A trademark is a sign that distinguishes the goods and services of one trader from those of others. Typically a trademark can be words (including personal names), indications, designs, letters, characters, numerals, figurative elements, colors, sounds, smells, the shape of the goods or their packaging or any combination of these. A sign must be capable of being represented graphically in order for it to be registered as a trademark. Trade Mark is governed by Trade Marks Ordinance (Cap 559).
Registering your trade mark means that you have the exclusive right to use the trade mark in relation to the goods and services for which the mark is registered. If other traders use it in Hong Kong, China in relation to the same or similar goods or services without your consent, they may be liable for infringement of your mark and you may take legal action. If you do not register your mark, it is harder to prove that you are the „owner‟ of the mark and as such your protection is limited.
Hong Kong Trademark Key Features
- It will take approximately 6 months if there is no deficiencies upon receipt of application
- Upon receipt of application form, the Intellectual Property Department will issue a receipt notifying the allotted application number.
- Deficiencies Checking. A through check will be done to ensure no missing information, otherwise, amendment will be made for deficiencies.
- Search & Examination. After completion of deficiencies checking, trademark will search if the same or similar trademark has already been registered or been applied for by another trader in respect of the same or similar class of goods and services. The mark will then be examined if it satisfies the registration requirements laid down in the Trade Marks Ordinance. The examiner will then issue an opinion in writing which will either lay out the grounds for objection to the mark or confirm the mark is acceptable for registration.
- If the requirements for registration are not met, the mark will be rejected. The applicant has 6 months in which to meet the requirements. A further 3 months extension may be granted. The applicant has right to call for hearing on appeal to objections.
- Publication of Trademark. Once the trademark has been accepted for registration, it is published in the Hong Kong Intellectual Property Journal.
- Registration. Once the trademark has been accepted for registration, the Registrar of Trade Marks will enter the details of the trademark into the trademarks register and the application will be issued with a certificate of registration. Notice of the registration will be published in the Hong Kong Intellectual Property Journal and the registration of the trademark will date back to the filing date of the application. That means as the owner of a registered trademark, the applicant’s rights take effect from the filing date of the application.
- To assess your materials for trademark registration.
- To compile required documents for application.
- To submit the application.
- To liaise & answer queries with/from IP department.
- To attend interview IP Department (if any).
- To deal with IP department until outcome of the application is approved.