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Trademark Registration in Hong Kong
A trademark is a sign that differentiates the goods and services of one trader from those of others. Typically a trademark can be words, indications, designs, letters, characters, numerals, figurative elements, colors, etc. A sign must be capable of being represented graphically for it to be registered as a trademark.
Registering your trademark means that you have the exclusive right to use the trademark about the goods and services for which the mark is registered. If other traders use it in Hong Kong, China about the same or similar goods or services without your consent, they may be liable for infringement of your trademark and you may take legal action.
The registered trademarks are assets, which can be owned, while unregistered trademarks are not assets. As well, it is easier to protect your rights over a registered trademark. As the owner of a registered trademark, you will have the exclusive right to use the trademark about the goods and services for which the mark is registered. If others use your registered trademark in Hong Kong or a name that is identical or similar to your trademark about the same or similar goods or services without your permission, you may take infringement actions against them. Unregistered marks are preserved by the common law action of passing off. You must prove goodwill or reputation in the unregistered mark and must show that the other person understated his/her goods or services to be the goods or services under the unregistered mark and that person’s use of the mark will create your damage. Passing off is normally a more difficult action to bring than an action for infringement of a registered trademark.
Choosing a trademark
Some trademarks cannot be registered, or are more difficult to register, such as:
- A person’s surname, if it is normal to practice surnames in the relevant trade and that singular surname has been used to a great extent in that trade.
- A sign that is descriptive of products or services, such as “modem” for Internet modems, “email” for computer software products, “cool fresh” or “good nature” for cosmetic and skincare goods or products.
- A sign that is devoid of distinctive characters, such as “wonderful” for processed nuts and “A New Way” for telecommunications services
- A trademark that is confusingly related to a registered trademark
What Can Be Trademarked?
A name including personal or surname of the applicant or predecessor in business or the signature of the person e.g, the name Dhirubai Ambani can be trademarked.
A word which is not being directly descriptive of the character or quality of the goods / service. For example Google is a word which has been trademarked.
Alphanumeric or Letters or numerals or any combination thereof. For example 555 brand.
Image, symbol, monograms, 3-dimensional shapes, letters etc. For example the tick in Nike logo.
Sound marks in audio format. For ex the sound in the ad jingle
Who Can Apply For Trademarked ?
Any person or business claiming to be owner can apply for a trademark including :
- Limited Liability Company
- Limited Partnership
- Joint Venture
- Sole Proprietorship
It is preferable that you apply for the trademark as an individual. In a case of a proprietor or company, if you close or change the name of the business, your trademark will become invalid. However, in a case of an individual, this problem won’t arise.
Trademark Law in Hong Kong
The legal basis is the Trade Marks Ordinance, Cap. 559 (TMO) in force since April 4th, 2003.Even after the commission of Hong Kong to China, Hong Kong, and China have independent laws and there is separate trademark law in Hong Kong i.e. TMO. IP rights registered in Hong Kong will not be automatically preserved in China, and vice versa. The principles of “common law” practice. Trademark protection is achieved by registration. It can also be obtained by sufficient public recognition so to establish common law rights.
Rights of Trademark Owners
A registered trademark is personal property. The owner of a registered trademark has exclusive rights in the trademark which are infringed by the use of the trademark in Hong Kong without his consent. Generally, a person infringes a registered trademark if in the course of trade or business the person uses a sign which is identical or confusingly similar to the registered trademark about identical or similar goods or services. An infringement of a registered trademark is actionable by the owner of the trademark.
Your rights as the owner of a registered trademark involve but are not restricted to the following:
- Right to obtain a court order (called an injunction) to stop a competitor from infringing your trademark
- Right to obtain monetary compensation (called damages or account of profits) from an infringer that has unlawfully used your trademark
- Right to get a court order for delivery up or disposal of infringing articles or elimination of an infringing mark
- Right to grant a license to another person to use your trademark, in return for royalties and other payments
- Right to sell your trademark
- Right to make a gift of your trademark in your will.
Procedure For Trademark Registration
Steps to register trademark in Hong Kong
STEP 1: Trademark Search
Registering a Trademark in Hong Kong is SEARCH like in any other country and the search can be made for checking the availability of Trademark in Hong Kong that can be done on Trademarkcart. It is legal with an updated informative trademark database with complete trademark records available online.
