Articles

Opposition to Hong Kong Trademark Application
05.10.2020

Oppositions should be filed within 3 months beginning from the date of publication of the trade mark application in the Hong Kong Trademark Official Journal (if an application is published on 1 March, the deadline to oppose will fall on 31 May). The deadline is extendable once only for a period of 2 months subject to the discretion of the authority.

The grounds on which opposition can be lodged
An application may be opposed on “absolute grounds” or “relative grounds”. The relevant examples of grounds are provided below.-
Absolute grounds
Applications may be opposed on absolute grounds, with major examples, as follows:-
• The sign is not one which is capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one undertaking from those of other undertakings and which is capable of being represented graphically
• Trade marks which are devoid of any distinctive character;
• Trade marks which consist exclusively of signs which may serve, in trade or business, to designate the kind, quality, quantity, intended purpose, value, geographical origin, time of production of goods or rendering of services, or other characteristics of goods or services; and
• A trade mark shall not be registered if, or to the extent that, it consists of or contains
(a) the national flag or its design;
(b) the national emblem or its design;
(c) the regional flag or its design; or
(d) the regional emblem or its design.
• ETC.
Relative grounds
Applications may be opposed on relative grounds as follows:-
• A trade mark shall not be registered if-
(a) the trade mark is identical to an earlier trade mark; and
(b) the goods or services for which the application for registration is made are identical to those for which the earlier trade mark is protected.
• A trade mark shall not be registered if-
(a) the trade mark is identical or similar to an earlier trade mark;
(b) the goods or services for which the application for registration is made are identical or similar to those for which the earlier trade mark is protected; and
(c) the use of the trade mark in relation to those goods or services is likely to cause confusion on the part of the public.
• ETC.

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