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Do you need to register your trademark?

What is a trademark?
A trademark is a sign that distinguishes the goods and services of a merchant from those of other merchants. Generally, trademarks can be words (including personal names), descriptions, designs, letters, characters, numbers, graphic elements, colors, sounds, smells, product shapes or their packaging or any combination of them. In order to be able to register it as a registered trademark, the symbol must be displayed graphically.

Why register a trademark?
Registering your trademark means that you have the exclusive right to use the trademark for the goods and services of the registered trademark. If other merchants use the trademark for the same or similar goods or services in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region without your consent, they may be liable for infringing your trademark, and you may take legal action. If you do not register a trademark, it is difficult to prove that you are the “owner” of the trademark, so your protection is limited.

Do you have to apply for a trademark?
Even if you have not formally applied for a trademark, your business may still have legal rights. If you have used a logo or symbol for a long time, you may be able to provide some protection because you have been using the logo or symbol for commercial branding purposes. The TM (trademark) or SM (service mark) symbol will inform other companies of your common law rights about these symbols, logos or company names.

Trademarking protects your brand
Intellectual property laws exist to protect your trademark rights, so competitors cannot steal ideas, names or symbols from other companies. A registered trademark is just a beneficial tool, it is easy, and it can ensure that other companies will not be tampering with your hard work and brand building.

Benny Kong & Tsai © 2021

Benny Kong & Tsai, Solicitors

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