STEP 2: Filling Application
It includes the filing of Application for Trademark Registration. The application form includes the same details as that of Indian application form for trademark filing like Details of the Applicant, Trademark class, Agent’s details, goods/ services description. The registry will issue a receipt informing you of the allotted application number.
STEP 3: Trademark registration
After applying for the Trademark registration the following step is the examination of the Application to see whether there are any needs or not. And in case any missing data is needed in the trademark registry will notify you to give the information. And if everything is in series the application will proceed to the next stage search and examination
STEP 4: Search and Examination
In this step, the Examiner will examine whether the application complies with all legal requirements for registration.
The examiner will then give an opinion in writing which will either lay out the grounds for objection to the mark or confirm the mark is acceptable for registration
STEP 5: Application Approval
In this step, if the requirements for registration are not met Registry will object to the mark. The applicant, have 6 months in which to meet the necessities. A further 3 months of grace is granted.
The registry will also give an opinion on why the mark does not meet the requirements for registration and may advise ways of overcoming the objection. If there is no issue with application it will be provided for publication.
STEP 6: Publication of Trademark
Once your trademark has been accepted for registration, it is advertised in the Hong Kong Intellectual Property Journal. Once the application is been accepted by the Registry and published in the official Gazette there are 3 months. If there is no opposition within the prescribed period, or if an opposition is overcome, your mark will be entered in the Trade Marks Register and a certificate of registration will be issued to you.
Benefits of Trademark Registration in Hong Kong
Trademarks are used throughout the world every day to support businesses interact with the world and to protect their intellectual property. You might be wondering whether or not you want a trademark for your business, so we have broken down a few of the best reasons why a trademark might be right for you.
The registered trademark owner has a legal right over his mark in case of any misleading or misconduct by the third person for copying your logo, brand name or lines. Even the trademarks are a greater way to communicate your brand to the world. One needs to market its product or services with a great strategy to reach the audience’s minds.
A trademark gives the advantage to build a brand identity. Trademarks in Hong Kong are an excellent tool to brand a business product or service that provides the right customers to find you. This is a valuable tool for your audience to be able to explain your product or service different from that of others. This is a competing world and anything that can provide you an edge in that space is going to prove useful to your business.
Lawful use of Trademark symbol
Registration allows lawful use of ® next to your trademark. You can use the ® symbol to show that your trademark is registered. If your trademark is unregistered, you cannot apply the ® symbol, but you may use the ™ symbol. In Hong Kong, the ® symbol with an unregistered trademark is an illegal practice. A registered trademark is a corporate asset that is beneficial when making an appraisal of your company in M&A or IPO situations.
The owner of Registered Trademark holds exclusive rights over the trademark in Hong Kong. The owner can apply the same for all the products falling under the classes used. Further, the owner can hold the sole ownership of the Trademark and can hinder others from the illegal use of the Trademark under the same class where it is registered. It provides the right to sue the illegal use of the Trademark Registered. This is the main exclusive advantage a trademark owner has when registering for a trademark.
Protection against infringement
No competitor or another person can apply the wordmark or logo registered by you under trademark. But, if in any case one applies it without the approval of the owner of the trademark or makes any false use of the same, the owner can get the legal protection under the Act and hinder the person doing so. Registration guarantees that you can securely use your trademark without bothering about any accidental infringement on the third party’s trademark. A trademark certification is the best proof of your claim on the mark.
It makes easy for clients to find your goods. It makes your product or service different, not quite identical to that of the contemporary and likely contenders and goes about as an effective promotional tool. The logo can communicate your vision, quality or one of a kind attributes for your business and any association. Registration gives you a safe ground to reject any attempt by your competitors to register a confusingly similar mark. In-country like Hong Kong it allows you to take legal action upon counterfeiters for copying your trademark.
Copy of Applicant’s Id and address proof
Copy of the business/company certificate
Letter of power of attorney
Print and digital version of proposed trademark
Copy of the passport of applicant
What Is Included In Our Package?
