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Co-operation on multiple fronts

The local bureau overseeing intellectual property matters - Macao Economic Services - is reaching out to Guangdong, Hong Kong, and Hengqin to enhance regional IP co-operation

The Macau SAR is strengthening mechanisms of bilateral and multilateral co-operation on intellectual property (IP) matters with Guangdong Province and the Hong Kong SAR, according to information provided to Business Daily by Macao Economic Services (DSE).
In October 2017, the relevant local administrative department will participate in a symposium organised by intellectual property authorities from the three regions, according to DSE.
The initiative plans ‘to allow entrepreneurs from the three regions and professionals working on the field to better understand the concept, development, and the latest trends on intellectual property rights operating in the region.’
The bureau added that the goal of the symposium is to ‘strengthen exchange between relevant departments, scholars, specialists, legal professionals and companies.’
Last week, IP experts from the Hong Kong SAR and Guangdong Province announced they intend to intensify co-operation in IP trading between the two regions, Xinhua reported.
The agreement came at the 16th meeting of the Guangdong/Hong Kong Expert Group on the Protection of Intellectual Property Rights held last Wednesday.
Some 28 co-operation projects covering seven different areas are planned to take off during the 2017-2018 period, within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative and the Greater Bay Area, according to Xinhua.
Macau Government confirmed to Business Daily that no local experts or officials took part in the initiative although DSE claims it has established bilateral co-operation agreements with both Hong Kong and Guangdong in the field.

Bilateral threads
According to DSE, a working group on IP rights involving Guangdong and Macau was established on May 10, 2012, ‘setting up the co-operation platform and the mechanism for the joint protection of intellectual property.’
Concerted efforts between the two governments, the DSE claims, ‘have further improved the mechanism for intellectual property work, steadily increasing the level of co-operation, and continuously deepening the content of co-operation.’
The economic services said that co-operation between the parties is evolving through the development of seminars, cross-border protection policies, collaboration on law enforcement, information sharing, and training.
The Intellectual Property Database for Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau is one of the mechanisms enabling the sharing of information, and Pearl River Delta to become a knowledge-based economy.
Co-operation between local authorities and the Intellectual Property Department of the Hong Kong SAR Government is enabled through a ‘mechanism of permanent communication and exchange’ via which competent authorities raise and discuss ‘opinions on topics of management of intellectual property activity that deserve more attention from both territories,’ DSE claimed.

Hengqin co-operation
During the Macao Franchise Expo 2017 (MFE 2017) held a week ago the governments of the Macau SAR and the Hengqin New Area established a co-operative mechanism to protect exclusive trademark rights and facilitate trademark registration.
The Cross-Border Protection & Service Cooperation Agreement on Trademark Intellectual Property Rights between Hengqin and Macau was signed on this occasion.
The agreement seeks to enable the construction of registration procedures, safeguarding of rights, alliances, arbitration mechanisms, and publicity.

Local IP range
The services portfolio under the Intellectual Property Department of the Macao Economic Services includes the registration of trademarks, patents, designs and copyright matters.
From June to July of this year the DSE has received:
7,397 applications for trademark registration;
51 applications for invention patent registration; and
95 applications for industrial design/model registration