ASIAN PATENT ATTORNEYS ASSOCIATION HONG KONG

Rules of the Hong Kong Group of the Asian Patent Attorneys Association

Amended at a meeting of the Association held on 16 July 1997

  1. Article 1: Definition

    In these Rules:

    "Association"
    means The Hong Kong Group of the Asian Patent Attorneys Association.
    "Council Meeting"
    means a meeting of the Council of The Asian Patent Attorneys Association.
    "Council Member"
    means a person elected to represent the Association at Council Meetings
    "Honorary Member"
    means an individual admitted to membership of the Association pursuant to Article 6B(2)
    "Organisation Member"
    means an organisation under Article 6A(3).
    "Individual Member"
    means an individual under Article 6A(1) or (2).
    "Member"
    means a member of the Association whether an Individual Member or any Organisation Member.
    "Voting Paper"
    means a list of the entirety of persons nominated for the positions of Council Members and which shall be printed or typewritten and shall set out the nominees in alphabetical order.
  2. Article 2: Name

    The name of the Association shall be the Hong Kong Group of The Asian Patent Attorneys Association ("the Association").

  3. Article 3: Address

    The address of the Association shall be the office of the President of the Association for the time being in Hong Kong or such other address as notified by the President.

  4. Article 4: Objects

    The objects for which the Association is established are:

    1. To foster ties of mutual friendship and understanding among those who are practising in the field of intellectual and industrial property law and through such ties to promote the proper protection and development of intellectual and industrial property law in Hong Kong and the Asian region.
    2. To consider all manner of questions affecting intellectual and industrial property law and/or the interest of the Association.
    3. To engage in activities in conjunction with other bodies or associations within the limits of the Association's objects and to arrange reciprocal concessions and co-operation with other such bodies or associations.
    4. To arrange social and recreational activities for Members of the Association and generally by all manner of means to promote knowledge of Intellectual and industrial property law by lectures, discussions, books, correspondences, pamphlets, dissemination of information or otherwise.
  5. Article 5: Activities

    In order to achieve the objects of the Association, it shall carry out the following:

    1. Hold Meetings for Members.
    2. Exchange information concerning intellectual and industrial property law.
    3. Establish and maintain close contacts with various governmental, intergovernmental and non-government departments, organisations and committees related to intellectual and industrial property law, and to participate whenever possible in meetings to be held by such departments, organisations and committees aforesaid.
    4. Make investigations, studies, plans and proposals with a view to assisting the improvement and co-ordination of international and domestic laws and regulations concerning intellectual and industrial property law.
    5. Conduct all and any other work which may be necessary or desirable to achieve the objects of the Association.
    6. Apply the funds of the Association to the payment of professional fees, subscriptions to the headquarters of the Asian Patent Attorneys Association and to reimburse the Council Members and the Secretary for out of pocket expenses extending no greater than postage, photostat copying, telex and telecopying charges. Any remaining balance is to be used in the attainment of the objects of the Association as set out in Article 4.
  6. Article 6: Membership

    1. Only those persons who are practising intellectual property law and have been continuously resident in Hong Kong for a minimum period of 12 months are eligible for membership of the Association. The categories of persons eligible for membership are:

      1. A person recognised by the Law Society, the Bar Association or any other professional controlling body as may from time to time be approved by the Council as being qualified by examination to practise professionally in Hong Kong, where a substantial part of that person's work involves intellectual property law matters
      2. A person who qualifies in another jurisdiction as a member of the Asian Patent Attorneys Association and, unless otherwise qualifying under paragraph (1) above, is employed in private practice in Hong Kong by a duly qualified Organisation Member.
      3. Any sole proprietorship or partnership which has one or more partners who are qualified for membership under paragraph (1) above.
      1. The Council members for the time being of the Association shall be responsible for approving membership of the Association under all categories in A above.
      2. The membership of the Association may at its discretion confer honorary membership of the Association upon any person continuously resident in Hong Kong for a minimum period of 12 months who has contributed significantly to the practice of intellectual property in Hong Kong.
      3. An Honorary Member may be invited to attend meetings of the Association but shall not be entitled to vote at any such meeting.
      4. An Honorary Member shall not be required to pay any annual subscription.
      1. An Individual Member who also represents an organisation which is a Member can attend and vote both in his/her capacity as an Individual Member and as an Organisation Member at any meeting of the Association, however, each organisation will only have one vote.
      2. An individual or organisation being admitted to membership of the Association shall be notified in writing by the President and provided with a copy of these Rules.
      3. Each Member of the Association agrees to be bound by these Rules.
      4. The name and address of each Member shall be entered by the President in a book kept for that purpose, and a full list of members kept at the address of the Association determined in accordance with Article 3.
      5. The rights and privileges of a Member shall be personal; save and except for an Organisation Member they shall not be transferable and shall cease upon that Member ceasing from any cause to be a Member under the provisions of these Rules.
      6. All Members as of 16 July 1997 shall ipso facto be members of the Association upon the adoption of these Rules.
  7. Article 7: Liability and Termination of Membership

