Registering a brand name as a trademark helps stop anyone else from using it. An example is the case of “Microsoft vs. MikeRoweSoft”. Having a registered trademark gives an entrepreneur the exclusive right to use it on all the products registered under his/her ownership.
A trademark is a property asset which can be bought, sold, rented, licensed or used to secure a loan to grow the business. It provides value beyond the core business. The more the business valuation grows, the more valuable the trademark is. In the business world today, larger corporations usually have the intention to take over business organizations with valuable trademarks.
Registration of trademarks in the Hong Kong SAR is governed by the Trade Marks Ordinance (Cap. 599) and Trade Marks Rules (Cap. 559A).
Before registration of the trademark, ECLAT will obtain information of the trademark based on the criteria laid down in the Trade Marks Ordinance (Cap. 599). ECLAT will also perform trademark search and preliminary advice services to save its clients’ money from applying for registration of an un-registrable trademark. A trademark registration is accepted if the trademark：
1. is distinctive;
2. is not just a description of the client’s goods and services;
3. is not a well-known term in the client’s line of business; and
4. has not been registered or has not been applied for registration by anyone else.
After receiving application forms (Form T2 or Form T2A) from the client, ECLAT will thoroughly review them and the documents attached to see if all information required is provided. If there is no deficiency in the application and no objection to the trademark registration, it will normally take at least six months to complete the registration process. If the registration is not successful, an applicant will have at least six more months to obtain additional information and documents to meet the requirements.
Once the trademark has been accepted for registration, the Registrar of Trademarks will enter the details of the trademark into the trademark register and issue a certificate of registration to the applicant. The effective date of a registered trademark will be the date of application.