Name search & approval
|Trademark Consultancy on Class and Availability||Free|
|TM Application Filing + Drafting (Our Fees)||$ 699|
|Total Cost||$ 699 + Govt. Fees|
Trademark search in Hong Kong
Trade Mark search permits for targeted searching of intellectual property cases by case number, owner, date, and more. Trademark search must be satisfied before filing a trademark application to find likely disputes with existing trademark applications or registered trademarks. You can do a trademark search by providing the wordmark and the class under which the search is to be done. Trademark application is organized under 45 different classes as per the NICE classification for trademark. All of the trademark class serves a different set of goods and services. In case you need to get the trademark class for a good or service, you can use our trademark class finder tool. Trademarkcart provide an easy way to perform a trademark search through this online tool.
Search your trademark in 3 simple steps
Complete our trademark form.
We will generate your Trademark application
Final Wrap-Up of your Trademark Order.
The term “class” as used with trademarks indicates the kinds of services and goods you wish to register. Basically, you need to put all the services and goods in the classes that they fall under and also give the class name when filling the application to register the trademark.
There is a wide classification as per the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), used in Hong Kong. The class number varies from Class 1 to Class 45. When applying for trademark registration, you need also submit a record of all goods and services that you plan to apply for trademark registration.
The list requires to be based on the kind of goods and services to which it refers. It must also state the amount of the category in which the goods and services belong. This the trademark class followed by Hong Kong.
Goods and Services Category
- Category 1: Chemicals for industrial, scientific and many agricultural activities. Unprocessed synthetic resins, plastics, fertilizers, fire-extinguishing and compounds preparations for quenching and welding.
- Category 2: Pigments, rust inhibitors, wood preservatives, colorants, unprocessed natural resins, metal foils and powders for painters.
- Category 3: Laundry bleach and other materials; cleaning, polishing, stain removal and grinding preparations; soap; spices, essential oils, cosmetics, shampoo; toothpaste.
- Category 4: Industrial oils and greases, lubricants, composites for absorbing, wetting and bonding dust.
- Category 5: Medicinal and veterinary preparations; medical hygiene preparations; nutritious foods and substances for medical or veterinary use, baby foods; dietary supplements for humans and animals; plasters, stretch materials; stuffing materials for dental use, dental waxes; Disinfectant; eliminate harmful animal preparations; fungicides, herbicides.
- Category 6: Ordinary metals and their alloys; metal building materials; movable metal buildings; metal materials for railroad tracks; non-electrical cables for ordinary metals; hardware, metal hardware, metal pipes, safes, ordinary metal products not belonging to other categories.
- Category 7: Machines and their tools, motors, and engines, non-manual agricultural equipment; incubators and vending machines.
- Category 8: Hand tools and utensils (manual); knives, forks and spoons; carry-on weapons; razors.
- Category 9: Science, navigation, surveying, photography, film, optics, scales, gauges, signals, inspection (supervision), ambulance (rescue) and teaching equipment and instruments; devices for handling, switching, transmitting, accumulating, regulating or controlling electricity and Apparatus; means for recording, communicating, reproducing sound or video; magnetic data carrier, recording disk; optical disk, DVD disk and other digital storage media; mechanical structure of coin-operated activation device; cash register, computer, data processing device, computer ; computer software; fire extinguishing equipment.
- Category 10: Surgical, medical, dental and veterinary instruments and instruments, prostheses, false eye and dentures; orthopedics; suture materials.
- Category 11: Lighting, heating, steam generation, cooking, refrigeration, drying, ventilation, water supply, and plumbing fixtures.
- Category 12: Vehicles; land, air and sea carriers.
- Category 13: Firearms; arms and ammunition; explosives; fireworks.
- Category 14: Precious metals and their alloys, not belonging to other precious metal products or articles coated with precious metals; jewellery, precious stones; watches and clocks.
- Category 15: Musical instrument.
- Category 16: Paper and cardboard, not belonging to other types of paper and cardboard products; printed matter; binding supplies; photographs; stationery; stationery or household adhesives; art supplies; brushes; typewriters and office supplies (except furniture); Except); plastic articles for packaging (not belonging to other categories); printed typeface; printing plate.
- Category 17: Rubber, guta gum, gum, asbestos, mica, and products of these raw materials that are not classified; molded plastic products for production; materials for packaging, filling and insulation; non-metallic hoses.
