IP disputes can be referred to arbitration?

In Hong Kong, parties can use arbitration to resolve any type of dispute over any IPR, irrespective of whether the IPR is protectible by registration and whether it is registered, or subsists, in Hong Kong or in other jurisdictions. Examples of these IPRs include patents, know-how, trade marks, copyright as well as IPRs that are registered or subsist in other jurisdictions such as utility models or other types of “petty patents”, supplementary protection certificates, database rights, etc., as well as new types of IPRs which may emerge in future. 

Further, IP disputes of any nature can be submitted to arbitration, including disputes over the enforceability, infringement, subsistence, validity, ownership, scope, duration or any other aspect of an IPR, disputes over any transaction in respect of an IPR and disputes over any compensation payable for an IPR. 

Parties are not prevented from using arbitration to settle their IP disputes only because the relevant IP legislation does not mention the settlement of disputes by arbitration.

there are several world class arbitration institutions in Hong Kong that can help you administer your arbitration.

Arbitration institutions,

  • Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (“HKIAC”): HKIAC is Hong Kong’s own home-grown arbitration body established in the 1980’s and is totally independent, free from governmental interference. HKIAC has been designated under the Ordinance to appoint arbitrators and to determine the number of arbitrators where the parties to a dispute are unable to agree.
  • The International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC-ICA): In November 2008, the Paris-based ICC-ICA has opened the first overseas branch of its Secretariat in Hong Kong to serve ICC arbitration in the Asia-Pacific Region, namely ICC-ICA – Asia Office.
  • China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (“CIETAC”): CIETAC was established in 1956 and is China’s oldest and most experienced arbitration institution, accepting the majority of foreign-related arbitration cases in China. In September 2012, CIETAC established its first branch outside the Mainland in Hong Kong, namely the CIETAC Hong Kong Arbitration Centre.
  • China Maritime Arbitration Commission (“CMAC”): CMAC was established in 1959 and is the sole maritime arbitration institution in China. In November 2014, CMAC established a branch in Hong Kong, namely the CMAC Hong Kong Arbitration Centre.
  • Permanent Court of Arbitration (“PCA”): PCA was established in 1899 by the Convention for the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes and has developed into a modern and reputable arbitral institution handling international investment arbitration with its headquarters in The Hague.  In January 2015, the PCA signed a host country agreement with the Central People’s Government and a related memorandum of administrative arrangements with the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to facilitate the conduct of PCA-administered arbitration in Hong Kong, including state-investor arbitration.  
  • The Hong Kong Maritime Arbitration Group (“HKMAG”): HKMAG was originally formed in February 2000 as a division of HKIAC and became an independent organization in March 2019. HKMAG has the specific aim of the promotion of the development and use of maritime arbitration and mediation in Hong Kong.
  • eBRAM International Online Dispute Resolution Centre (“eBRAM”): eBRAM was established in June 2018 and is an independent and not-for-profit organisation under Hong Kong law. It provides a new online dispute resolution platform in Hong Kong.

Source : the website of the Intellectual Property Department


the website of the Department of Justice 


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