Filing trademark for protection

About the market

7.33 mln
% of population aged 15-64 (2022)
compound annual population growth rate (CAGR) in 2013-2023
compound annual population growth rate (CAGR) in 2013-2023
forecasted online share of retail sales (04.2023)

Whom does this concern?

Service providers
Application developers
IT sector
Game developers
Companies selling to Hong Kong
Companies selling to mainland China in cross-border (CBEC) formula
Companies looking for cross-border trade operators

Filing trademark for protection in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong, that well-known, beautifully located, iconic business metropolis. And although it has undergone very significant political and economic changes in recent years, it is and will continue to be a very important business centre on the map of Asia. The Chinese authorities have identified Hong Kong as one of the pillars of an ambitious new project – the Greater Bay Area (GBA). This project integrates the major cities of the Pearl River Delta region. It aims to deliver high quality economic development over the coming decades.

For forward-thinking entrepreneurs, it is important to ensure that trademarks are protected in a timely manner. Hong Kong’s unique legal system, which differs from the legal system in mainland China, requires trademarks to be protected separately. Hong Kong is crucial for consumer goods companies, not only because of its affluent population, but also as a popular destination for e-commerce companies. The cross-border model allows companies to sell their products freely and legally to Chinese consumers. As a result, trademark protection in Hong Kong takes on a broader meaning.

10 years
Period of protection from the date of registration
6-8 months
Time taken to register a trademark in Hong Kong, assuming no objections or complications
Priority is given to those who act first. File your mark first, before someone else is faster

knowledge station

Do I need to use my trademark in Hong Kong before registering it?

In Hong Kong, you do not have to use a mark before registering it; you can even apply for a new, newly developed mark. The law in Hong Kong, as in mainland China and Taiwan, has adopted the first-to-file principle. Under this principle, exclusive rights to a trademark are granted to the first person who files an application and passes the examination process.

Who can apply for trademark protection in Hong Kong?

In Hong Kong, anyone from individuals to companies, both domestic and foreign, as well as NGOs and associations, can apply for trademark protection.

Can a trade mark registration in Hong Kong be cancelled if it is not in use?

Yes, you can. In Hong Kong, a trademark can be cancelled for non-use. Under the local trademarks act, if a registered trademark has not been used continuously for a period of 3 years from the date of registration or from the date of the last use of the trademark. In such a case, the opposing party, the trademark owner, bears the burden of proving that the trademark has been used. If he fails to do so, the rights of the trademark lapse.

How better to file a trademark for protection in Hong Kong directly or through WIPO?

Filing a trademark application directly with the Hong Kong Intellectual Property Department (HKIPD), rather than through WIPO, has its advantages.

The most important of these is the speed of processing; the HKIPD starts working on the application immediately upon receipt. An application filed with WIPO takes several months to process before it is sent to Hong Kong anyway.

Direct filing in Hong Kong allows better designation of products and services to local specific.

A third, and no less important, advantage of direct filing is that it allows you to immediately select your professional representative before the HKIPD, who can act immediately in the case of refusal or other problems with your application.

What documents are required to register a trademark directly in Hong Kong?

To apply for a trademark registration in Hong Kong, you should normally prepare: a valid copy of your passport (if filing as individual) or company’s English business licence (if as company), a signed power of attorney for a professional representative, a graphic representation of the trademark (if applicable) and a list of the designated goods or services associated with the trademark.

When should a trademark registration be renewed in Hong Kong?

In Hong Kong, you can apply for renewal of your trademark for no earlier than 6 months and no later than the expiry date. If you miss this deadline, you still have the chance to renew within the next 6 months after the expiry date, but this will incur an additional fee.

#File1st® File your trademark for protection

FAQ - Frequently asked questions

1. Do I need trademark registration certificate in Hong Kong to set up an online shop selling to China on a cross-border basis?  

Yes, more and more large Chinese cross-border e-commerce platforms require Hong Kong trademark registration certificates for the relevant class before they will allow a trademark to be marketed.

2. How much does it cost to register a commodity for registration in Hong Kong? 

Costs depend on the number of classes and products submitted. See our price list for details.

3. What types of trademarks can be filed for protection in Hong Kong? 

In Hong Kong, the trademark registration system covers various types of trade marks. Most common ones are: word marks, graphic marks (such as logos or symbols) and combinations of word and graphic elements. In addition, more distinctive types such as 3D marks, colour marks and hologram marks can also be registered. The Hong Kong legal system allows for the protection of special marks, including sound marks and other marks.

4. Is it possible to apply for a mark in multiple classes with one application in Hong Kong? 

Yes, Hong Kong law allows you to apply for a trademark in more than one class in a single application.

5. In the case of a multi-class application for a trade mark in Hong Kong, will it be considered separately for each class 

Of course, for multi-class applications in Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Intellectual Property Department (HKIPD) conducts a separate examination for each class. This process includes assessing the distinctiveness of the mark, identifying possible conflicts with existing marks and verifying that the application meets all legal requirements for each class it applies to.

6. How long does it take for the Hong Kong Intellectual Property Department to issue a trademark registration certificate after the opposition period has expired? 

The Hong Kong Intellectual Property Department usually issues a trademark protection certificate within one month after the end of the opposition period.

7. How long is a trademark registration valid in Hong Kong? 

The protection of a trademark in Hong Kong lasts for a period of 10 years. Protection rights are effective from the date of registration and not from the date of application for protection.

8. I run my own business. Can I apply for brand protection on it in Hong Kong? 

Of course, you can apply for protection of your trademark in Hong Kong. If you wish to do this for your company, you will need to provide its English business license.

9. When should a trademark registration be renewed in Hong Kong? 

In Hong Kong, you can apply for renewal of your trademark no earlier than 6 months and no later than the expiry date. If you miss this deadline, you still have the chance to renew within the next 6 months after the expiry date, but this will incur an additional fee.

10. How can I check if my brand or a similar one is already registered in Hong Kong? 

You can check by searching the Hong Kong Intellectual Property Department’s database.

11. Do Hong Kong trademark registration rights extend to other territories such as mainland China or Taiwan? 

No, trademark rights in Hong Kong only cover the territory of Hong Kong. Mainland China or Taiwan are separate legal jurisdictions in the context of IP rights.

Other topics that may interest you