The application for registration of a trademark can be refused by the Hong Kong Trade Mark Registry on absolute grounds under section 11 of the Trade Marks Ordinance Cap.559.
Section 11(1)(a) prohibits registration of signs which do not satisfy the requirements of being capable of graphical representation and distinguishing the goods or services which the mark is registered for from the other.
Section 11(1)(b): Trademark which is not distinctive
Objection under this ground is against registration of mark which is devoid of distinctive character. That means the mark is not able to identify the goods or services which the trademark has applied for registration.
Section 11 (1)(c): Descriptive trademark
Objection under this ground is against registration of sign which consists exclusively of the descriptive element or word(s).But if there is another element in the sign which is not descriptive and the element is not insignificant, the sign would not be objectionable.
Section 11(1)(d): Generic trademark
Application for registration of signs which are or would be in customary use in a particular industry may be objectionable under this ground. For example, the word ‘NETWORK’ would be unregistrable for computer software but it may not be objectionable for clothing.
For legal advice or services on trademark disputes or trademark infringement, please contact CHOW & CHEUNG, Hong Kong Solicitors & Notary Public. [Tel: +852 2856 3799 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org]
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