By using our website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

trademark registration in hong kong

As equally important as a business name, registering a trademark should be a prerequisite for any business in Hong Kong if they wish better protection for their business identity.

This article would let you comprehend a step-by-step guide to trademark registration in Hong Kong!

1. An overview of trademark registration in Hong Kong

1.1. Definition of a trademark

Trademark is typically any sign, letters, words, phrases, designs, indications, characters, numerals, smells, colors, sounds, or any combination of these. Trademark is considered a valuable business asset as it helps corporations:

  • To identify your company’s goods and services
  • To distinguish your company goods and services from those of other competitors

By and large, you can see a trademark on a product, a package, a voucher, a label,  or on company buildings.

1.2. Duration of a trademark

In accordance with the Hong Kong Trade Marks Ordinance Cap.559 (section 49), the duration for a registered trademark in Hong Kong is a 10-year period.

It is worth noting that you are subject to pay a trademark renewal fee every 10 years if you wish to maintain your trademark in Hong Kong. Your registered trademark goes into effect from the original date you filed your application.

a person writing on notebook with demark on laptop screen

1.3. Registered vs unregistered trademark

In fact, a registered trademark in Hong Kong is a property right. It is the result of the successful registration of the trademark under Hong Kong Trade Marks Ordinance. The Hong Kong trademark registration fee is listed on the Intellectual Property Department's website.

It appears to be popular that the ® symbol is to indicate that your trademark is registered, while the unregistered trademark is often appended to the ™ symbol.

Note that the ® symbol cannot be used for an unregistered trademark, otherwise it is deemed a criminal offense.

1.4. Criteria for an appropriate trademark

There are certain criteria in choosing a trademark that every business in Hong Kong should be well perceived:

  • A trademark is not the same things as a business name;
  • A trademark must not confusingly identical or similar to another person’s registered trademark, business name, company name, or domain name;
  • A trademark is more likely to be rejected for registration if it is a person’s family name, a descriptive sign of products and services, or includes a general term without distinctive character.

2. Reasons why trademark registration is necessary

man pointing his index finger on C symbol on the screen

Trademark registration is definitely important, as it is well attached to your rights of being protected. A registered trademark is of vital significance in proving that you are the owner of the mark, and you are entitled to exclusive rights of using the trademark for goods/services.

In addition, if there is any infringement of your registered trademark in the absence of your consent – i.e., use your trademark or use a name which is similar or the same as your trademark in the similar or same goods or services, then you can pursue legal action against this trademark infringement.

Need an a-to-z guide to doing business in Hong Kong?
This e-book provides you with the latest information about:

  • Incorporation process
  • Annual compliance requirement
  • Hong Kong tax system
  • Hiring issues for Hong Kong Business

3. How to register a trademark in Hong Kong

3.1. Before you apply

It should be noted that the application for trademark registration in this country can be made online or filed physically with the Registrar of Trade Marks.

Typically, an application to register a trademark in Hong Kong will include:

  • An application form for the trademark registration;
  • Personal details of the applicant, such as the name and address;
  • Specifications of the goods or services in respect of which it is sought to register the trademark;
  • A clear presentation of the trademark proposed;
  • Additional documents can be requested by the rules.

The applicants are advised to conduct a careful trademark search to check whether the trademark is already registered at the Registrar or in prior application by others. Make sure the trademark that has been chosen to apply meets specific requirements as complied with the Trade Marks Ordinance. Also, the applicants must notice to file the application in one of the official languages.

hands typing laptop, many symbols of trademark. ip assets surrounding

3.2. From application to registration process

Hong Kong trademark registration is not so complicated. You can take a look at the following steps as we summarized below:

  • After you have filed the application with the Registrar, they will then examine its compliance with the Ordinance.
  • Once your application formalities meet all requirements and there are no objections to the trademark, it will be published in the Hong Kong Intellectual Property Journal. Note that it normally will take you a minimum of 6 months from the date your application is received, to the step of registration.
  • The next step is to see whether anyone wants to oppose your trademark or not.
  • If there is no opposition, or the opposite result is concluded in favor of your trademark, then the Registrar of Trade Marks will issue a certificate of registration for your trademark.

