A trademark is a sign that distinguishes the goods and services of one company from the others. Typically a trademark can be words (including personal names), indications, designs, letters, characters, numerals, figurative elements, colours, 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.
Trademark is an intangible asset of a company; it assists customers to recognize and distinguish the products provided by the trademark owner. Therefore, when a company or a businessman successfully promotes their products to the public, it is better for them to register a trademark immediately in order to prevent other businessmen from imitating their products to mislead customers. It will affect the goodwill and profit of the company directly.
Hong Kong Trademark Registration
Procedures & Time Required
It takes around six months to go through all the process for registering a trademark.
Stage 1: Format Review
After the trademark registrant has submitted the application, the Trademark Registry will verify all the information provided: including the registrant’s name and address, drawing of the trademark, the goods and/or service.
Stage 2: Actual Examination
After stage 1 has been completed, the Trademarks Registry will examine if the trademark under application complies with the “Trademarks Ordinance” and the “Trademarks Regulations”. This stage of examination is to check whether the trademark is distinguishable from the others, in other words, the “distinctiveness”.
Stage 3: Publication
After the Trademarks Registry has approved the application, it will publish the information in the Hong Kong Intellectual Property Journal for three months. Anyone can lodge an opposite against it. The applicant may respond to the opposition, if any, by filing a counter-statement.
Stage 4: Issuing Certificate of Registration for Trademark
After the application has passed the examination and no one objects against it during the three months publication, the Trademarks Registry will record the details of the trademark into the Registry’s register, and issue a Certificate of Registration to the applicant.
1. One sample of the trademark, which can be shown by graphics or words or even in electronic format.
2. The list of the goods or services that will be covered by the proposed trademark.
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