- IPHatch contest launches; experts talk on IP and sustainability
Jointly organised by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) and Hong Kong Design Centre, the 11th Business of IP Asia (BIP Asia) Forum kicked off today. With the theme Unleashing Innovation for Sustainability and Growth, the two-day online forum brings together more than 70 intellectual property (IP) professionals and business leaders from across the globe to discuss the latest developments in the IP world. Officiating and delivering remarks at this morning’s Opening Session were Carrie Lam, Chief Executive of the HKSAR; Shen Changyu, Commissioner of China National Intellectual Property Administration; and Daren Tang, Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization.
Welcoming participants to the event, Margaret Fong, Executive Director of the HKTDC, said: “With the world still hard at work managing the COVID-19 pandemic, the subject of sustainable growth and resilience to global challenges is of utmost importance to entrepreneurs. Therefore, the theme for this year’s forum is ‘Unleashing Innovation for Sustainability and Growth’, through which we will explore how IP and innovation can help businesses and economies meet their sustainability goals, drive strategic, sustainable development, facilitate cross-sector convergence and shape new values.”
Ms Fong added that Hong Kong is an ideal platform for connecting IP activities in Asia to international markets through its expertise in IP trading, financing, commercialisation, licensing and technology transfer and other strengths. These include an internationally respected dispute resolution framework, robust IP protection regime, strong IP support services and comprehensive financial services.
IPHatch Hong Kong open innovation competition returns
The BIP Asia Forum is connecting local start-ups and multinational corporations to promote collaboration and convert ready-made patents into new business opportunities through the fourth edition of IPHatch Hong Kong, the well-received open innovation competition. The competition has incubated more than 30 Hong Kong start-ups over the past three years by offering them patented technology portfolios from renowned multinational corporations. Details of the latest contest were announced during the forum this afternoon.
The launch session focused on sustainable innovation, with representatives from renowned venture capital funds providing insights into the impact of sustainability on investment trends. Speakers included Andrew Young, Associate Director (Innovation) at Sino Group; Jason Loh, Founder and CEO of Piece Future; Jenni Risku, Impact Partner of Click Venture; Kevin Brisebois, Director of Innovation and Partnership at Brinc; and Priscilla Yeung, Director of Commercialisation at ASTRI. Previous winners of the contest also shared their entrepreneur stories and experiences in adopting existing patented technologies in various business areas to accelerate IP commodification. Representatives at the launch session included:
– Alexander Ying, Founder of DRESIO
DRESIO got the patent assignment on innovative cloud computing architecture technology from Nokia to elevate the integration of computer vision with sports science, helping users to improve personalised sport suggestions and enrich interactive media content.
– Steven Dominique Cheung, Founder of DragonflyX
DragonflyX aims to introduce the zero-emission DragonflyX which is hydrogen fuel cell “air taxi” to major cities and developing regions around the world. The Hong Kong start-up got patent assignment from Nokia in smart position tracking technology last year. It is now applied in the R&D and manufacturing of unmanned passenger aircrafts targeting Hong Kong, the Greater Bay Area and Southeast Asia.
– Simon Rhodes, Founder and CEO of 1bar.net
Simon is an experienced electronic engineer who has designed and produced numerous hi-tech products in the past two decades, including the world’s first low-cost ultrasonic flow reader and a domestic ultrasonic water meter. His company got patent assignment on intelligent objects recognition and locating technology from Nokia and Panasonic last year. Simon is combining this with real-time data to help bars and restaurants improve their operational efficiency efficiency and reduce waste.
This year’s IPHatch Hong Kong emphasises the concepts of digitalisation, smart city, Internet of Things, medical and related technologies. The contest is now open for application by start-ups and entrepreneurs.
IP as the driver for innovation
The forum is also facilitating in-depth discussion on the practices and challenges of sustainable development, helping economies and enterprises to withstand adversity through more flexible solutions. At the Keynote Session this morning, Gautier Engisch, Vice President and Associate General Counsel of Legal, Innovation, EMEA, and Global Fabric Care at Procter & Gamble, said companies have no choice in this pandemic but to confront the changes, with innovation guiding how we perceive the context and the way we think in a positive mindset. He also explained that Procter & Gamble had chosen to digitise all working files two years before the pandemic, which meant staff could carry on working from home during lockdowns. In that respect, he said, lockdowns barely presented any disruptions for the company.
Mr Engisch added: “When the pandemic is over, it would really be a shame if we forget everything we learnt about how we do our work in the pandemic and if we go back to what we were doing two years ago. If we do things right, I am convinced that we will end up with happier people who are more productive, creative and are willing to stay for longer. And that, I believe, is growth and sustainability.”
Meanwhile, the Plenary Session titled “Powering New Paradigms for Sustainability and Growth” saw industry leaders analyse how businesses can boost innovation and transformation, and enhance resource integration with patents. Ingrid Viitanen, Vice President, IP Legal, General Counsel, Nokia Technologies, said Nokia estimates that roughly 70% of the world’s economy still remains undigitalised, and the company is promoting its private wireless network solution as an effective way for enterprises to digitalise.
“The GSMA recently reported that although mobile networks do have their global carbon footprint, the positive impact of digitalisation on lowering CO2 emissions is 10 times greater than its negative impact. In other words, by increasing connectivity, improving efficiency and impacting behaviour change, mobile network and technologies are significantly helping avoid emissions,” Ms Viitanen said. “We see the critical need to enable others in the market to pick up and run with the technologies that we have developed. And we do this is several ways. First and foremost, we license our patents to those implement the inventions that we have developed. And at Nokia, we also actively license and transfer our software and other technology, especially in the field of audio.”
