Registering a trade mark
Registering your trade mark is not mandatory. However, registered trade marks are assets, which can be owned, while unregistered trade marks are not assets. As well, it is easier to protect your rights over a registered trade mark.
As the owner of a registered trade mark, you will have the exclusive right to use the trade mark in relation to the goods and services for which the mark is registered. If others use your registered trade mark in Hong Kong or a name which is identical or similar to your trade mark in relation to the same or similar goods or services without your consent, you may take infringement proceedings against them.
Unregistered marks are protected by the common law action of passing off. You must prove goodwill or reputation in the unregistered mark and must prove that the other person misrepresented his/her goods or services to be the goods or services under the unregistered mark and that person’s use of the mark will cause you damage. Passing off is usually a more difficult action to bring than an action for infringement of a registered trade mark.