top of page
  • Writer's pictureSimon Wong

[For beginners] Very Frequently asked - Quick review - how to prepare for a patent application?

Updated: Jul 10, 2023

Many clients have also asked us whether this thing can be patented or how to do it. They even do not know how to move forward for the first step. We know that applying for a patent is relatively complicated, compared to trademarks or some beginners.

In view of this, we need to know whether this invention could be patentable or should apply for a patent or design. In general, the invention must be novel (NEW), non-obvious, and practically applicable to be eligible for a patent. A design, on the other hand, protects the ornamental or aesthetic aspects of an invention, rather than its functional features.

A design is intended to protect the unique appearance of an object, such as a piece of furniture, or a piece of jewelry. A design does not protect the technical features or functionalities of the invention.




Protect the underlying technology or functionality

​Phone, car, computer


Protect the ornamental or aesthetic aspects

A piece of furniture, or a piece of jewelry


In summary, a regular patent protects the functional aspects of an invention, while a design patent protects its ornamental or aesthetic features. or WhatsApp/ Wechat: 852 6149 6293

Regarding the patent, it was divided into three parts, 1) Time Frame, 2) Procedures, and 3) Fees.

1) Time Frame

The estimated time frame for the patent application process in Hong Kong can vary depending on a number of factors, including the complexity of the invention, the type of patent being applied for, and the workload of the Hong Kong Intellectual Property Department.

Generally speaking, the patent application process in Hong Kong can take from 2 to 4 years for a standard patent, and 3-6 months for a short-term patent. (China Utility Model Patent for about 6-9 months)

In addition, if any objects or requests for further information are raised during the examination process, this can add additional time to the overall timeline. Most likely, a standard patent will face at least one objection, however, a short-term patent will only do a formal examination, and it will not take a substantive examination.

A standard patent provides protection for up to 20 years from the filing date, while a short-term patent provides protection for up to 8 years. (China Utility Model Patent for up to 10 years)

However, granting a standard patent can be more difficult and time-consuming than granting a short-term patent. The invention must meet several requirements to obtain a standard patent, including novelty, inventive step, and industrial applicability. The patent application must undergo a substantive examination process by the Hong Kong Intellectual Property Department.


In contrast, a short-term patent has lower requirements and will be granted more quickly than a standard patent.

Overall, the choice between a standard patent and a short-term patent depends on the specific needs and circumstances of the inventor or applicant.

2) Procedures

I) Prepare and file a patent application

The patent specification should be drafted by a patent specialist to protect your invention.

II) Examination:

A short-term patent will only do a formal examination (formal examination), and it will not take a substantive examination.

For a short-term patent, you need to further request a substantive examination from the Department for further legal proceedings.

III) Publication

Once the patent office is satisfied that the invention meets the requirement, the application will be published in the official patent gazette.

IV) Opposition

After publication, interested parties could file an opposition to the published patent within a period of time.

V) Grant

If there are no oppositions, the patent office grants the patent to the applicant. or WhatsApp/ Wechat: 852 6149 6293

3) Fees

A patent application is generally divided into 4 parts, 1)patent specification, 2)filing documents, 3)office action response, and 4)granting a certificate.

A patent specification includes the whole technical features of the invention, it costs a lot to hire a patent specialist to draft it. The filing documents include the background information of the inventors and applicants and the specification (PRC search report additionally is required for a short-term patent in Hong Kong). Regarding the office action response, the patent office will issue rejections to the patent, applicants need to respond and overcome the rejections. Last but not least, a fee is required for publication and certificate.

A Short-term patent is less expensive since it takes lesser steps and time. Generally, it takes about HK$10,000 for the patent application excluding the specifications. We could get help tailor-made for our clients, hand-by-hand.

The above blog is a quick review only, for details, please refer to our other blog below, you could visit our website for the detailed process of Hong Kong patent registration:

Final Tips:

The benefits of obtaining a short-term patent over a standard patent include the following:

1. Lower cost: A short-term patent is generally less expensive to obtain and maintain than standard patents, which can make them a more attractive option for applicants with limited budgets.

2. Faster registration: The registration process for short-term patents is much faster than for standard patents.

The benefits of obtaining a standard patent over a short-term patent include the following:

1. More secure protection: A short-term patent provides a quicker and more affordable way for inventors to protect their inventions, however, it provides weaker protection since it did not undergo a substantive examination. A substantive examination could be requested, this exam could invalidate the patent or certify the validity of the patent.

2. Pursue stronger and more long-lasting protection: Applicants believe their invention has significant commercial potential and they are willing to invest the time and resources to a standard patent.



Standard patent (Invention patent)

1.More secure protection 2.Stronger and more long-lasting protection

1.Higher cost 2.Time-spending for examination

Short-term patent (Utility model patent)

1.Lower cost 2.Faster registration

1.Uncertain validity of the patent 2.Weaker and shorter protection

A patent application is relatively complex, therefore, if you have any difficulties, please reach us for a free consultation. or WhatsApp/ Wechat: 852 6149 6293


bottom of page