First Movement Mark accepted in Hong Kong

The Hong Kong trademark office has recently granted its first movement mark after publishing guidance on how to register them two years ago. The application was filed by a Hong Kong insurance company, FWD, and the movement mark is for a sequence of 50 images. Has this opened the door to others who want to register this unusual type of trademark?

The most common types of trademark are word, figurative and combination marks. However there is another class of trademarks that can sometimes be registered, non-conventional trademarks.

A non-conventional trademark has the same function as any of the previously mentioned types of mark but it is generally more difficult to register. However, the protection of these marks is much lower than that of traditional marks as these types of marks are not available to register with every trademark office around the world and they can be registered, they have to fulfill the local requirements. Unconventional marks can be trademarks based on things such as appearance, motion, scent, taste, shape, texture (touch), colour and sound.

Colour, shape and sound marks have become more common in recent years. Some well know brands that have colours trademarked are Christian Louboutin (who has successfully trademarked the red soles of their shoes in a number of countries around the world including the US) and and the jewellers Tiffany’s who have a trademark for the colour blue.

Motion marks have also become more widely accepted with more and more being registered every year. A motion mark is trademark for moving images and can include sounds, colours and other aspects of the product’s design. For example Lamborghini has registered motion marks for some jurisdictions in the US for its car door due to its unique movement.

It has already been stated that registering a non-conventional trademark is generally more complex than filing for a traditional trademark but if you did want one, how should you go about registering it? In general trademark offices have very little or no legislation for these types of marks which is one of the reasons why it can be more difficult to obtain one. Therefore it is advisable to contact your local trademark office in order to determine their exact requirements before you file for your trademark.

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