Trademark Protection and Company Registration
In Hong Kong, company names, business names, registered trademarks are subject to different kinds of laws and regulations. Company names msut be registered at the Registrar of Companies , and a Business name, it must be registered at the Business Registration Office at the Inland Revenue Department. And trademark registration is handled by the Trade Marks Registry. So, for a business or company name registration, it is not an indication that the name is a trademark, or who has the exclusive right to use it for operating or promotion of their goods or services. Only the owner of a registered trademark who have conducted the trademark registration for the goods or services can it enjoyed the exclusive trademark rights.
(1). Companies Registry
Registrar of Companies dedicated for implementation and enforcement the “Companies Ordinance" (Chapter 32 of the Laws of Hong Kong) for local and overseas limited which incorporated and established a place of business in Hong Kong and non-Hong Kong company for providing registration services.
(2). Business Registration Office
Business Registration Office of the Inland Revenue Department is responsible for the implementation of "Business Registration Ordinance" (Chapter 310 Laws of Hong Kong), includes the one which is operating businesses in Hong Kong, namely sole proprietorship, partnership, local limited or non-Hong Kong company that provides business registration services.
(3). Trade Marks Registry
Hong Kong Intellectual Property Department - Trade Marks Registry. It mainly based on "Trade Marks Ordinance" (Cap. 559) and the "Trade Marks Rules" (Laws of Hong Kong Cap. 559A ). It provides trademark registration services to the public .
Hong Kong Brand Category
For the registration application, you have to submit a list specifying the intention to apply for trademark registration of all goods and services. List of goods and services must be listed in the category. The goods and services should also state the number of category. For Hong Kong trademark categories, please refer to hyperlinks trademark category.
Before submitting the trademark application, it is needed to consider the following factors:-
- 1. The Significance of the Trademark
Whether the trademark has a difference? Whether the logo, text or drawings, etc. can clearly distinguish between yours and the other businesses for its goods and service? If the Trade Marks Registry considers that there is a lack of these features marks, it will against it. Invented words or those with irrelevant connection with the new business words, it can be considered as a significant feature .
- 2. The Trademark for Goods and Services Description
If the trademark is just a description of the goods and/or services, it merely only the quality of goods and services, uses, quantity or value of the quotient standard. The Registry may raise objections. Similarly, the use of geographical names as a trademark may also encounter objection.
- 3 . Whether the Trademark is a common language in the industry
If the trademark is a common language in the industry or icon, the Trade Marks Registry will raise objections. For example, use the "V 8" as the vehicle trademark in vehicle engine.
- 4. Other Persons’ Trademarks
For the same or similar goods or services, if there are some other people who have already registered or pending the same or with a similar mark ? If the proposed trademark looks the same or similar with other already registered or pending trademark application, the Trade Marks Registry will raise objections for it to be registered.
To know whether your trademark has been registered or applied for by other tenant, it should consult the Register of Trademarks. You may also submit the Form T 1 to obtain the Intellectual Property Department's preliminary opinion or service.
Time required for the entire application process
If the application has inadequacies and the proposed registered trademark has not encounter any objection, the entire process (from the receipt of application for trademark registration up to the approval) takes as short as six months.