Provisions mean IP disputes arbitrable in Hong Kong


New provisions in the Arbitration Ordinance came into force on 1 January 2018 to confirm that all disputes relating to intellectual property rights (IPR), whether registered or subsisting within or outside Hong Kong, will be arbitrable as between the parties to an arbitration, and that any arbitral award will not be contrary to public policy only because it concerns a dispute relating to IPR.

The reform is part of the Hong Kong government’s continuing efforts to enhance Hong Kong’s attractiveness as a leading arbitration centre.


In many jurisdictions, certain aspects of IPR disputes are considered non-arbitrable, i.e., not capable of being finally resolved by arbitration. For example, in Mainland China, the Copyright Law expressly provides for copyright disputes to be arbitrable if this is agreed in writing by the parties involved, whereas the validity of patents and registered trademarks would be treated as administrative matters that are non-arbitrable.

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Business Law Digest is compiled with the assistance of Baker McKenzie. Readers should not act on this information without seeking professional legal advice. You can contact Baker McKenzie by e-mailing Danian Zhang (Shanghai) at