2. What things should I know before making an application for registering a trade mark? What is the registration procedure?
Registration of a trade mark under the Trade Marks Ordinance is obtained by applying to the Registrar of Trade Marks, who is the Director of Intellectual Property. To qualify for registration, the trade mark must satisfy the basic requirements of being capable of distinguishing the goods or services of the applicant from those of other traders, and capable of being represented graphically. Furthermore, the trade mark must not be objectionable on the following grounds (see section 11 and section 12 of the Ordinance):
- the trade mark is descriptive of the goods or services in question, such as its quality, intended purpose, value, geographical origin or other characteristics of the goods or services;
- the trade mark has become customary in the current language or in the established practices of the trade;
- the trade mark is likely to deceive the public;
- the trade mark is identical to, or similar to, another trade mark which has already been registered, or for which an application for registration has already been made, in respect of identical or similar goods or services; or
- the trade mark is identical or similar to a well-known trade mark.
If the relevant trade mark under application falls within any of the above categories, the application may be refused by the Registrar.
An application for a trade mark registration must specify the list of good or services in respect of which registration is sought, and the class(es) in which the goods or services fall. If the application is successful, the trade mark will be registered in the name of the applicant. For more details on applying for a trade mark registration, please refer to the website of the Intellectual Property Department.
Registration of trade mark is a complicated process. You are recommended to hire a lawyer or an expert in this field to handle the registration process and related matters.