Trademark Protection in Hong Kong
Territorial protection of registered trademarks
The trademark registration system of Hong Kong provides territorial protection. Hence, trademarks registered with the State Administration for Industry and Commerce of the People's Republic of China or trademarks registries of other countries or regions do not automatically receive protection in Hong Kong. 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 a trademark?
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. If other people use it in the course of trade or business in Hong Kong in relation to the same or similar goods or services without your consent, they may be liable for infringement of your mark and you may take legal action against them. Unregistered trademarks may be protected by the common law action of passing off. You must prove reputation in the unregistered mark and must prove that the other person's use of the mark will cause you damage. Passing off is usually a more difficult action to bring than an action for infringement of a registered trademark.
Submitting your trademark application
You should complete the application form and fill in an address for service in Hong Kong and send it to the Trade Marks Registry (the "Registry") of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR). The application fee for the registration of a trademark is HK$1,300 plus HK$650 per each additional class of goods or services, if any. For information on application forms and fees, please refer to the website of the Intellectual Property Department (IPD) of the HKSAR Government.
How to classify the goods and services?
You must list out in your application form all the goods and services you want to register your trademark with, and state the number of class(es) they fall in. The goods and services must be classified according to the NICE Classification. Please refer to the IPD's website to find out the classes which your goods and services fall into.