Region: Hong Kong

NAKED mark not registrable for condoms

The trademarks registrar has rejected an application to register the mark NAKED for condoms on the grounds that the mark was descriptive and devoid of any distinctive character. The registrar considered that consumers would perceive the mark as describing a characteristic of the goods rather than as a badge of origin.

01 October 2008

New offence under the Trade Descriptions Ordinance

The Trade Descriptions (Amendment) Ordinance 2008, which was published in the <i>Government Gazette</i> on 27th June 2008 but has yet to come into force, introduces a new offence of false or misleading representation in regard to a seller’s connection with another party, which is akin to statutory passing off.

10 September 2008

Government moves to strengthen copyright protection in the digital environment

The government has sought public opinion on preliminary proposals to strengthen copyright protection in the digital environment. The proposals include providing a new exemption for temporary reproductions of copyrighted works by online service providers where technically necessary, and drawing up a compliance code of practice for online service providers.

03 September 2008

Further measures to combat copyright infringement

Following the latest revisions in April 2008, further provisions of the Copyright Amendment Ordinance 2007 came into operation on 11th July 2008. One key provision imposes criminal liability on those responsible for the internal management of an organisation for offences committed by that organisation in relation to knowingly possessing an infringing copy of a work.

20 August 2008

Proposals to strengthen the rights of trademark owners

The problem of shadow companies is causing grave concerns to trademark owners. These are principally incorporated by Chinese individuals who use the Hong Kong company registration system to register a company name incorporating another party’s famous mark as a vehicle to carry out counterfeit dealings across the border in the People’s Republic of China.

13 August 2008

No confusion as to origin between marks owned by Hugo Boss and Suntory

The registrar of trademarks recently rejected the oppositions filed by Hugo Boss AG against two applications by Suntory Kabushiki Kaisha to register the mark BOSS in respect of Classes 29 and 30. Although Suntory’s mark was found to be similar to those owned by Hugo Boss, the registrar held that no risk of confusion existed.

16 July 2008

Second sweep of revisions cracks down on anti-circumvention technology

Some further provisions of the Copyright (Amendment) Ordinance 2007 have now come into effect. The new changes extend the scope of rental and perfomers’ rights. They also impose both civil and criminal liabilities on anyone dealing in devices specifically designed to circumvent anti-copying technology.

07 May 2008

Registrar finds no distinctive charge in battery colours

The registrar of trademarks has refused Gillette’s application for a two-dimensional representation of a battery device in copper and black. The registrar found that the mark consisted exclusively of a sign that designated the characteristics of the goods applied for and was devoid of distinctive character.

16 April 2008

Consultation launched on further exemptions for circumventing TPMs

The Hong Kong government has launched a consultation paper seeking views from interested parties on exemptions that would allow users to circumvent technological protection measures. The Copyright (Amendment) Ordinance 2007 prohibits circumvention, except in limited circumstances. However, there are concerns that this might restrict legitimate activities.

16 January 2008

Ordinance ushers in compulsory licences for generic medicines

The Hong Kong government has passed the Patents (Amendment) Ordinance 2007, which implements a protocol to amend the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights. The ordinance allows Hong Kong to import and export generic medicines under the protocol in limited circumstances.

09 January 2008

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