As equally necessary as a company name, a trademark registering should be a prerequisite for any company in Hong Kong if they wish better protection for their company identity. Making a company brand doesn’t only hold registering and incorporating it. As soon as your company ready and you have begun to operate, there are lots of other things that need to take care.
Other than the accounting, tax obligations and getting all the licenses and permits needed, you might have to register other essential things as well. For instance, you might have created a logo or a sign that would be used with your company name to build your brand, otherwise known as a trademark. This trademark too, should be registered with the government. Just registering the name of your business, registering your trademark is equally as important.
What is a Trademark?
Trademark is typically any sign(logo), letters, words, phrases, indications, designs, characters, colours, sounds, numerals, or any combination of these. Trademark is considered as a business asset since it helps corporations to identify your company’s goods and services, to distinguish your company goods and services from those of other competitors. When you register a trademark in Hong Kong, you get the rights to use it with the particular services and goods for which you registered the trademark. In short, you need to register a trademark in Hong Kong to protect your business.
Duration of a Trademark
Under the Hong Kong Trade Marks Ordinance Cap.559 (section 49), the duration for a registered trademark in Hong Kong is ten years. It is better noting that you are subject to pay a trademark renewal fee for every ten years if you wish to maintain your trademark in Hong Kong.
Registered vs Unregistered Trademark
A registered trademark in Hong Kong is a property right. It is the result of successful registration of the trademark under Hong Kong Trade Marks Ordinance. It appears to be famous that the ® symbol is to indicate that your trademark is registered, while the unregistered trademark often appended to the ™ symbol. Note that the ® logo cannot use for an unregistered trademark; otherwise, it deemed as a criminal offence.
How to Register a Trademark in Hong Kong?
It should note that the application for trademark registration can be made online or filed physically with the Registrar of Trade Marks.
The search can make for checking the availability of the Trademark in Hong Kong that can do on Trademark cart. It is legal with an updated informative trademark database with complete trademark records available online.
The application form contains the details of the Applicant, Trademark class, Agent’s details, goods and services description. The registry will issue a receipt informing you of the allotted application number.
After applying for the Trademark registration, the following step is the examination of the application to see whether there are any needs or not. And in case any missing data is needed in the trademark registry will notify you to give the information. If everything is in series, the application will proceed to the next stage search and examination.
Search and Examination
In this step, the Examiner will examine whether the application complies with all legal requirements for registration. The Examiner will give an opinion in writing which either confirm the mark is acceptable for registration or layout the grounds for objection to the mark.
In this step, if the requirements for registration not met registry will object to the mark. The applicant has six months to meet the necessities. A further three months of grace granted. The registry will also give an opinion on why the mark does not meet the requirements for registration and may advise ways of overcoming the objection. If there is no issue with the application, it will provide for publication.
Publication of Trademark
Once your trademark has accepted for registration, it advertised in the Hong Kong Intellectual Property Journal. Once the application been approved by the registry and published in the Official Gazette, there are three months. If there is no opposition in the prescribed period, or if an opposition overcome, your mark will enter in the Trade Marks Register and a certificate of registration will be issued to you.
How did the Registered Trademarks Work Across Different Jurisdictions?
Every country has its Laws, and if you register a trademark in Hong Kong, it would only register in Hong Kong. If you want to register in any other country and claim your trademark ownership all over the world, you would have to file separately for the registration in those countries as well.
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