Online trademark search system goes live

Hong Kong

The Intellectual Property Department of Hong Kong has launched an online trademark search system as part of an ongoing effort to extend the scope of e-government services. The service enables the public to conduct trademark searches on the Internet free of charge and with no restriction on search hours.

The department's database contains records of registered trademarks and applications for trademarks pending before the Trademarks Registry. Registrations that have been removed for over a year or withdrawn for over two years are not available to search. Further, historical details of trademark registrations (eg, records of assignment or registered user agreements) are not presently available.

The launch of the online search system marks the first stage of the transformation of the Intellectual Property Department's registration system from paper-based to electronic. After the new Trademarks Ordinance comes into force in April, all applications will be published online. It is anticipated that online searches for patents and registered designs will be available in the third quarter of 2003 and electronic filing of trademark applications will begin early in 2004.

For discussion of the Trademarks Ordinance, see Implementation of Trademarks Ordinance put on hold.

Mena Lo, Wilkinson & Grist, Hong Kong

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