- Category 18: Leather and faux leather, not belonging to other types of leather and artificial leather; fur; boxes and travel bags; umbrellas and parasols; canes; whip and harness.
- Category 19: Non-metallic building materials; non-metallic rigid pipes for construction; tar, asphalt; movable non-metallic buildings; non-metallic monuments.
- Category 20: Furniture, mirrors, photo frames; wood, cork, scorpion, rattan, wicker, horn, bone, ivory, whalebone and shell.
- Category 21: Household or kitchen utensils and containers, combs, sponges, and brushes.
- Category 22: Cables, ropes, nets and textile fiber raw materials.
- Category 23: Textile yarn and thread.
- Category 24: Cloth and textiles that are not of the same type; bed sheets; tablecloths.
- Category 25: Clothing and shoes.
- Category 26: Lace and embroidery, sashes and braids; buttons, collar hooks, pins and stitches; fake flowers.
- Category 27: Carpets, mats, mats, linoleum and other flooring materials; non-textile wall slabs.
- Category 28: Gaming equipment and toys; sports and sporting goods not belonging to other categories; Christmas tree decorations.
- Category 29: Meat, fish, poultry and game, jams, eggs, milk and dairy products, edible oils and fats.
- Category 30: Coffee, tea, cocoa and coffee substitutes; rice; edible starch and sago; flour and cereal products; bread, pastries and sweets; edible ice; sugar, honey, syrup; fresh yeast, baking powder; salt; mustard; Sauce (condiment); spice; ice.
- Category 31: Cereals and other agricultural, horticultural and forestry products and malt.
- Category 32: Beer; mineral and soda and other non-alcoholic beverages; fruit drinks and juices; syrups and other beverage preparations.
- Category 33: Alcoholic beverages (except beer).
- Category 34: Tobacco; smoking articles; matches.
- Category 35: Advertising; business operations; business management; office affairs.
- Category 36: Insurance; financial affairs; currency affairs; real estate affairs.
- Category 37: Building construction; repair; installation services.
- Category 38: Telecommunications.
- Category 39: Transportation; packaging and storage of goods; travel arrangements.
- Category 40: Material handling.
- Category 41: Education; provide training; entertainment; cultural and sports activities.
- Category 42: Scientific and technical services and related research and design services; industrial analysis and research; computer hardware and software design and development.
- Category 43: Provide food and beverage services; temporary accommodation.
- Category 44: Medical services; veterinary services; human and animal health and beauty services; agricultural, horticultural and forestry services.
- Category 45: Legal services; services for the protection of property and personal safety; private and social services provided by others to meet individual needs.
The procedure for Trademark Registration in Hong Kong is similar to that of the Trademark registration in India.
Validity time of Trademark Registration
In Hong Kong, a registered trademark will be legally protected for 10 years from the date of its certified registration. Trademark registration is valid for up to 10 years from the filing date of the application and is renewable for similar periods in Hong Kong.
When the renewal is not done as soon as possible, there will still be a grace period of 6 months. It must also be seen that a registered trademark can be asked to be cancelled by any interested party if the said trademark is not used for 5 consecutive years in the Hong Kong from the date of its filing.
In Hong Kong the main protection comes from the rule first-to-file and first-to-use function. Trademark protection in Hong Kong is possible by registration with the Intellectual Property Department. This step is helpful for business owners who want to use particular items to identify their business and make it different on the market. It is also necessary for foreign companies that open a branch in Hong Kong to register details linked with their company worldwide.
The Trade Marks Ordinance and the Trade Marks Rules are 2 major legislative documents that direct the acceptance and registration of trademarks on the territory of Hong Kong. Some of the most significant criteria involved in the ordinance demand that the trademark must be distinctive from other existing ones, it must represent a description of the services given by the company and it need not be a well-known term in the line of business.
Trade Mark Infringement: Hong Kong’s Approach
In Hong Kong, an illegal use of any mark similar to a registered trademark in the course of trade or business on identical or similar goods or services registered under the registered mark, and which creates confusion to the consumers, creates trademark infringement (s.18 of the Trade Mark Ordinance (Cap. 559) (“TMO”)). A trademark includes words, indications, designs, letters, characters, numerals, figurative elements, etc any combination of such signs.
