Guang Dong, Hong Kong and Macao Initiates Cross-Region Cooperation in Protecting Intellectual Property


Twenty senior officers of intellectual property administrations from Guang Dong Province, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (hereinafter called Hong Kong) and Macao Special Administrative Region (hereinafter called Macao), gathered in Guang Zhou for the first time ever, jointly discussed the intellectual property issues involved in the communication and cooperation of science and technology and trade among the three regions and reached a preliminary consensus in establishing coordination mechanism for the protection of intellectual property. 

The high-profile attendance of this meeting reflected the significant attentions from the governments of the three regions.  Senior officials present were Huang Yebin, Vice Secretary General of Guang Dong Provincial Government, Guo Xiquan, Director General of Guang Dong Provincial Intellectual Property Administration, Deputy Director General Tan Shangxin, Peter K. F. Cheung Deputy Director of Hong Kong Intellectual Property Department, Huang Wenzhong, Director of Intellectual Property Department of Macao Customs Office, and Jose Coutinho, Director of Macao Intellectual Property Department.

During the one-day meeting, the three sides first reported their respective intellectual property works and exchanged views in the intellectual property protection issues in the communication and cooperation of science and technology, trade and relevant areas.  The three sides showed their strong desires to cooperate.  They made further discussions in how to establish a coordination mechanism for intellectual property right protection, exchange information, assist other sides to handle cases, educate the public and enforce laws jointly, protect intellectual property rights during Expos and exchange updates on law and regulation changes.  These discussions laid firm foundations for the further substantial cooperation. 

In comparison with the old business model Shop at Front and Factory at Back (Translator's note: shops in Hong Kong sell products made in Guang Dong factories) that was prevalent in the past 20 years, the three sides are adding emphasis in jointly develop high technologies.  Some infamous intellectual property issues are not conducive to the healthy development of the economic and trade activities in the three regions and will jeopardize Guang Dong's attraction to foreign funds.  These intellectual property issues are the followings. 

Parties have no adequate knowledge of intellectual property rights during technology licensing or transfer.  Some products infringing intellectual property rights are manufactured and circulated in market.

Due to historical reasons, the three regions adopt different kinds of intellectual property systems.  The public are often very confused when attempting to obtain intellectual property protection.

 The infringers took advantage of the convenient transportation facilities within the three regions and humane conditions to committee infringement in mobility.  Especially some offenders sell and offer for sale infringing products during various Expos held in Guang Dong and Hong Kong.   The infringing conducts are well-covered and hard to detect. 

The situation for intellectual property protection is imminent for the three sides to cooperate.  Guang Dong Provincial Intellectual Property Administration has already started series of cooperation and communications with the other two sides.  Last year, in cooperation with Hong Kong Trade Promotion Agency, the Guang Dong Administration successfully held Intellectual Property Protection Workshop for Hong Kong Businessman in Guang Dong.  Guang Dong Administration will soon hold similar activities with Hong Kong Intellectual Property Department and Hong Kong Chamber of Industry to develop the cooperation among the three sides. 

(Reported by Shi Zhihong, Mo Yaojiang and Wang Hu; Translated by Hu Yuzhang)