Trademark laws in Hong Kong are governed by the Trademark Ordinance, CAP 559. When applying for a Trademark in Hong Kong, it has to be registered with the Hong Kong Intellectual Property Department.

  • My business is based in Hong Kong. If I am granted a TM in Hong Kong and my product is sold online with Shopify HK, what markets will this cover?

The market your product will cover is determined by the NICE classification system, which is an international Intellectual Property system that sets out about 45 classes of goods, products and services that cover the markets covered. It is advisable for prospective clients to first familiarize themselves with this system and the available classes to know where their products will be marketed under.

  • How can I cover trademarks if I sell worldwide? What is the best way to do this?

Considering the fact that your business will be online based, it is advisable to not only apply for the Hong Kong trademark but to also apply for the international trademark. The international trademark registration system is called the Madrid system/protocol, which is administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). This system allows the client to have a protected trademark in several countries done by filing an application directly with your own member country. This system is efficient as it simplifies management of a trademark as service charges for the registration can be made only once and directly without doing so in every country where one operates the business. You shall be charged 100 US dollars for the online registration (Trademark Electronic Application System [TEAS] for International Applications) as well as an extra cost of 200 US dollars for paper registration.

  • What fees are involved in trademarks? Initial fees and ongoing.

Fees that are charged in Hong Kong for registration of trademarks are stipulated in the Trademarks Forms and Fees, Cap 559

In this case, these charges will be applicable:

  • Request for search of records (necessary to ensure that the product or service you want to trademark is original and none other exists). HK$ 400
  • Request for preliminary advice on registrability. HK$400
  • Application for registration of trademark (including certification mark and collective mark). HK$2,000
  • Application for registration of a series of trademark. HK$2,000
  1. How long does it take for a trademark to be processed and/or be issued?

If the application for issuance trademark is in line with the provisions of the law, the process between the date the application is received and the date the trademark is issued is normally shorter than six months.

  • Are some markets easier than others to gain a trademark? With that in mind is it better to gain a trademark in a tough region first or it does not matter?

In theory it would appear that some markets are easier to penetrate as compared to others in terms of application for and gaining a trademark. This is influenced greatly by the regional laws applicable, the registration agencies and the process of revision to determine the originalbility of the product from the date of application to the date of the issuance.

However it is my opinion that such difference should not matter at all where the client is determined to achieve a specific goal. 

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