Trademark protection in Hong Kong is possible through registration with the Intellectual Property Department. This step is useful for business owners who want to use specific items to identify their business and make it unique on the market. It is also important for foreign companies that open a branch in Hong Kong to register elements associated with their company worldwide.
What is a trademark?
A trademark is any sign or symbol used to distinguish the goods and services offered by a company from those provided by others in the business. Trademarks can include:
-words: including names and combinations of works;
-letters, characters, numbers;
-designs and signs;
-colors, sounds, smells (a non-conventional category of trademark, smell may be accepted as "functional" in some particular cases).
One or more of these elements used to identify a specific company need to be registered in order for their owner to be able to have intellectual property rights for using them. Our team of company registration agents can help you decide if your company will benefit from registering a trademark in the city.
We invite you to watch this video to find out more about unique trademarks and the registration process in Hong Kong:
How to register a trademark in Hong Kong
Before commencing the trademark registration procedure, the company or individual applying for registration must check if that specific trademark isn't already used by another party. An online search system provided by the Hong Kong Intellectual Property Department allows individuals to search existing trademarks, patents and designs.
Applications for trademark registration and those for patents or designs can be filed online. After an application is submitted, it must go through several stages before it is approved. One part of the process is the publication for opposition – at which point any third party can view the trademark and oppose it (within three months after it has been published in the Hong Kong Intellectual Property Journal). If no oppositions exist and the trademark has been accepted, a Certificate of Registration is issued by the Hong Kong Authorities.
Trademark registration can be performed by any type of company in Hong Kong as long as its founders submit a unique design or logo associated with the services provided by that company.
Intellectual protection in Hong Kong
The Trade Marks Ordinance and the Trade Marks Rules are two important legislative documents that govern the acceptance and registration of trademarks on the territory of Hong Kong. Some of the most important criteria included in the Ordinance demand that the trademark must be distinctive from other existing ones, it should represent a description of the services offered by the company and it must not be a well-known term in the line of business.
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