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Likelihood of Trademark Confusion in Hong Kong

Likelihood of Trademark Confusion in Hong Kong

The following is a useful summary of the methods used in Hong Kong to assess the likelihood of trademark confusion:

(A) All relevant factors must be considered globally to have the likelihood of confusion;

(B) The matter must be judged through the eyes of ordinary consumers of the goods or services. These consumers are considered to be well-informed, prudent and observant people, but they rarely have the opportunity to compare between trademarks and trademarks. Instead, each consumer must rely on the imperfect pictures he keeps in his mind, and the degree of attention will vary according to the category of goods or services in question;

(C) Ordinary consumers usually look at the trademark as a whole and will not proceed to analyze its various details;

(D) The visual, auditory and conceptual similarity of a trademark must usually be evaluated with reference to the overall impression produced by the trademark, while remembering the uniqueness and main components of the trademark, but only when all other insignificant components of the complex trademark can be ignored with comparisons based only on the main factors;

(E) Nevertheless, in some cases, the overall impression conveyed by the composite trademark to the public may be dictated by one or more of its components;

(F) The lower similarity between goods or services can be offset by the higher similarity between trademarks, and vice versa;

(G) Earlier trademarks are more likely to be confused with their inherent distinctive features or due to their use;

(H) The reputation of a trademark cannot provide a basis for the presumption of confusion just because of the possibility of association in the strict sense;

(I) If the association between trademarks causes the public to mistakenly believe that the corresponding goods [or services] come from the same or economically connected enterprise, it may cause confusion.

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Benny Kong & Tsai, Solicitors

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