How to Register a Trademark in Hong Kong

Once a trademark is registered in Hong Kong you will have the right to take legal action against any individual or business who uses your trademark without your consent. Trademark protection also prevents other companies from registering similar trademarks to avoid infringing your rights.

Once the application formalities have been met and your trademark is accepted for registration it will be published in the Hong Kong Intellectual Property Journal. Then you will be given a certificate of registration.

Trademark Search

A hong kong trademark is a unique sign that distinguishes your goods or services from those of other traders. It can be a word, phrase, logo, or combination of these elements. You can search for existing registered trademarks in Hong Kong using the online e-search system, available via the website of the Intellectual Property Department (IPD).

Conducting a trademark search is an important first step before applying for registration. The results of your search will help you decide whether to proceed with your application.

Trademark registration gives you legal protection under Hong Kong’s law. This means that if someone else uses your mark on similar goods or services, you can take legal action to stop them. In addition, a registered trademark allows you to use the “(R)” symbol and block others from registering identical or similar marks.

Trademark Registration

A registered trademark in Hong Kong is a property right and comes into effect from the date of filing. A trademark application is filed with the Registrar and can be registered in classes for goods and services.

Once the authority clears your trademark and accepts it for registration, it will be published in the Hong Kong Intellectual Property Journal. During the three months following publication, any third party can file an opposition.

However, it is important to note that the protection of a trademark through the common law doctrine of passing off is only effective in the case where your company can produce copious proof of goodwill. It also leaves the door wide open for any third party to register a similar mark that would cause confusion with yours.

Furthermore, if your trademark has not been used in commerce for a continuous period of 3 years after the registration, it can be removed from the official list unless it is shown that use was made in the course of trade.

Trademark Opposition

Trademark opposition is a mechanism that allows the owner of an existing trademark to prevent the registration of a new mark that may be confusingly similar to its own. Opposition proceedings are most commonly based on the grounds of either the likelihood of confusion or the use of the mark in bad faith.

The trademark application is published in the Hong Kong Intellectual Property Journal and any person can oppose the registration within three months of its publication date. Detailed evidence in support of the claims will need to be provided, e.g. sworn declaration of prior rights, details of the goods/services, proof of the applicant’s bad faith and more.

A case in point is the recent opposition by Monster Energy Company (MEC) against an application filed by Health and Happiness (H&H) Hong Kong Limited (the applicant). MEC claimed that the application mark contained the term “beast” which was at odds with five of its own marks containing that same word such as “Unleash the Beast!” and “Rehab the Beast!”, registered for energy drinks.

Trademark Renewal

After registration, trademark owners must pay Hong Kong trademark renewal fees in order to keep their registration in force. If the owner does not pay these fees within both the normal renewal period and the grace period, their hong kong trademark will be removed from the register. This can be avoided by paying the fees promptly.

To qualify for registration, a mark should be distinctive and must not resemble terms or representations already used in the field of business. The mark must also be clearly represented and must include a clear graphical representation. Also, the mark must be unique in the market and must be used to identify the product or service of a specific business entity.

Upon successful registration, the Registrar will enter the mark into the trademark register and issue a certificate of registration. The mark will then be protected in Hong Kong and other countries that are members of the Paris Convention. The protection is for a maximum of 10 years.

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