Intellectual Property – Hong Kong – Trade Mark

Hong Kong – TRADE MARK


The new Trade Mark Ordinance and the Trade Mark Rules came into effect on April 4, 2003.


This new law simplify and streamline the trade mark registration procedure and increase protection for registered trademarks.


The new definition of a trade mark is a “a sign which is capable of distinguishing the goods a services of one undertaking from those of other undertakings and which is capable of being represented graphically”.


Trade mark protection is territorial. Even you have registered your trade mark in your home country, you must have a valid registration in Hong Kong in order to gain legal protection in Hong Kong.




Hong Kong follows International (Nice) Classification of goods and services for the purposes of the registration of trade mark, with union modification. Under this classification, goods and services are divided into 42 classes.


Apart from statutory protection given in Trade Mark Ordinance, Hong Kong, being common law jurisdiction, provide some form of protection in the legal cause of action for unregistered mark called “passing off”. The onus of proof is heavy.


It is important that if you seek protection of your right by passing off, proper legal advice should be sought as unregistered mark and other intellectual rights can be confusing.


Nowadays products are manufactured in China and sold on both sides of the border. To gain national wide protection under Hong Kong and Chinese laws on registered mark and unregistered mark, a law firm with cross border legal capacity and ability can help you assert your rights in the confusing market.