At the HK/EU Expert Conference on cooperation in protecting and developing IP and brands at the beginning of this month, Peter Cheung, director of Intellectual Property Department (IPD) of Hong Kong SAR, is demonstrating that he is a man of all seasons in regard to encouraging smell marks in Hong Kong. Under the name Fragrant Hong Kong, which is a well chosen pleonasm since Hong Kong already means “fragrant harbour”, each season has its own activities to raise awareness about and interest in smell marks, see here, suggesting that a company can provide a good with different smells for different seasons. One of the non-traditional marks Hong Kong allows is the smell mark (Cap. 559 Trade Mark Ordinance of Hong Kong, Section 3(2). Like any trademark it should be distinctive. Applicants cannot just provide a chemical formula, but must also give a description that is clear for members of the public looking at the electronic register exactly what the mark is being applied for.
香 heung/xiang= fragrant
港 gong/gang = harbour
香港= Hong Kong (En), Heung Gong (Cant.), Xiang Gang (Cn)= fragrant harbour
The IPD’s philosophy is that companies can compete using all sensory stimuli in their goods and will organise the Global Sensory Branding Forum in Hong Kong in 2014.