Where a contract for the supply of a patented product or of a licence to work a patented invention contains one of the following restrictions, the purported restriction will be void:

  • a requirement that products other than the patented product be obtained only from a nominated supplier;
  • a requirement that a licensee obtains from specified persons products not covered by the patented invention;
  • a restriction on the person supplied/licensee from using any article or process other than the patented product or process.

This provision will not apply to contracts or licences in existence before the commencement of the new law. Also, there are express exceptions putting outside its ambit:

  • contractual restrictions on the person selling goods other than those supplied by a specified person; or
  • reserving the right to supply new parts to keep a patented product in repair to the licensor for use of a patented product.

In any proceedings brought against any person for infringement, the existence of such a contract will afford a complete defence. There are also provisions permitting termination on three months' notice of contracts concerning patented inventions which are no longer protected by any patent in Hong Kong. (This applies to contracts in force before the beginning of this new law.)

Further information on the above may be obtained via Linklaters & Paines Hong Kong office or via any of the other nine Linklaters & Paines offices world-wide, located in Singapore, Tokyo, London, Brussels, Paris, Frankfurt, New York, Washington D.C. and Moscow. Contact details for the various L&P offices worldwide are available via the Linklaters & Paines corporate listing c/o Business Monitor Online - http://www.businessmonitor.co.uk

c Linklaters & Paines 1997 - Tel +852 2842 4888