New bill aims to update process

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 15 April, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 15 April, 1999, 12:00am

The Government has proposed changes to the Trade Marks Ordinance in order to modernise and streamline registration and protection.

The new Trade Marks Bill - to be published tomorrow - seeks to incorporate the latest developments in trade mark law.

Secretary for Trade and Industry Chau Tak-hay said the SAR's trade mark system was fully compliant with international conventions and agreements.

'Nonetheless, most of the provisions of the existing Trade Marks Ordinance have remained largely unchanged since 1955,' he said.

'We need to improve our law to take into account the evolution of international practice and norms.' Included in the list of proposals is allowing the registration of a wider range of signs as trade marks, and bringing the protection offered to registered trade mark proprietors in line with that available for copyright, patent and registered design owners.

Also proposed is specified protection for owners of well-known marks from the use of identical or similar marks likely to cause confusion.

Mr Chau said the bill had taken into account comments from the legal profession and other interested parties during two rounds of public consultation.

'The bill will provide a more user-friendly and a more advanced trade mark registration system for Hong Kong in the new millennium,' he said.

The bill is scheduled to be introduced into the Legislative Council on May 5.

There are more than 100,000 registered trade marks on the Hong Kong Trade Marks Register.