After researching about the documents to prepare a trademark application in Hong Kong, the next thing you need to learn is the procedure to register a trademark. Trademark registration in Hong Kong is quite similar to that of Southeast Asian countries. Applications must be submitted through two processes: formality examination and substantive examination. Therefore, to understand the trademark registration process, you need to know the following knowledge:
Procedure of trademark registration in Hong Kong
Registration of a trade mark in Hong Kong commences with the filing of an application at the Trade Mark Registry of the Hong Kong Intellectual Property Department. An application may cover one or more classes of products and/or services.
Firstly, the application is assessed by an examiner for deficiencies which go to formalities. The next stage is substantive examination, where the main grounds of objection could be raised: absolute grounds for refusal (e.g. where the mark is inherently not registerable), and relative grounds for refusal (e.g. where the mark is identical or similar to mark covered by an application or registration filed earlier in time).
After the objections (if any) are overcome, the application will be accepted by the registry and published for opposition purposes for an extendable period of three months to allow third parties to object to registration of the mark on certain grounds.
Once any oppositions are resolved, a certificate of registration will be issued. The standard timeframe to registration for an application which encounters few if any problems or difficulties is 12 months.
Upon registration, and subject to the discussion on revocation below, a trade mark is valid for an extendible period of 10 years.
You are advised to conduct a trademark search to check if your trademark is the same as another registered trademark, or another trademark under application process. You can search for these trademark information online via: http://ipsearch.ipd.gov.hk. Searching for similar or identical trademarks is important to ensure that your trademark registration application will be successful.
The total process takes about 6 to 9 months.
Within six months after filing the trade mark application, Trade Mark Registry will issue an examination report to analyze whether the trade mark can be registered. After all the criteria raised by Trade Mark Registry have been met, the trade mark application will be published on government journal for three months. If there is no one opposing the trade mark application within the three months, the trade mark application is then completed.