Intellectual Property: Powering Business Expansion ——The Fourth Edition of Business of IP Asia Forum

By Emily Tan, China IP,[Comprehensive Reports]

The fourth edition of Business of IP Asia (BIP Asia) Forum, co-organised by the Hong Kong SAR Government, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) and the Hong Kong Design Centre, was successfully concluded at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center. The Forum, which lasted for two days from the 4th to 5th of December, had invited over 80 IP authorities worldwide as speakers, and there were 2000 IP practitioners in attendance. With the theme of, “Intellectual Property: Powering Business Expansion,” this fourth edition of BIP Asia had two plenary sessions, many senior IP managers from well-known international companies shared their experience and had in-depth discussions on how to expand business through IP, and how to maximize IP trade through new technology and innovative ideas.

To maximize the impact of BIP Asia, the HKTDC had joined forces with a number of organisations to host an “Innovation and Intellectual Property Week” through the 1st to 6th of December. It includes three major parallel events, namely, the BIP Asia Forum, the HKTDC World SME Expo and the HKTDC Inno Design Tech Expo with a combined total of more than 700 exhibitors and over 23,000 visitors.

As a media partner of the Forum, China IP journalists had a full report of it and had interviewed some of the key speakers during the Forum.

Keen on Development of IP Trade
CY Leung, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (Hong Kong SAR); Wang Binying, Deputy Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization; Zhao Zhibin, Deputy Director of the General Affairs Office of State Intellectual Property Office of the People’s Republic of China ( S I P O ) and Antony Taubman, Intellectual Property Division Director of the World Trade Organization officiated at the opening ceremony. Speaking at the opening ceremony, HKTDC Executive Director Margaret Fong said the transition to a knowledgebased global economy is placing more focus on the business of intellectual property in Asia.

Chief Executive of the Hong Kong SAR, CY Leung said at the opening ceremony that, “Today, we have some 2,000 IP professionals taking part in BIP Asia 2014. The government has taken on the role as a co-organiser of the event for the second year in a row. We are doing so because we are passionate about IP, about the critical role IP plays in enabling international trade, investment and innovation. Indeed, these largely define today’s Hong Kong. Reimagined and reinforced by IP, they will surely shape tomorrow’s Hong Kong. Hong Kong is devoted to turning itself into the world IP Hub to provide a favorable environment to the development of innovation and creation.”

At the opening ceremony, Zhao Zhibin, Deputy Director of General Affairs Office of SIPO, expressed that the theme of the Forum had fully reflected the core value of IP. One of the distinctive features of an era of a knowledge economy is that IP is the significant resource and core competency of development and it plays a crucial role in innovation and creation, either for regions, countries, companies, or individuals. It could be said that IP has changed the world but is close to hand. As for future development, Mr. Zhao said, “Under the governance of Hong Kong SAR, the strategy of turning Hong Kong into the world IP Hub has been fully implemented. SIPO will continuously support Hong Kong SAR on IP industry development, to help Hong Kong better play on its own advantage, and constantly improve innovative ability, enhance international competitiveness, and make contributions to Hong Kong’s economic development and prosperity.”

Antony Taubman, Intellectual Property Division Director of World Trade Organization said at the opening ceremony that Hong Kong plays an important role in the world value chain and that it is the catalyst in economic development. The core factors of a smoothly operated IP market are a well-developed and powerful IP legal system, a mature financing system as well as a sound licensing and evaluation system. In addition, transparent market information and free flow of capital are also needed. In fact, as for the above factors, Hong Kong is fully qualified to be built into an IP hub.

IP Protection on New Technology
The opening plenary session entitled, “IP Business Potential Behind Innovations,” featured Dr. Joo Sup Kim, Vice President of the Intellectual Property Centre at LG Electronics; Toshimoto Mitomo, Executive Vice President of the Intellectual Property Department at Sony Corporation of America; and Brian Hinman, Chief Intellectual Property Officer at Royal Philips. Among the speakers at the second plenary session under the theme, “Global Patent Strategies for Emerging Technologies,” were Kwang Jun Kim, Seni o r V i ce President and Chief IP Officer of the IP Team at Samsung Display; Maria Lam, Chief of Staff to the General Counsel at Intel Corporation; and Christian Frey, Head of Innovation & Patent Coordination at Siemens.

To meet the needs of IP practitioners from different industries, the Forum s e t f o rth various breakout sessions, which targeted specific IP topics including legal services, fashion design and wearable technology, areas such as film copyright trading, dispute resolution, and Traditional Chinese Medicine were also covered. New topics including IP valuation, auditing and arbitration had been included in the programme to provide a host of practical IP information and tips to participants.

The exhibition zone of BIP Asia had been expanded in this year’s Forum to facilitate networking activities and information-sharing among IP practitioners. Close to 50 exhibitors are showcasing their services including technology giants Sony and Royal Philips, as well as local and foreign technology research centres, universities and IP services suppliers. World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) also demonstrated their online services and provided the latest updates on WIPO services. Besides the exhibition zone, the Forum of this year had 6 additional immediate onsite communication sections, which aims to provide more chances to participants to explore business.

Asia IP Exchange Cooperation Strengthened
The Asia IP Exchange, which was officially launched in the 2013 BIP Asia Forum, is a free online IP exchange platform and database developed and managed by HKTDC. It has attracted over 24 partners worldwide.

Launched in 2013, the Asia IP Exchange lists more than 25,000 tradable IP items and offers free IP information to IP owners, users and services providers. On the eve of 2014’s Forum, memoranda of strategic cooperation were signed with new partners from Beijing, Hong Kong, New Zealand and the Philippines to strengthen information exchange and cooperation on IP. Being Asia’s largest international online IP trading platform, Asia IP Exchange has over 10,000 registered members and has reached cooperation agreements with 28 local and overseas institutions.

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