Rebecca Lo has over 20 years of experience practising IP, technology, media, entertainment and cyberspace law. She studied law in the UK, and obtained an LLM from the University of Hong Kong, studying the PRC’s economic and IP laws. Rebecca is admitted to practise law in Hong Kong and the USA (California Bar), as well as in England and Wales, Australia and Singapore (non-practising). She is a member of the advisory committee, and the council, of the Asian Patent Attorneys Association (APAA); and is also president of the APAA’s Hong Kong group. She is also a member of the intellectual property committee of the Law Society of Hong Kong.
What do you enjoy most about working in the IP space?
The ever-changing landscape of the IP space. No other area of the law makes as many and as significant changes in as short a period of time. One never gets bored of practising IP law.
In your opinion, how will the ever-expanding digital environment challenge IP policies and enforcement strategies in Hong Kong?
The challenge is worldwide, and doesn’t just affect Hong Kong. In the digital age, country/jurisdiction borders are increasingly blurred and any IP policy and enforcement strategy has to be developed through the joint efforts of leaders of the world.
What impact has covid-19 had on your IP practice?
No significant impact so far. We see more clients moving into “distance business”, but this is a trend that had been developing for some time already. Covid-19 only accelerated the pace of changes being made in order to adapt to the new needs and habits of the digital-age population.
How does Gallant distinguish itself from its competitors?
Founded in 1977, Gallant is one of the best-established and most notable full-service independent domestic law firms in Hong Kong with international capabilities. Gallant is particularly renowned for its cross-border legal services between Hong Kong and Mainland China, which began as early as 1979.
How do you see technical developments affecting your practice in the future?
I see technical developments gradually replacing the need for mundane tasks. IP practitioners will be shifting their time to deal more with new challenges to the IP scene.
Do you think that Hong Kong can continue to be at the forefront of innovation and IP services in the future?
Definitely. Hong Kong people are known for their creativity and adaptability. The changing environment will breed new ideas and new solutions.
Hong Kong also has a good ecosystem for IP to prosper. To encourage more enterprises to conduct research and development activities in Hong Kong, R&D expenditure enjoys 100–300 per cent tax deduction. Moreover, Hong Kong has a strong legal regime to protect IP. Hong Kong is one of the most popular seats of arbitration in the world and our arbitration law expressly provides that IP is an arbitrable subject matter. All these are conducive to the creation of IP in Hong Kong.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Charles Darwin said: “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”