The intellectual property law in Hong Kong allows for the protection of trademarks, patents, copyrights, designs and even certain plant varieties. The Special Administrative Region imposes its own laws for the protection of intellectual property and this right to develop adequate policies is stated in the Basic Law of Hong Kong.
The enforcement of the laws for intellectual property protection is overseen by the Intellectual Property Department in Hong Kong. The Customs and Excise Department is the ones responsible for overseeing any criminal matters that arise with the infringement of intellectual property rights. This department performs all investigations concerning trademark or copyright infringement.
The experts at our Hong Kong law firm can help you understand the principles of intellectual property protection and can help you take the necessary steps to protect any designs or trademarks belonging to your company.
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The copyright law in Hong Kong
The Copyright Ordinance is the main legislative document that describes the materials and inventions that can be registered as a copyrighted work in Hong Kong. The list includes literary, musical, artistic and dramatic works, sound and film recordings, broadcasts and cable programmes. For musical, literary and artistic works the duration of the copyright is during the lifetime of the author plus 50 years.
The trademark law in Hong Kong
The trademark law is also administered by the Intellectual Property Department and the main legislative document containing the policies for trademark protection is the Trade Marks Ordinance. Any applications for trademark registrations are submitted to the Trade Mark Registry belonging to the Intellectual Property Department.
Trademarks that can be registered include signs, words, designs, letters, characters, numbers, colours, shapes and any combinations of these elements used to identify a product on the market. Company owners in Hong Kong who want to consolidate their position on the market can register their logos and other elements in order to have exclusive trademark usage rights.
Patent law and other intellectual property issues in Hong Kong
Other elements that may be protected under the intellectual property law are patents – for protecting an invention according to the Patents Ordinance, designs, trade secrets, layout designs and plant varieties. The latter is part of an extended law containing plant breeder’s rights.
Entrepreneurs who want to protect their patents and/or designs must also make an application for registration with the Intellectual Property Department. Submissions are usually made both in English and in Chinese and our lawyers in Hong Kong can help you during the application procedure.
Company owners are required to register their company name, however, this is a distinct mandatory procedure for the incorporation of the company and it does not guarantee any trademark or copyright protection for that company.
For more information you may contact our Hong Kong law firm.