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Hong Kong IPD head to step down

Peter Cheung, the director of the Hong Kong Intellectual Property Department, will retire in mid-May

picture of Peter Cheung
Peter Cheung

Cheung has been at the helm of HKIPD since April 2011, where he was previously deputy director. Throughout his tenure, he has been actively pushing to develop Hong Kong as a centre for IP trading, arguing that the city’s strong rule of law, proximity to China and well-developed financial services make it an ideal location for intellectual property deal-making.

Cheung also headed HKIPD as it began to implement one of the biggest changes to Hong Kong’s patent system. Last year, the city announced that it will develop a new patent right that includes substantive examination. Hong Kong has issued patents under a system where applications are not substantively examined but are granted by recording a patent published by SIPO, the UK IP Office or the EPO for European patents designated for the UK. The overhaul would keep the recordal system but also add the substantive examination option as well.

As the director of HKIPD, Cheung has played an important role in implementing this change. Late last year, HKIPD issued a notice of tender requesting private sector firms to submit bids to act as consultants to the project. The results of the tender have not yet been announced.

HKIPD has confirmed that Cheung will be stepping down, though a spokesperson declined to state who will replace him. Another source suggested that deputy director Ada Leung is the leading candidate for the role, though two others are under consideration as well.

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