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26 February 2019

Trademarks (Amendment) Bill 2019 gazetted - what you need to know

The Trademarks (Amendment) Bill 2019, which empowers the registrar to make essential procedural rules to implement the Madrid Protocol in Hong Kong, was gazetted on 8 February 2019.

08 August 2018

AI boosts counterfeit seizures in Hong Kong; expert claims focus should be on small package detection

​​​​​​Customs authorities in Hong Kong have managed to increase the seizure rate of fake goods by one-third in the first half of 2018 thanks to the use of artificial intelligence.

19 July 2018

Well-known marks: multijurisdictional approaches to fame in Asia

Different approaches must be used to secure protection for well-known marks in different countries. This article considers the best route in key Asian jurisdictions.

03 April 2017

SWISS certification mark opposition: court finds actual use likely to confuse

The Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry FH - the holder of the SWISS certification mark - has been successful in an appeal against a decision of the registrar of trademarks in opposition proceedings against the registration of the figurative mark SWISSBERNARD for "horological and chronometric instruments". The appeal decision is significant in that it is one of the rare cases in which the registrar’s decision has been set aside.

06 March 2017

Government proceeding with plans to adopt Madrid Protocol

The Hong Kong government has announced that it is proceeding with plans to adopt the Madrid Protocol, following its consultation with interested parties in 2014. It is anticipated that the protocol will be available in Hong Kong in 2019 at the earliest. One interesting point is that international registrations based on applications filed in Hong Kong will not be permitted to designate Mainland China, and vice versa.

12 October 2016

Hong Kong performs well in illicit trade rankings, despite massive counterfeit trade volume

The Economist’s Intelligence Unit and the European Chamber of Commerce in Singapore (EuroCham SG) today released a report measuring Asia-Pacific jurisdictions by the extent to which they enable illicit trade, including counterfeiting and piracy. Singapore itself has a somewhat disappointing placing, just outranking China and beaten by its larger neighbour Malaysia; while Hong Kong’s high placement is somewhat at odds with other measures of its contribution to the global counterfeiting trade.

03 October 2016

EU customs seizures skyrocketed in 2015; concerns raised that counterfeit issue being ‘massively underestimated’

The European Commission’s latest annual report into EU customs enforcement has found that the level of suspected counterfeit articles detained by authorities rose by 15% year-on-year, with the number of applications for action up by a startling 59% across the same time period. While the estimated value of the detailed articles totals nearly €650 million, one expert claims the report could be massively underestimating the scope of the problem.

16 May 2016

Opposition to registration of SWISSBERNARD mark

The Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry FH has failed in its opposition to the registration of the SWISSBERNARD mark applied for on January 31 2012 by Ayoub in Class 14 for “horological and chronometric instruments” and published for opposition on July 20 2012.

10 May 2016

First movement marks accepted for registration in Hong Kong

The Trademarks Registry has accepted two movement marks for registration in Hong Kong. Subject to any opposition being filed, the first registration of a movement mark should be granted in May.

04 March 2016

Hong Kong government withdraws copyright amendment bill after free speech furore

In the face of a sustained filibuster by pan-democratic lawmakers, Hong Kong’s government is set to pull a controversial amendment to the special administrative region’s Copyright Ordinance. Civic Party legislator Claudia Mo says that the bill will not be formally withdrawn until Wednesday, but we understand the legislation is effectively dead.

02 February 2016

Every word counts – typical cases of illegal advertisements

The Shanghai Administration of Industry and Commerce recently released its report on the enforcement of the Advertising Law in 2015. The report is a good reference to brand owners and advertisers as to the kinds of advertising claim which may attract the authorities’ attention, and potentially penalties.

20 January 2016

Can hotel group prevent the promotion of residential development?

In a recent case the court considered the plaintiffs’ application for an interlocutory injunction restraining the defendants from engaging in the mass promotion of a residential development using the English name ‘Corinthia’ on the basis of passing off and trademark infringement.

14 December 2015

Hong Kong

In Hong Kong, exclusive rights to the design of an industrial article may be pursued under the Registered Designs Ordinance 2010 and the Registered Designs Rules 2004, both of which are based on the UK Registered Designs Act 1949.

30 October 2015

Bastian Schweinsteiger not the only celebrity struggling to control use of their likeness in Hong Kong

Last week, footballer Bastian Schweinsteiger announced he would take legal action against a Hong Kong company selling a Nazi action figure bearing his likeness. A review of the company’s online store shows that there are other celebrities who may not like what they find there. But Hong Kong’s lack of personality rights protections could frustrate attempts at enforcement.

18 September 2015


The holder of an unregistered mark has the right to use a trademark, no matter whether it is registered. However, if a mark is to be used on tobacco products, it must be registered.