Trademark Registration in Hong Kong

Trademark Registration in Hong Kong

Trademark registration is an essential step for protecting your intellectual property and brand identity in Hong Kong. Securing a registered trademark provides legal rights and exclusivity over your brand's symbols, logos, and marks.


What is a Trademark?


A trademark serves as a distinguishing symbol between goods or services belonging to one particular trader and those of another. In Hong Kong, the Trade Marks Ordinance, Chapter 559, forms the basis of trademark law, which operates independently from the regulations applicable in Mainland China, owing to the distinct legal system in Hong Kong. A trademark has the potential to encompass any of the subsequent elements, either singly or in combination:


  • Words (including personal names)
  • Indications
  • Designs
  • Letters
  • Characters
  • Numerals
  • Figurative Elements
  • Colours
  • Sounds
  • Smells
  • The shape of goods and/or packaging

For a trademark to be recognized and registered by the Intellectual Property Department of Hong Kong, it must be visually represented. Here some of the key attributes of the trademark:

  • Uniqueness: A trademark should stand out from those already in use by other companies. Additionally, the chosen term or combination of words should hold distinctiveness for the business, such as an invented word.
  • Avoiding Descriptiveness: The trademark should not overtly describe the goods, services, their quality, quantity, or purpose. Usage of geographical names is not permitted.
  • Pre-existing Usage: If the proposed mark is a term or representation already employed within the business domain, it is likely to face rejection.
  • Avoiding Similarity: If another trademark resembling the proposed one has already been registered by a different entity, the application will not be accepted. It should not visually or phonetically resemble an existing registered mark.

It's important to note that a trademark registered in Hong Kong solely holds jurisdiction within its own territory and does not automatically extend to the Mainland China region. A separate trademark registration procedure for Mainland China must be undertaken, which involves the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) and tends to be more intricate and protracted.

Why Registering a Trademark?

Registering a trademark offers several benefits, including:

  • Legal Protection: A registered trademark grants you exclusive rights to use the mark for the specified goods and services, protecting your brand from infringement.
  • Enhanced Brand Recognition: A registered trademark helps consumers identify your products and services, building brand recognition and trust.
  • Trademark as Asset: A registered trademark can become an asset for your company since it acquire value with the level of recognition of your brand, and can add a level of security for legal disputes.


Trademark Registration Process

To commence the process of registering a trademark in Hong Kong, you must submit an application to the Trade Marks Registry. A critical eligibility criterion is the provision of substantial proof showcasing the present or imminent use of the trademark. These key factors must be considered when applying for Trademark:


  • Distinctiveness: Marks that are distinctive and not common in the relevant industry have a higher chance of approval.
  • Correct Classification: Properly classify your goods and services in the application to ensure comprehensive protection.
  • Proper Representation: Provide clear and accurate representations of the mark, as it will be used to identify your protected trademark.

Failure to demonstrate continuous usage over a span of at least three years could lead to the trademark's revocation. The application process initiates by submitting Form T2 to the Trade Marks Registry through courier or online via the e-filing service. Subsequently, the Trade Marks Registry meticulously assesses the application's alignment with the Trade Marks Ordinance and the Trade Marks Rules, crucial legislative documents governing trademark acceptance and registration in Hong Kong.


Should the application face rejection, avenues for objection or modification exist to challenge the decision. This could involve contesting the objection through a court proceeding or opting for fresh registration under a different trademark.


Conversely, upon the approval of the trademark for registration, it will be published in the Hong Kong Intellectual Property Journal (HKIPJ). It's important to note that during the three-month interval post-publication, any party holds the right to lodge an opposition notice. Subsequently, the applicant is granted the opportunity to counter with a response. Upon compilation of all evidence, a hearing will be arranged to determine the outcome of the trademark registration.


Duration and Renewal

The registration process usually spans 6 to 8 months, and the trademark certificate remains valid for a duration of 10 years.

Enforcement of Trademark Rights

If someone infringes on your registered trademark, as a proprietor of a trademark in Hong Kong, you possess a range of entitlements. These encompass, though are not confined to, the subsequent:


  1. You retain the authority to seek and receive a court order to prohibit another entity or individual from utilizing (violating) your trademark;
  2. You are eligible for compensation (financially) in cases where infringement has occurred, and someone has unlawfully employed your trademark;
  3. You hold the capability to extend the utilization of your trademark to a third party, often in return for royalties or as stipulated in the licensing agreement;
  4. You have the option to vend your trademark, and you can decide to bestow the trademark as a gift or include it in one's testament for inheritance purposes.



Trademark registration is a crucial step for safeguarding your brand's identity and ensuring legal protection for your intellectual property. 

For expert guidance and assistance throughout the trademark registration process, consult with our intellectual property professionals who can navigate the complexities and ensure successful registration.

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