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Applying for a standard patent

The owner of a Hong Kong patent can take civil action to prevent any person from using the patented invention in the Hong Kong SAR without permission, and also seek relief, such as an injunction and an order for damages, against the infringer.

(1) Standard patent (O) application

A standard patent (O) application is subject to both formality and substantive examination. 

Formality examination

The Registrar will examine whether the application fulfils the formal requirements, namely it contains the supporting information and documents as required by the patent legislation.

Substantive examination

The applicant needs to file a request with the Registrar for substantive examination of a standard patent (O) application within three years after its date of filing or the earliest date of priority claimed (if applicable), or else the application will be regarded as being withdrawn.

When conducting substantive examination, the Registrar examines whether the application complies with the examination requirements, which in particular include the patentability of the underlying invention of the application, i.e. whether the invention is new, involves an inventive step and is industrially applicable.

The entire examination process of a standard patent (O) application from filing to grant is normally expected to take at least 2 to 3 years.  However, the overall examination time frame can be substantially shortened if the applicant elects to file a request for early publication of the application as soon as practicable and responds promptly to examiner’s actions.

(2) Standard patent (R) application

The grant of a standard patent (R) in Hong Kong is based upon the prior grant of a corresponding patent by any one of three designated patent offices.

These are:

  • the China National Intellectual Property Administration
  • the United Kingdom Patent Office
  • the European Patent Office, in respect of a patent application designating the United Kingdom

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