* In case of objection to the trademark:

In case the mark objection occurs (as the proposed trademark is to be confused with another trademark for example), the applicants then are granted a course of 6 months to satisfy all the requirements for registration. It is also possible to ask for an extension of 3 months under specific circumstances.

In addition to an endeavor to tackle the objection by fulfilling all criteria, the applicants can also take into account options like seek an alternative trademark, or call for a hearing.

* In case of opposition to the trademark

Before reaching a trademark registered, opposition to the trademark by a third party can take place. It means that someone has reviewed your trademark in the Intellectual Property Journal and found something confusingly with his/her trademark. Consequently, they decide to deliver an opposition notice to the Registrar.

In this case, there are two options for you – the applicant:

  • Withdraw your application (in this case, you are required to pay the other party’s costs); OR
  • File a counterstatement as your response

Both sides will then need to prepare evidence to prevail in the hearing office.

4. Conclusion

It is crystal clear that trademark registration is essential for any business. Despite the fact that trademark registration in Hong Kong is not mandatory, it is highly recommended for a company to have its registered trademark.

The whole process from its application to registration is not too complicated; however, it fairly takes time. It is advised that the application for Hong Kong trademark registration should be arranged as a sine qua non of your business plan.

Should you have any question regarding trademark registration in Hong Kong as well as other services of setting up a company in Hong Kong, do not hesitate to drop us a chat message or sending email via!

Recent Posts

28 Apr 2021

How to kick-start your e-commerce business in Hong Kong

How to start an e-commerce business in Hong Kong? This blog gives you insights into what to consider and key steps for setting up a Hong Kong e-commerce company.

Read more
28 Apr 2021

Choosing Hong Kong for an e-commerce business: Is it right?

Hong Kong is a prospective and bustling market for most online business owners. So why is Hong Kong an ideal location for an e-commerce business? Find out with us!

Read more
21 Jan 2021

All you should know about Private Company in Hong Kong

Looking for an entity type in Hong Kong that is best suited for SMEs? With tons of benefits, a private limited company remains the top choice of investors.

Read more
5 Feb 2021

How to comply with Hong Kong accounting standards: Guide For SMEs

Hong Kong accounting standards are applicable to any financial statements of a Hong Kong company. BBCIncorp will tell you these standards and accounting requirements in Hong Kong!

Read more
29 Apr 2021

Alternatives to traditional bank accounts in Hong Kong

While opening traditional bank accounts in Hong Kong causes hassle for business owners, some alternatives to bank accounts have popped up in recent years. So, what are they?

Read more
29 Apr 2021

Doing Business In Hong Kong: The Ultimate Guide For Foreigners

Here is a guide to doing business in Hong Kong for foreigners! The blog covers all you need to know about the benefits of forming a business in Hong Kong and how to start it.

Read more
7 Dec 2020

How to choose Hong Kong financial year end

Wonder how to determine the financial year end in Hong Kong? In this article, we will shed light on everything about Hong Kong financial year. Learn more with us!

Read more
25 Nov 2020

Useful checking tools for your Hong Kong company registration

There are some tools to help you check your company status and what licenses you need to prepare before registering a Hong Kong company. Check out the guide to those useful tools!

Read more
12 Jan 2021

Hong Kong Tax Haven: What Can Be Revealed?

Beyond Hong Kong tax haven, like the way many people still think of this city, there are more of Hong Kong that you should know. Find out what they are!

Read more
25 Nov 2020

Hong Kong Business Trends After Mid-2020: New Updates [Infographic]

Check it out! Below infographic helps you to capture Hong Kong situations and update top five business trends to be worth expected in a post Covid-19 outbreak

Read more
27 May 2021

3 Reasons why Hong Kong banks may reject your application

Hong Kong banks may reject your application for opening a bank account due to 3 main reasons. Learn more with Lyli, Relationship Manager from BBCIncorp!

Read more
31 May 2021

Best Banks In Hong Kong That You Must Know In 2021

Which is the best bank in Hong Kong for expats? Let BBCIncorp help you find out the answer with top 5 banks: DBS, HSBC, Bank of China, Standard Chartered and Citibank.

Read more