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Getting Your Trademark Registered Protects Valuable Assets in the Long Run
Running a business without registering it is illegal. Hence, just as important, a registered company should also have a unique trademark that sets it apart from its competitors. A trademark should be registered as it will be identified to the goods provided by the business. Without further ado, let’s read up on what are the trademark registration guidelines in Hong Kong all about.
Owning and sustaining a business is hard work. What if I tell you, that all that hard work can go down the drain if you are not unique and does not own any trademark. No matter how brilliant your business idea, be sure to have an excellent mark to go with it. It is essential to your business reputation.
Trademark Checked, Register It?
So you have a trademark. Do you own it? Is it registered? If it’s not, you could still sustain the business, but tough luck if your competitors can beat you to registering it first. If you are in the process of registration, I bade you best of success. Well, indeed, registering a trademark is not mandatory by law, but if the goods you produce are lovely, why are you leaving it to luck for protection? By registering a trademark for the products or services rendered, you are more likely to have every right to use the trademark however you wish. You will also own the trademark and can take action against others that use such trademark without your permission.
The Trademark Registration Process
Now that you are clear on why you need to register a trademark, let’s begin.
Search online via the Intellectual Property Department, Hong Kong or Cyber Search Centre or domain names via search engines. You could also search for trademarks elsewhere via respective jurisdiction websites. If you have found none that is similar to the trademark you are going to register, you are good to go.
Make an application to register to the Trademark Registry, Intellectual Property Department, Government of Hong Kong. The application can be made online for convenience or filed manually at the office. A trademark can be registered if it is in use or has an intention to use it.
After filling, an applicant now needs to wait. The application will now go through a detailed examination. It is assessed for compliance with Trademark Ordinance and Trademark Rules. The examiner also ensures it is not similar to any registered trademarks.
Possible Outcomes From Application to Register
There are two possible outcomes after the examiner has gone through an application:
- Object the application of which you will have these options
- Overcome the objection
- Seek to register an alternative trademark
- Consider objection for hearing
- Your application is accepted for registration and published in Hong Kong’s Intellectual Property Journal. Anyone can view the journal, and a third party may oppose your trademark because they claim to have a similar trademark. If your trademark is opposed, it will go through a hearing officer.
If your trademark is not opposed, your trademark is good to go. You get to use the registered trademark for ten years, with a renewal at every ten years.
A note to remember: If you have registered your trademark and not use it for three years in a row, the Intellectual Property Department in Hong Kong will revoke the registration.