When you start a new business, getting your brand secured should be one of your primary goals.
You don’t want anyone else to ride on the success of a brand that you want to build with a lot of effort.
And one of the easy ways to do this is through trademark registration.
A trademark is a sign that distinguishes your goods or services from those provided by your competitors.
They are a form of intellectual property protection.
The tick sign of Nike or the name Coco Chanel is nothing but their trademark that makes these brands so memorable for the audience.
A word, phrase, symbol, design, or a combination of these associated with your business is your trademark.
When you register your trademark, it prevents others from copying it or misusing it.
In other words, registration provides you with legal ownership of the trademark.
This article tells you everything you need to know about trademark registration in Hong Kong:
When your trademark is not registered, it doesn’t get any protection under the Trade Marks Ordinance (Cap.559).
While you may still take actions under common law for passing off, you will have to establish your goodwill and how the misuse has caused financial losses.
So till you register the trademark, it is harder to prove that you are the owner of the mark.
Every trademark application should fulfill a few criteria before the registration application is processed.
Here are a few important ones:
Additionally, the Hong Kong Government doesn’t allow an applicant to use certain words as part of the trademark. These include:
Applications for registering a trademark should be filed with the Intellectual Property Department of the Government of the Hong Kong SAR.
It can be filed online by visiting the Trade Marks Registry office.
Bear in mind that only such trademarks can be registered which are being used by a person or a company or are about to be used in the near future.
Here’s what you need to submit:
Once the Registrar receives the application, the examiner will review the application for any deficiencies and identify if any information is missing.
In case of any deficiency, you will be asked to provide relevant information.
However, you cannot make any major changes to the application at this stage.
The next stage is search and examination.
Once the deficiency check is completed, and the application is in order, the examiner will search the trademark records to see if the same or similar trademark has already been registered or applied for by another trader for the same or similar class goods and services.
The examiner will also check if your application satisfies the registration requirements under the Trade Marks Ordinance.
If the registration requirements are not satisfied, the examiner will raise an objection, and you will have six months to overcome the objection, which can be extended by another three months.
The examiner will indicate the steps you can take to overcome the objection to proceeding with registration.
Some of these options include:
You can also file a hearing request to present all the evidence for and against the trademark wait for the hearing officer’s decision.
If your application has no deficiencies or no objections/oppositions, the entire procedure can be completed within six months.
In other cases, it can take up to 12 months.
The application fee and application form provided to the Intellectual Property Department of the Government of the Hong Kong SAR is HK$1,300.
For each additional trademark class in the application, an additional HK$650 is payable.
Class in a trademark application refers to the types of services and goods for which you want to obtain a trademark.
Trademark laws are unique to every country and there is no system to grant an international trademark.
If you want your trademark to be protected in Mainland China or Macau, you’ll need to file for it separately in such countries.
Registering a trademark in Hong Kong can be a long drawn process and you might get overwhelmed with all the paperwork.
It is always advisable to get a qualified trademark lawyer on board who can help you navigate through these issues.
If you want to start your business in Hong Kong, but don’t know where to begin, Air Corporate is here to help.
Right from taking care of incorporation, registering your business, and providing you a virtual office address — we are here to sort it all out.
So contact us right away and let your dreams of doing business in Hong Kong come true!
Ready to trademark your ideas and IP in Hong Kong?
Register your business in Hong Kong with Air Corporate today and you’ll get professional advice and administrative help when applying for trademarks and copywrites.
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