A trademark is a sign that distinguishes the goods and services of one trader from those of others. It is also representing your company and business which may take years and many marketing campaigns to build up.
Territorial protection of registered trademarks.
Trademarks registered with the People's Republic of China or trademarks registries of other countries do not automatically receive protection in Hong Kong and vice versa. In order to obtain protection as registered trademarks in Hong Kong, trademarks must be registered under the Trade Marks Ordinance (Chapter 559) and the Trade Marks Rules (Chapter 559A).
Why register trademark?
Trademarks enable people to identify your product or service so they may become powerful and valuable business assets generating sales and revenue. They communicate the core value of your product or service and foster customer loyalty. Registering your trademark means that you have the exclusive right to use the trademark in relation to the goods and services for which the mark is registered. You may take legal action against others who are liable for infringement of your mark. If you do not register your trademark, it may be harder to prove that you are the “owner” of the mark and probably take years and huge expenses in a lawsuit.
Trademark vs Company Registration
Separate laws and systems regulate the registration of company names, business names and trademarks in Hong Kong. A company name registration at the Companies Registry or a business name registration at the Business Registration Office (Inland Revenue Department) is not the same as a trademark registration at the Trade Marks Registry. Thus, a business or company name registration does not indicate that the business or company has rights to use its name or a trademark in promoting or dealing in goods and services.
Difference between " ™ " and " ® "
Commonly there may be a little sign " ™ " or " ® " aside the trademark, " ™ " represents that word or logo is used as a trademark while " ® " indicates that is a registered trademark in the region which is protected by trademark law. Thus, only registered trademarks are allowed to adhere the registration symbol ® in connection with the trademark.
How to classify your goods / services?
To submit an application for trademark registration, you need to include a list of all goods and services and their class(es) fall in which you want to register your trademark with. Below is the general classification under the 2013 version of the 10 th edition of the Nice Classification by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), used in Hong Kong with effect from 1 January, 2013