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Hong Kong trademarks registration

The Three Distinguishing Marks Of Trademarks

Trademarks have distinguishing marks that make them obviously stand out from others, even be closely associated with a specific product or service. Think of the likes of Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and Heineken, among other internationally-known brands.

 

But what distinguishes a trademark from another? There are three marks – color, shape and smell – that make a trademark what it is.

 

Color Marks

Brands use certain colors to distinguish it from others, and many brands even have colors named after them. For example, Ferrari red is a specific color named after the distinctive red shade used on its cars.

Why use color as a mark? A color claim gives a clear indication of the rights over a specific shade when combined with other marks on a trademark.

Keep in mind that the color claim should be made at the time of the filing of application.

Be sure to state the particulars of the color claim and the colors claimed should correspond with the colors shown on the proposed trademark. The colors can also be referenced to an accepted color identification, such as CYMK or Pantone.

The proposed trademark should also be of a sufficiently high resolution and in JPEG format.

 

Shape Marks

The shape of the proposed trademark should also be described in detail on the application form. The shape claim statement should include as many details as possible, such as “The trademark consists of a stylized letter P set within a triangular-shaped background. The applicant makes a claim to the letter and shape as an element of the trademark.”

If necessary, several views of the proposed trademark can also be made. These can include a front view, a top view, and/or a side view.

 

Smell Marks

Only a distinctive smell can be registered as a trademark, a matter that an experienced agent or lawyer can provide professional advice on. But it must be emphasized that a smell isn’t likely to be considered as a distinctive mark for a trademark for goods where these are purchased for their smell. Examples include cosmetics, shampoo, washing powder, teas, and fragrances.

Furthermore, a smell cannot be considered distinctive under trademark laws unless it is recognized as such by consumers as a trademark. The smell shouldn’t be a sales gimmick either.

With modern society being a visual world, the importance of getting the color and shape aspects of a trademark cannot be overemphasized. The applicant should use the search function before submitting the proposed trademark lest it has significant similarities with an existing trademark, a ground for objection.

 

Keep in mind that there are details in each step that can throw a monkey wrench into a carefully laid-out plan. For this reason, hiring a professional trademark agent will be in the applicant’s best interest, especially in case of high-stakes proposed trademarks. For details of the trademark application, please contact us for free consulation.

 

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Hong Kong Trademarks Registration Process Briefly Explained

The Hong Kong trademarks registration process is among the world’s fastest in terms of timescale. Of course, the timescale will be different between applicants – for example, Applicant A may have technical deficiencies while Applicant B may have duplication of trademarks. But if there are no significant issues in the application, the process takes as little as six months to complete from receipt to registration.

 

Checking for Deficiencies

The Trade Marks Registry will conduct a thorough checking of the application forms and its attachments, if any, to determine their completeness, correctness, and compliance with the rules. The applicant is then well-advised to thoroughly check the forms so that all required information is stated.

 

While some changes to the application form won’t affect the filing date, there are major changes that can result in its rejection (e.g., changes to the trademark’s representation).

 

Search and Examination

If the Registry examiner finds that the application form and its attachments are in order, the documents will be forwarded for search and examination. Basically, this step determines whether the proposed trademark has the same or similar trademarks already filed or registered in respect to the same or similar class of products and/or services. If there are similarities, the application will be returned to the applicant for proper action.

 

The Registry examiner will also determine whether the proposed trademark satisfies the registration requirements stated on the Hong Kong Trade Marks Ordinance. He will then issue an opinion in writing – or a letter addressed to the applicant – that states whether the application is acceptable for Hong Kong trademark registration or not, usually when there are reasonable grounds for objection.

 

If the Registry has objections to the proposed trademark, the applicant is give six months to comply with the requirements and complete the documents, if necessary. The applicant may also request for a three-month extension after the six-month period has lapsed.

 

The applicant will be informed about the Registry’s objection to the proposed trademark and, if possible, suggest ways for resolving the issues. But if the objection still stands for any reason, the applicant can ask for a three-month extension but only under specific circumstances stated in the trademarks rules. The applicant may also call for a hearing.

 

Publication

If the proposed trademark has been found in compliance with the trademarks rules and regulations, it will be published in the Hong Kong Intellectual Property Journal. But the publication can also invite opposition to the proposed trademark, usually from a third party.

 

Registration

If there are no issues with the proposed trademark, it will be accepted for registration. The Notice of Registration will be published again in the journal.

 

Keep in mind that there are details in each step that can throw a monkey wrench into a carefully laid-out plan. For this reason, hiring a professional Hong Kong trademark agent will be in the applicant’s best interest, especially in case of high-stakes proposed trademarks. For details of the Hong Kong trademark application, please contact us for free consulation.

 

 

CtR Intellectual Property Co.

Hong Kong Patent Application Grant Authorised Patent Agent

Offering Professional Patent,

Hong Kong Trademark Registration & Related Services

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