Trademark Registration Differences between Hong Kong and Mainland China

In the modern economy, trademarks are very important for enterprise. In addition to the difference between the source of the goods or services, trademark can prevent others from squatting to seize the market. Trademark is also a weapon for corporate brand building and realizing the asset value. In recent years, trademark registration volume has increased significantly in mainland China and Hong Kong. Conpak CPA  is a professional agent for the Mainland and Hong Kong trademark registration over the years. We remind all the trademark applicants that the Mainland and Hong Kong belong to one country, and have the frequent economic and trade exchanges, but the trademark law is not the same, the approved registered trademark in the Mainland does not automatically take effect in Hong Kong.

Common Points of Trademarks in Hong Kong and Mainland

In view of the trademark own properties, Hong Kong trademarks and Mainland trademarks have the following common points:

1. Trademark valid and renewals

Both trademarks valid in Hong Kong and the Mainland are 10 years. If you want to continue using the trademark after the expiration, the trademark owner may apply for renewal, the renewal is valid for 10 years.

2. Trademark revoked

According to the Trademark Laws of Hong Kong and the Mainland, if the registration of a trademark violates the relevant laws and regulations or stop using for three consecutive years, the trademark will be revoked in accordance with.

3. Registration process

The trademark registration process is very similar to Hong Kong and the Mainland, including several links as trademark searches, the form of review, substantive examination, announcement and approval of the registration. Among them, trademark search is not a necessary condition for trademark registration, but in order to avoid the departments rejection for the earlier trademark or similar mark, Conpak recommends the applicant to make a trademark search before signing up, apply registration only after the affirmative registered chance.

4. Priority

Both of Hong Kong and Mainland trademarks have priority. If the applicant prior to the filing of trademark applications within six months, have submitted the application for trademark registration of the same product or service in the Paris Convention country or WTO members, that will enjoy trademark registration priority. In addition, the Mainland trademark which has used for the first time on the goods of the Chinese government recognized international exhibition on display, to use the trademark, the trademark applicants have priority within six months from the date of the merchandise on display.

5. Trademark notice

In the trademark registration process of Hong Kong and the Mainland, has period of three months for Trademark Notice. In this period, any person may object to the trademark or objection. The opposed or the opponent may withdraw the registration application, and can also choose to reply or objections.

6. Trademark management

Hong Kong trademark and Mainland trademark can change the trademark name of the applicant, address and such matters, in addition, the two trademarks can also transfer, licensing, and take legal measures for infringement of others.

Distinctions of Hong Kong Trademarks and Mainland trademark

Hong Kong and mainland China have their own independent system of trademark registration, Trademark Law of the Hong Kong is by the common law system, there are many differences with mainland trademark law adhering to the civil law.

1. Protection principles

Hong Kong Trademarks use first protection principles, the Mainland trademarks implement first applied principles.

2. Trademarks species

The Mainland and Hong Kong may be registered trademarks, service marks, certification marks. In addition, Hong Kong can register a series of trademarks and defensive trademark, body trademarks, scent trademarks, and the mainland can be registered collective trademark.

3. Apply conditions

The Mainland and Hong Kong’s natural or legal person may apply for the registration. Mainland natural person trademark application need to provide the individual businesses and business licenses and other related materials, natural persons in Hong Kong simply submit personal ID card or passport, without providing individual industrial and commercial households business license.

4. Trademark acquisition time

Hong Kong trademark acquisition time is calculated from the date of submission of application for trademark registration, and the Mainland trademark acquisition time is calculated from the date of approval of the trademark registration.

5. Required time of registration

Hong Kong is one of the shortest areas of application for trademark registration, the entire registration time is about six months, and the mainland takes about 15-18 months.

6. Customs protection

Mainland China has implemented a system of IPR customs protection, according to the relevant provisions of the Customs Law of the People’s Republic of China, trademark rights holders could apply to the General Administration of Customs for the record. In the international trade process, if the rights person or Customs found the suspected infringing goods, Customs can detain the goods according to the law, and takes further legal protection.

It must be pointed out that Hong Kong is the world famous free port and financial center, the legal system is integrity and the infrastructure is very sound. Registered trademark in Hong Kong, you can maximize use of a good image in the international metropolis of Hong Kong, and rapidly increasing brand awareness and competitiveness of enterprises. More about the trademarks similarities and differences between Hong Kong and Mainland China, please contact us to further explore.