Trademark Registration

A. Hong Kong trademark

A trade mark is a sign that distinguishes your goods and services from the others’. A trade mark can be words (including personal names), letters, logos, numbers, etc or any combination of these. A mark may not be accepted for registration if it contains words that describe your goods or services or shows the quality or value of them e.g. you cannot use “Car” or “Best” as your trade mark for selling cars or that is a geographical e.g. “Asia”.

The Hong Kong SAR’s trade mark registration system is separatefrom the other trade mark systems in the Mainland or elsewhere inthe world. Trade marks registered with the Trademark Office underthe State Administration for Industry and Commerce of the People’s Republic of China or trade marks registries of other countries orregions do not automatically receive protection in the Hong Kong SAR.In order to obtain protection as registered trade marks in the HongKong SAR, trade marks must be registered under the Trade Marks

Ordinance (Cap 559).

Not every trade mark may be accepted for registration. A mark may not be accepted for registration if a similar trade mark is registered or under application. It is therefore advisable to conduct a trade mark search to confirm the existence of any such registered trade mark or application.

Trade Marks Ordinance

The Trade Marks Ordinance (Cap 559) came into force on 4 April2003. It provides the framework for the Hong Kong SAR’s systemof registration of trade marks and sets out the basis and criteria forregistration, as well as the rights attached to a registered trade mark.In comparison with the former statutory regime, the Ordinance hasincreased the range of signs that can be registered as trade marks, andhas also simplified application and examination procedures. Under thecurrent law, the range of signs which can be registered as trade marks isbroadened, for example by allowing distinctive sound and smell marksto be registered. Further, multi-class applications are allowed, andprocedures for registering particulars about trade mark assignmentsand licensing have also been simplified.

Owners’Rights

The owner of a registered trade mark has the exclusive right to usethe mark on the goods and/or the services for which the mark wasregistered.

Process:

Information required for registration:

• personal application: a photocopy of identity certificate

• company application: a photocopy of the certificate of registration of the company

• trademark pattern application

Note: the registration office of the Hongkong trademark does not accept postal mail as a communication address. The trademark applicant must provide the commercial mail address, telephone number, fax number and e-mail address in Hongkong.

Trademark registrationprocess: trademark registration

• submission of applications

• official review

• Bulletin

• receive a certificate

Emphasis: time required for registration: 6-8 months

Period of validity: 10 years

B. Mainland China trademark Application subject:

Only legal persons or other legal civil subjects and natural persons with the following conditions may apply for trademark application in our country.

1.The scope of the application for trademark registration by enterprises, institutions and social organizations established in accordance with the law of China is not limited by the scope of its operation.

2.Individual industrial and commercial households, individual partnerships, rural contracted management households and other natural persons authorized to engage in business activities according to law. The scope of the application for the registration of the trademarks must be limited to the scope of the approved operation, or the limit of the agricultural and sideline products operated by them.

3.A foreigner or a foreign natural person who has entered into an agreement with China or has joined the international treaty or China's principle of reciprocal principle or a foreign country or a foreign enterprise shall apply for trademark registration to the trademark office according to the principle of voluntariness.

A Trade Mark registration in China is valid for 10 years and renewable for another 10 years.

Application Time

The process from the filing of application to the issue of trade mark certificate normally takes 2 years.

A trade mark may be objected by the Trade Mark Bureau or opposed by third parties for registration. If your application encounters any objection or opposition, further work will be required to resolve the same and the charges vary depending on complexity.

Process:

1. form review (about 20 days)

2. substantive review (about 6-8 months)

3. the first trial announcement (3 months)

4. get the registration certificate (about 1 months)