Peter Cheung Encourages Companies to Register Smell Marks in Hong Kong

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.  
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Trademark Dilution/Delusion in HK: Greyhound Café is free-riding on Greyhound Lines’ Reputation

Greyhound Café, IFC, Central, Hong Kong Island, Photo Danny Friedmann

 

Can the Gaia Group who brought a restaurant chain first in Thailand (in 1997, as a line extension of its fashion label which it started in 1980 with men’s casual wear at Siam Center, followed by an expansion into women’s wear in 1990) the first Greyhound Café and now in Hong Kong with the name Greyhound Café, and use the mirror image of the iconic Greyhound Lines trademark, North America’s largest intercity bus company? Yes, they can. They did. But is it allowed? The restaurant chain’s concept is: “Life is a journey, full of pictures, places, stories, and good tasting recipes.” One asks oneself why the restaurants in IFC in Central and Ocean Terminal in Tsimshatsui cannot make their own journeys, make their own pictures, travel to their own places, come up with their own stories and recipes?


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Do Trademarks Killl? Or Are They Victim? A Hong Kong Story With A Happy Ending

Florence Ka-Yee Lam, lawyer at Wilkinson & Grist which was already founded in 1860, wrote an interesting legal brief for IAM magazine on a current decision by the trademark registry of Hong Kong that upheld the registration of Philip Morris’ trademark Marlboro Lights, see here. When one reads the original decision of the Trademark Registry […]

Why Could Polo Ralph Lauren/Burberry Clone Get Trademark In Hong Kong?

The outdoor advertisement of Polo Santa Roberta no longer has theBurberry tartan pattern background “Buy one get one free” Is this what luxury goods manufacturers such as Polo Ralph Lauren and Burberry want to be associated with?  Here you can see the ® of registered trademark on the promotional poster Still Polo Santa Roberta bags use […]