Section 18(5) of TMO clarifies the meaning of “use” by providing that a person uses a sign if he or she:
- Applies it to goods or their packaging
- Offers or displays goods for sale under the sign
- Puts goods on the market under the sign
- Stocks goods under the sign to offer or expose them for sale or of putting them on the market
- Offers or supplies services under the sign
- Imports or exports goods under the sign
- Uses the sign on business papers or in promoting and advertsing
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Frequently Asked Questions
- Trademark: Business and item proprietors petition for a trademark. It ensures a name, word, motto, image, outline, or potentially picture recognizing a business or mark and recognizing it from others in a similar field.
- Copyright: It can be looked for by creators, craftsmen, choreographers, draftsmen, and other creative experts. While a thought can't be copyrighted, the tangible form of a thought can be. This incorporates unique works of origin, photos, models, choreography, building works, sound chronicles, movies, and other innovative works.
- Patent: Innovators and designers file for licenses. A patent secures inventions with another or enhanced capacity. This incorporates machines, procedures, or substance pieces, or the plan for some item.
- Across the nation security
- The assumed legitimacy of the mark in the event that you need to sue
- Extra cures in court
- May expand the reputation of your organization
- Registration with the authority will dishearten others from attempting to utilize your mark
- Generic Generic terms, which will never be equipped for Registration. A Generic expression is a term, the importance of which is synonymous with the products (or services) themselves. Such nonexclusive terms are unequipped for recognizing the products or services of one substance from those of another
- Descriptive A mark is descriptive on the off chance that it is descriptive of: the nature or quality of the merchandise; the planned reason or capacity of the services; or the end impact upon the client. However, these terms cannot get Federal Registration unless, over a time of years, the terms have obtained an extraordinary, identifiable significance in the brains of the public (that is, an "optional importance"
- Suggestive A "Suggestive" mark is one which only recommends some quality or characteristic of the services. On the off chance that the mark is resolved to be suggestive, and non-descriptive, the mark is qualified for Federal Registration and to the same security as a "distinctive" mark. You should bend over backward to create arbitrary and fanciful Trademarks. Suggestive terms make for exceptionally frail trademarks and ought to stay away from at whatever point conceivable.
- Distinctive or Arbitrary or Fanciful Usually, the most effortlessly Registerable and protectable mark are those which are viewed as "distinctive". Between the two extremes lie "Suggestive Marks" and "Descriptive Terms". Descriptive and generic terms ought to never be utilized as trademarks. An exertion ought to be made to stay away from use in the trademark of terms which have a particular significance in the pertinent business since such terms tend to make a mark either descriptive or suggestive.
- The actual mark you want to use.
- The date you first use used the mark in commerce.
- The date you first shared the mark anywhere.
- Copy of the proof which shows you are using the particular mark in commerce.
- The full official and legal name of the owner of the mark.
- Trademark It refers to the name, logo, or slogan related to the sale of goods.
- Service Mark It refers to the name, logo, or slogan related to the services.
- Determine whether you are selling goods or services.
- Focused on the finished product to the consumer, not on the ingredients of goods and services.
- Try to be accurate as possible because if you file in the wrong class it may become the reason for the rejection of your application by authority.
- From TrademarkCart’s drop-down menu select the most accurate category.
- Don’t be too narrow or too broad because it might become the reason for the rejection of your application.
- Do not use the phrase such as:
- Such as
- Avoid repeating the broader category name.
- Avoid the terms that fit into multiple categories.
- Try to use simple English.
- When your mark will be registered it will protect it nationwide.
- When your mark will be registered it will protect it nationwide.
- You will receive the right to the exclusive use of the mark nationwide.
- It will stop or restrict other to use your mark.
- You will receive the right to use the symbol of the Registered trademark.
- Well known symbols
- Compressed compound wording
- Informational words
- Merely descriptive words
- Generic words
- Geographic terms
- Misspellings from telescoped words
- Foreign wording
- Multiple words disclaimer.
- Entertainment service
- Sound recording
- Utilize the ® image
- Put others on seeing that you are as of now using the mark
- File a trademark encroachment suit in a government court
- Keep others from getting confusingly comparable marks from the authority - even on Principal Register.