    1. The liability of Members of the Association is unlimited.
    2. Any Member of the Association who ceases to reside in Hong Kong shall cease to be a Member.
    3. The Association shall be at liberty to expel a Member from the Association by resolution passed by 75% of those present and entitled to vote at a General Meeting convened for the purpose of which he or she has been given 14 days notice at his address in the Register of Members if in the opinion of the Association the Member concerned has performed any act which is contrary to the objects of the Association or an act which damages or is apt to damage the Association.
  8. Article 8: Council

    1. Those Members who are to represent the Association as Council Members of the Asian Patent Attorneys Association shall be elected once every three years at the Annual General Meeting next before the General Assembly Meeting of the Asian Patent Attorneys Association.
    2. The Council Members shall as far as practicable before each Council Meeting canvass the views of the Members on the issues to be discussed.
    3. The Council Members will vote and speak on behalf of the Association in accordance with what the consider to be the best interests of the Members and will follow directions given by a resolution passed by 75% of those present and entitled to vote at any meeting of the Association
    4. The President will report as far as practicable and if required in writing to the Members at the next meeting of the Association following a Council Meeting. Any written report will be submitted to the Members with the notice convening the said meeting of the Association.
    5. At the meeting where these Rules are adopted the election of the Council Members in accordance with Article 12 shall be commenced by the Chairman of that meeting.
  9. Article 9: President

    1. After election of Council Members under Article 8(1) the Association shall elect or appoint one of the Council Members to be its President.
    2. The President shall be responsible for calling all meetings of the Association chairing those meetings and representing the Association at any external meeting.
    3. The President shall not be capable of re-election as President for consecutive terms greater than permitted under the Statutes of the Asian Patent Attorneys Association for the time being in force.
    4. At the meeting where these Rules are adopted the election of the President in accordance with Article 13 shall be commenced by the Chairman of that meeting.
    5. The President shall be ex-officio Treasurer and Secretary of the Association but may delegate such tasks to any Individual Member of the Association.
  10. Article 10: Vice-President

    1. The President shall appoint one of the Council Members to be the Vice-President.
    2. The Vice-President shall give the President all help and support which he/she may from time to time require including acting as President and representing the Association whenever the President is unable to do so.
    3. If any President shall vacate office before the expiry of their term of office then the Vice-President will immediately and without election fulfil the role of President of the Association for the remainder of the said term.
  11. Article 11: Election of Council Members

    1. Except as provided in Article 12 any elections and voting are to be conducted in the manner set out in this Article.
      1. Notice shall be given in writing to the President of the name of any candidate to fill any vacancy of Council Member which will arise at an Annual General Meeting and such notice shall be endorsed by each such candidate by way of confirmation of his/her willingness to serve if elected and shall bear the name of a proposer and seconder. Any such notice shall be given to the President not less than 48 hours before the meeting at which the election is to take place.
      2. The elections at any Annual General Meeting shall take place in the following manner:

        1. If there are only sufficient nominations for each position of Council Members of the Association, it shall be competent for the Chairman to put up for election those persons so nominated.
        2. At the commencement of the meeting the Chairman of the meeting shall call upon each Organisation Member to nominate its representative entitled to vote on its behalf.
        3. If the number of nominations exceeds the number of Council Members to be elected, then upon the meeting proceeding to vote each Member present and nominated in accordance with sub-paragraph (ii) hereof shall be given a Voting Paper on which he/she shall insert, mark or otherwise indicate in the manner set forth on the Voting Paper the nominated persons they wish to be elected. No member shall indicate more than one name for each vacant position and if any Member shall do so his/her Voting Paper shall be disqualified.
        4. The Voting Papers shall be counted and checked by the scrutineers appointed by the Chairman from amongst the Members present, who shall prepare as soon as may be the result of the ballot showing the total amount of votes in favour of each nominated person and hand the same to the Chairman who shall announce the names only of the successful candidates.
  12. Article 12: Election of First Council Members

    The election of the first Council Members and thereafter President following the adoption of these Rules shall be conducted in the following manner:

    1. At the meeting where these Rules are adopted the Chairman of the meeting shall declare that nominations in the form set forth in the notice convening the meeting will be accepted.
    2. Voting shall take place in accordance with Article 11(2)(b).
  13. Article 13: Meetings

