You can easily register trademark in Hong Kong just by failing it trough local IP Office, but there is variety of legal issues that you need to know about before start.
In this article I want to share with You information about the specifics of trademark registration in Hong Kong.
First of all, I would like to dwell on the fact that the Hong Kong Government, taking into account the great contribution of intellectual property in Hong Kong’s economy has devoted substantial resources to protect the rights of owners, both local and foreign citizens. For these purposes exists and is active, the Department of Intellectual Property Protection.
Among the types of intellectual property that fall under the control of the department, you can list patents, copyrights, trademarks and registered design projects in Hong Kong.
What is a trademark?
The trademark is a distinctive sign (symbol) that is used for the allocation of those or other among many other available on the market.
Trademark registration helps protect its owner and provides the owner the exclusive right to use the declared areas. In other words, a registered trademark prevents other businesses to sell goods or provide services using the same or similar symbols for the same types of goods or services.
For example, the trademark «Coke», a registered by company «Coca Cola», prevents other companies to sell drinks under that name.
Trademark usually has the following form:
– Individual words, letters, symbols, phrases, slogans, digital combination;
– Logos, symbols, designs, and other pictorial elements;
– Sounds, music screen savers;
– Combinations of different colors;
– Package design.
To some symbol, or mark that has been registered, it needs to have a graphical representation.
Trademark in Hong Kong may register as a private person or company from any country. In this case You can file both individual and collective application, in this case the owners of this or that brand will act or more physical or legal entity. However, You need to provide an address in Hong Kong for correspondence with the Department of Protection of Intellectual Property.
Next, let us consider the procedure of trademark registration in Hong Kong.
First of all, before applying for registration it is necessary to understand whether Your proposed trademark is unique.
This means going through the stage of finding and checking the availability of the same or similar trademarks in the State Intellectual Property Registry. You are advised to prepare several options for checking the uniqueness of your brand in the Register of Trading of Hong Kong brands.
Answer You can get within 3 weeks from the date of filing. You will either confirm or propose changes those or other elements of your brand in order to increase the chances of passing the next stage.
Next, You should determine what classes You plan to register Your trademark. The next step will be filing an application and payment for the services of registration of trade marks, including government fees.
The register of trade marks in Hong Kong will check all the details of the application, including a graphic representation of the brand, and, in the case of detection of discrepancies, or matches, return it for revision. It should satisfy all comments within 2 months and return the application for reconsideration. Once confirm, that the application meets all the requirements, the next step begins.
This step is to test your brand to potential conflicts with existing trademarks and the provisions of the law on registration of trade marks in Hong Kong. At the same time, there is a check on conflicts not only with registered trademarks, but also with those of application for registration which is still pending.
The fact that the registration of the trade mark, the principle: who first filed an application for registration of a certain brand, he has the primary right to its registration and use.
Further, if you have passed the previous stage, there is publication of your trademark in the Official Journal, which is issued by the Department of Protection of Intellectual Property in Hong Kong. A third party may lodge a protest against the registration of your trade mark within 3 months from the date of publication. If such a challenge is made, you either shoot your application, or make a counter protest. In the case of the counter-protest comes a formal hearing of your case in the presence of an independent expert, arbitrator who makes the final decision.
The final step, if you did not encounter objections from the third party, or protests are satisfied in your favor during the previous stage, there is a registration of your trademark. All the details of your trade mark will be entered in the official register and you will receive the Certificate of the brand in Hong Kong.
Official confirmation will also be published in the magazine, which is issued by the Department of Protection of Intellectual Property in Hong Kong, after the issuance of the Certificate.
In general, the terms of trademark registration in Hong Kong can be of 6 months, in the absence of any objection, and requirements for improvement, to 18 months in case of objections.
Brand will be valid for 10 years from the date of filing the application for registration, after which you will have to update the registration, pay state fees and other services related to registration renewal.
We are ready to provide You our services in the field of trademark registration in Hong Kong.
The specialists of our company will help You avoid unnecessary costs and wasting time, initially examining Your options trademark and preparing all the documents properly.
Also our company will help to organize counter protests in case of any protests by third parties and act as Your representative during the hearing.
Please contact us directly firstname.lastname@example.org, and our experts will help you to choose the best solution and the most suitable procedural path for you.