Region: Hong Kong

Draft Code of Practice for online service providers

The secretary for commerce and economic development has sought public views on a draft Code of Practice to provide practical guidance to online service providers on the relevant practices and procedures to be adopted in order to limit or prevent copyright infringement on their service platforms. The code sets out the steps to be taken by a service provider in order to send a notice to a subscriber following a complaint of alleged infringement.

16 November 2011

Back2Life mark fails distinctiveness test

The trademark registrar has refused an application by Back In Five, LLC to register the mark “Back2Life” for a “device for preventing or relieving pain in the lower back, namely, equipment for movement and stretching of the lower back for medical and/or therapeutic purposes” in Class 10 for being devoid of distinctive character.

03 August 2011

Survey findings on public awareness of IP rights protection

The Intellectual Property Department of Hong Kong recently commissioned a survey on public awareness of IP rights protection. The findings reflected that the majority of the public considered it necessary to protect IP rights in Hong Kong, and that such protection would be helpful to the development of local creative industries and Hong Kong’s economy.

06 July 2011

"iFood" denied registration for health and nutrition-related products

Following a hearing in September 2010, the Hong Kong registrar of trademarks refused registration of a series mark for "iFood" and "IFOOD" filed in relation to "health food products, dietary supplements, nutritional drinks and beverages" and food and drink of similar nature in Classes 5, 29, 30 and 32 on absolute grounds.

18 May 2011

MTV trademark fails registrability test

The registrar of trademarks has rejected an application by Viacom International Inc to register the mark MTV in respect of a variety of services. Although the registration was accepted for certain services in Classes 38 and 41, for other services the registrar considered that it did not enable the relevant consumers to distinguish Viacom's services from those provided by other undertakings.

06 April 2011

Companies (Amendment) Ordinance targets shadow companies

Several parts of the Companies (Amendment) Ordinance 2010 are now in operation. Part 3 of the ordinance concerns company names and is targeted at strengthening the power of the companies registrar to tackle the problem of shadow companies within the company registration process.

12 January 2011

Registrar finds LUXURY CHANNEL mark unregistrable

The registrar of trademarks has refused The Luxury Channel Limited's application to register the mark LUXURY CHANNEL in series form for three different classes. It held that the overall impression of the marks had little impact and that the idea communicated by the marks as a whole was merely a description of the subject matter of the advertising, broadcasting or entertainment services provided.

01 December 2010

Registrar declares shoe device unregistrable for footwear

The registrar of trademarks has refused an application to register a device mark in respect of "shoes, boots etc" in Class 25 on the basis that the mark is devoid of distinctive character and consists exclusively of a sign which designates the characteristics of the goods applied for.

06 October 2010

New criminal offence regarding certain types of printed work

Further provisions of the Copyright (Amendment) Ordinance 2007 recently came into force. They lay down a new business end-user criminal offence of regularly distributing or making with a view to distributing infringing copies of printed books, newspapers, magazines and periodicals which results in financial loss for the relevant copyright owners.

04 August 2010

Court of Appeal strips High Court NAKED decision

The Hong Kong Court of Appeal has upheld the registrar of trademarks' 2008 refusal to register the trademark NAKED for condoms. In the latest instalment of this long-running case, the appeal court found that the registrar had applied all the correct tests and that the High Court judge had interfered with the registrar’s discretion without grounds.

12 May 2010

Unlock unlimited access to all IAM content