What is a trademark?
There are generally 45 class(es) of good and service in which you can register for your trademark. You must list out the specific class in your application. The 45 class category can be seen here.
To find out whether your company name has been registered as a trademark in the same name as other companies, you can look up the registered records by conducting a trademark search at Intellectual Property Department.
The duration of application is about 6 to 9 months and its registration validity lasts a period of 10 years. Companies may want to submit the renewal application 6 months before the expiry.
Once the Trade Marks Registrars receive your application, they will examine and process like from the given diagram.
If your trademark application is successful, the company will be issued with a certificate of registration. Such registration notice will also be published in the Hong Kong Intellectual Property Journal. The registration of your trademark will also date back to the filing date of your application.
1. If a trademark is successfully registered in Hong Kong, does it mean the trademark is also protected in the Mainland of China?
No. Registering a trademark in Hong Kong and in the Mainland of China is a separate system of protection and registration. Protection for a trademark in Hong Kong does not automatically give you protection in the Mainland of China. It also does not extend to other places in the world. In general, each jurisdiction will independently decide whether a trademark can be registered in that place.
2. On what grounds may an application be rejected by Trade Marks Registry?
An application may be rejected by Trade Marks Registrars for the following reasons:
- If the mark is not distinctive.
- If the mark is found to be too similar to another trademark that has already been registered.
- If the mark is already a well-known term in your industry.
- If the mark is a description of a product.
3. What if someone register my mark?
In case that your company name is registered as a trademark by a third party, you may file an opposition notice together with the evidence and grounds for the opposition, within three months period after the publication of application in the Hong Kong Intellectual Property Journal. You and the opponent will be given a certain limit of time to file evidence in support of the application. When all evidence has been collected, a hearing will take place before a hearing officer who then makes a decision.
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