Patrick Guo, Chief IP Counsel of Midea, said innovation speed is the key to achieving science and technology leadership, and the company will continue to invest in research and development to increase its scale advantage and enhance the competitiveness of existing products through innovation. He also said that through industry litigation, the industry will become healthier and more respectful of intellectual property rights to sustain industry innovation. The company will continue to respect intellectual property rights and protect innovation actively, he said.
Winnie Yeung, Chief Legal Counsel, Greater China Region at Microsoft, and Hisashi Ishijima, Corporate Associate Vice President and Deputy General Manager of IP Division, Ricoh, shared their journey to achieving sustainability through innovation. Ms Yeung said Microsoft has been committed to taking responsibility to become carbon negative, water positive, zero waste, build a “planetary computer”, and become transparent in communication. Mr Ishijima said that Ricoh is now changing from being an office automation equipment manufacturer to a digital services company, to improve capital returns and expand corporate value sustainably.
Capturing Greater Bay Area opportunities under the 14th Five-Year Plan
China’s 14th Five-Year Plan has identified the Greater Bay Area as the country’s next-generation technology and innovation hub, which has further highlighted Hong Kong’s key position as a regional IP trading centre. This afternoon, in the session “Role of Hong Kong as a Regional IP Trading Centre under the 14th Five-Year Plan”, co-organised with the Intellectual Property Department of the HKSAR, regional experts representing Medialink Group Limited, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute and the Hong Kong Institute of Arbitrators gathered to discuss Hong Kong’s competitive edge in IP trading under the 14th Five-Year Plan.
The session aimed to encourage businesses in the Greater Bay Area to leverage Hong Kong’s professional IP services to develop high-value-added products and services that can help them expand into international markets. It also encouraged international businesses to introduce high-quality IP products and services that cater for the needs of the China market. Another breakout session focused on cross-border IP licensing in the Greater Bay Area. Representatives from Whateversmiles, Sisvel, the Hong Kong Bar Association and Licensing Executives Society China offered insights into cross-border IP trade and related services.
Global Tech Summit explores disruptive technologies and transformation
Under the pandemic, innovation has become ever more important in the quest for breakthroughs in the fields of medical science, medical technology and telecommunications that can help to address global challenges. On day two of the forum (3 December), the Global Tech Summit will explore how technologies are reshaping the global economy and redefining different industries. The first part of the summit will feature Osman Yilmaz, 6G Program Manager at Nokia Bell Labs; Siu Yat, Co-Founder & Executive Chairman of Animoca Brands; and Alec Lee, Co-Founder and CEO of Endless West. In the second part, participants will explore developments in innovation in Hong Kong with local start-up pioneers Alvin Cheung, Co-Founder and CEO of HandyRehab (Zunosaki Limited); Vincent Fan, Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Zeek; and Justin Chan, Co-Founder and CEO of Gense Technologies.
Disputes on IPs often involve complex factors such as professional technologies and cross-border differences. Together with the challenges that have arisen from the pandemic, numerous innovative and diverse solutions to settle disputes have been developed. Tomorrow, a fruitful agenda of discussions will address topics across various industries and regions. In “New IP Collaboration Opportunities between Shanghai and Hong Kong”, co-organised with the Shanghai Intellectual Property Administration and Shanghai Changning Government, industry experts will explore potential collaboration between Hong Kong and Shanghai in the areas of innovation technology and IP. In addition, the speakers will discuss how Hong Kong’s technological achievements helped boost the innovation drive among mainland businesses and share examples of successful collaboration. The speaker line-up includes representatives from the Nano and Advanced Materials Institute, iFlytek and other industry experts.
Meanwhile a seminar titled “Your Successful IP strategy: Deal Making and Dispute Resolution in Hong Kong”, co-organised with the Department of Justice of the HKSAR, will feature Emmanuelle Ta, Chief Executive Officer of eBRAM International Online Dispute Resolution Centre; CK Kwong, Senior Partner of Messrs Sit, Fung, Kwong & Shum; and Winnie Tam, Chairman, Committee on Intellectual Property of the Hong Kong Bar Association. They will explore strategies for Hong Kong to leverage its competitive edge in terms of geographical location, socio-economic structure and professional services, with the goal of laying a sound foundation for the local IP industry, resolving disputes through innovation solutions, and grasping overseas opportunities.
The forum also joined hands with Aon in the IP Financing breakout discussion to examine the latest IP valuation solutions that can help enterprises with IP ownership improve their IP financing capabilities. The robust development of Asia’s creative scene and its innovation and technology industry have inspired companies to adopt IP as their business tool. Addressing this rising trend, representatives from VeriFi, Hong Kong Palace Museum, Global Group and other professionals were invited to share their views in a session titled “New IP Trends in Cultural and Arts Industries”.
In addition, the IP Training Programme, co-organised with the Intellectual Property Department, offered lectures on the fundamentals of various types of IP. By building a basic understanding of the rights of IP owners and users, this programme strengthened participants’ ability to protect and manage IP within their organisations. Another key element of the forum, InspoTalk, was conducted in a physical format yesterday (1 December) at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. Industry experts shared their experiences relating to different IP issues, such as IP financing, the intersection of IP and ESG, technology transfer, opportunities in non-fungible tokens and many more. The hosts also engaged in in-depth discussions and real-time interactions with participants.
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