    1. The Association shall hold a meeting at least once every year.
    2. The President shall convene all meetings of the Association and shall notify each Member in writing not less than 21 days in advance of the date, time and place of the meeting. Such notice shall detail the matter(s) to be discussed at the meeting and invite Members to submit in writing to the President any further matters for discussion at the meeting within one week of the date when the Notice was received.
    3. The President shall convene all meetings at any time and shall be bound to call a meeting within 7 days on the written requisition of six Members of the Association.
    4. The Association may establish various Committees to achieve the objects of the Association.
    5. A quorum of the Association shall be one third of the Individual and Organisation Members of the Association present in person. If within 15 minutes from the time appointed for the meeting no quorum is present then:

      1. A meeting convened upon the requisition of Members shall be dissolved.
      2. In any other case the Chairman shall adjourn the meeting for such period as he in consultation with the Members present thinks fit. At least 7 days notice of the adjourned meeting shall be given to all Members of the Association. If no quorum exists at the adjourned meeting the Individual and Organisation Members then present shall constitute a quorum.
    6. At the commencement of every meeting the Chairman of the meeting shall call upon each Organisation Member to nominate the person entitled to represent it and vote on its behalf.
    7. All resolutions of the Association excepts as otherwise provided shall be adopted upon a vote of the majority of the Members present. Voting shall take place by secret ballot if a ballot is called for by not less than 2 Individual Members.
    8. Questions at any meeting of the Association shall be decided by a majority of votes, and, in the case of equality of votes, the Chairman shall have an extra or casting vote.
      1. Every Member will endeavour to attend all meetings of the Association.
      2. A Member unable to attend any meeting of the Association may appoint a proxy to attend and vote on such Member's behalf. Such proxy must be an Individual Member appointed in writing signed by the appointer and appointee.
    9. If the President is unable to attend any meeting of the Association he shall request the Vice-President to act as Chairman in his place and the Vice-President shall assume all rights, powers and duties of the President for that meeting.
    10. Proper minutes shall be kept of every meeting of the Association. The Secretary of the Association appointed for that purpose by the President shall keep proper minutes of each meeting which shall be entered in a book provided for that purpose and approved by the Association at its next meeting.
  14. Article 14: Annual General Meeting

    1. The Annual General Meeting of the Association shall be held in Hong Kong prior to the annual Council Meeting and at least 3 months before a General Assembly Meeting of The Asian Patent Attorneys Association.
    2. At every Annual General Meeting the President shall cause to be produced a statement of income and expenditure for the period since the last Annual General Meeting together with a balance sheet, auditors report (if any) and commentary upon these which the President shall arrange to be produced. The aforesaid shall be attached to any notice of an Annual General meeting given in accordance with Article 13(2).
  15. Article 15: Amendment of Rules

    These Rules may be amended upon a vote by a 75% majority of the Individual and Organisation Members present at a meeting of the Association provided always that any proposed amendments are circulated to all Members through the President at least 21 days prior to the date of the meeting at which those amendments are to be voted upon and the Members present at the meeting are not less than one half of the total Individual and Organisation Members of the Association.

  16. Article 16: Dissolution

    The Association may be dissolved upon a vote by a 75% majority of the Members present at a meeting of the Association provided always that notice of any proposed dissolution is circulated to Members through the President at least 21 days prior to the date of the meeting at which the motion for dissolution is to be voted upon and the Members present in person at the meeting are not less than three-quarters of the total Members of the Association.

  17. Article 17: Finances

    1. Every Member shall pay an annual subscription as prescribed by the Council and approved at the Annual General Meeting of the Association.
    2. All annual subscriptions except for the year in which a Member is elected shall be payable on the 1st day of January in each year.
    3. Where a Member is elected during the last three months of any year the first year's subscription (to be paid on election) shall count as the subscription for the year commencing on the 1st January next following. In all other circumstances the subscription (to be paid on election) shall be payable pro rata in respect of the remaining months of the year of the Member's election.
    4. The Council may terminate the membership of any Member whose subscription is in arrears for more than twelve months.
    5. The funds of the Association shall be held by the Council as trustees for the Members.
    6. The Treasurer of the Association shall remit to Headquarters of The Asian Patent Attorneys Association such fees and other payments as The Asian Patent Attorneys Association may prescribe from time to time.
    7. In the event of a dissolution of the Association any residue of funds after the payment of all debts and other liabilities of the Association shall be donated to the University of Hong Kong or other similar institutions in Hong Kong as the Council may in its sole discretion decide with a direction that the funds be appropriated toward the establishment of a scholarship or prize for the assistance of students studying Intellectual Property in the Faculty of Law. The conditions attaching to the award of such a prize or scholarship are to be in the absolute discretion of the Dean of the Faculty of Law. In the event that the University of Hong Kong or other similar institutions in Hong Kong as the Council may in its sole discretion decide is unable to accept any residue of funds for the above-stated purposes then those funds shall be donated to the Community Chest of Hong Kong.

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