Hong Kong – are slogans registerable as trade marks?

December 2005

Merchandising, artists, internet


This useful article looks at decisions in Hong Kong where the registrar of trade marks has confirmed that the same test of distinctiveness applies to slogans and other types of mark. The test of distinctiveness is laid down in British Sugar plc v James Robertson & Sons Ltd [1996] PRC 281 and elaborated in Nestle SA’s Trademark Application (Have a Break) [2004] FSR 2. Pursuant to British Sugar the question is whether a mark can be regarded as distinguishing, without first telling the public that it is a trademark. Nestle’s Have a Break adds that the distinctiveness must identify a product as originating from a particular undertaking. Reference to the goods for which registration is sought and the expectations of reasonably well-informed and circumspect consumers are factors to be considered. In Hong Kong noneof ‘Im lovin it’, ‘Your world is myworld’, ‘The Game Des!gners Studio’ and ‘Life made easier’ passed these tests (although the McDonalds slogan, I’m lovin it has been registered in Australia and New Zealand).

LINK to http://www.mondaq.com/article.asp?articleid=35698&email_access=on

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