certain pre-agreed conditions involving transactions or enforcement of IP rights.  As an example, an insurance policy may help cover all or a portion of the legal costs incurred by the insured for enforcing IP rights.

IP intermediary

An IP intermediary generally refers to a party or platform that offers and provides one or more intermediary services for an arrangement, activity, task, negotiation, transaction or proceedings which involves addressing and/or resolving an IP issue, such as IP registration, IP arbitration and mediation, IP matching services, IP legal services, IP valuation etc.

IP legal services

Services provided by qualified legal practitioners for addressing or resolving intellectual property issues in contentious or non-contentious matters, including advising on registrability of trademarks and patentability of inventions; drafting legally binding documents for assignment/licensing of IP rights; enforcing IP rights (e.g. commencing IP infringement proceedings); defending claims involving IP rights etc.

IP licensing

IP licensing refers to the process under which an IP owner grants the right to use an IP to another on agreed terms and conditions.

IP litigation

The process of making or defending a claim involving IP rights in court, e.g. infringement or revocation of IP rights.

IP management

The process of identification, acquisition, maintenance, protection, commercialization and enforcement of intellectual property rights.  Such process may involve formulating an IP strategy, and integration of such strategy into the overall business strategy.

IP matching services

IP matching services help IP owners or IP users to identify and screen their potential business partners for IP trading.

IP registration

As far as certain types of IP (such as trade marks, designs and patents) are concerned, they have to be registered for acquiring effective protection in the territory of registration.

IP sub-licensing

IP sub-licensing refers to the grant of the right to use an IP by an IP licensee to another on agreed terms and conditions.

IP valuation

IP valuation is a process to determine the monetary value of an IP.

Layout-design (topography) of integrated circuits

A layout-design (topography) of an integrated circuit refers to the 3-dimensional disposition, however expressed, of the elements of an integrated circuit (at least one of which is an active element) and of some or all of the interconnections of an integrated circuit, or such a 3-dimensional disposition prepared for an integrated circuit intended for manufacture.


A patent protects the inventions by giving the patent owner a legal right to prevent others from manufacturing, using, selling or importing the patented invention.

Plant variety rights

Plant variety rights are rights granted to plant breeders (or owners of the variety) over cultivated plant varieties they have bred or discovered and developed. 

The procedures for applying for such proprietary rights are set out by the Plant Varieties Protection Ordinance (Cap. 490),which covers all botanical genera and species of vascular plants as well as edible fungi and algae.

Royalty payment

It usually refers to the monetary amount that one pays to an IP owner / sub-licensor for acquiring the right to use the IP on agreed terms and conditions.

Royalty receipt

It usually refers to the monetary amount that an IP owner / sub-licensor receives for granting the right to use the IP right to another on agreed terms and conditions.

Trade secret

Broadly speaking, any confidential business information which provides an enterprise a competitive edge may be considered a trade secret. Trade secrets encompass manufacturing or industrial secrets and commercial secrets. The unauthorized use of such information by persons other than the holder is regarded as an unfair practice and a violation of the trade secret. Depending on the legal system, the protection of trade secrets forms part of the general concept of protection against unfair competition or is based on specific legislative provisions or case law on the protection of confidential information.

The subject matter of trade secrets is usually defined in broad terms and includes sales methods, distribution methods, consumer profiles, advertising strategies, lists of suppliers and clients, and manufacturing processes. While a final determination of what information constitutes a trade secret will depend on the circumstances of each individual case, clearly unfair practices in respect of secret information include industrial or commercial espionage, breach of contract and breach of confidence. (Source: WIPO)

Trade marks

A trade mark is a sign that distinguishes the goods and services of one trader from those of others. Typically a trade mark can consist of words (including personal names), indications, designs, letters, characters, numerals, figurative elements, colours, sounds, smells, the shape of the goods or their packaging or any combination of these. A sign must be capable of being represented graphically in order for it to be registered as a trade mark.

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