Have you ever thought about how a Company Signage could enhance your business image? Or did you know directory signage could help facilitate your official business applications to the government authorities? After reading this blog, you may just be surprised at how this simple tool does great things for your business!
 

 

Strengthen Company Image

Company signage sets at the entrance of a premier business centre or building in HK could be one of the keys to outrun your competitor. Imagine if you want to acquire a service, when you arrive the building there is nowhere showing where the office is, you will probably turn away, and a business opportunity is slipped away.

Or if you are about to engage in business with another start-up company, they gave you an address so you went up for a visit and tried to look into the directory signage, but the company name is nowhere to be seen. Doesn't it look undependable? In the past years we have seen many visitors stand in front of the directory signage board for a while and they left without a word. Not only does company signage present your services and products, but also helps customers to decide what you are providing is for them or not, especially if you are a foreign entrepreneur and people are new to your name. It is also a guiding tool for your business to people.

 

Leverage Practical Functionality

When submitting applications to government departments or financial institutions, they always require a registered corporate correspondence address that proves your business presence in HK. Thus, your company directory signage will serve as a good proof in such applications like business license application, HK working visa application, bank account opening, etc.

A survey from FedEx once found during parcels or products delivery, people may get confused or even returned from the location when the company signage is omitted at the entrance, and eventually it cannot be sure whether the products are delivered to the right address. Therefore the reason why people registered for company signage is not for maintaining their company image only but also trying to serve the basic and practical purposes such as ensuring they can send out as well as receive their business materials accurately and efficiently. A proper company signage at the entrance can easily project a good presence to represent the company and people are then able to locate it quickly.

At BRIDGES, you can get your company directory signage at our office for HK$1,800 per annum, which means it’s just HK$150 (US$21) per month only!

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Trademark is important. Even the Romans used a ™ for their swords thousands of years ago.

Getting a trademark for your business is definitely a smart move because the business name or appearance of your product is a valuable asset. Let us explain what a trademark can do for your company and the tips of the trademark application in HK. Ready to safeguard your names / products that could be the swords of your company?
 

 

What Can Trademark Do for You?

Trademark, the mark “™” is usually used for distinguishing products and services of a particular company / an individual owner from those of others in the market.

Yet, bear in mind that the HK Companies Registry and HK Trade Marks Registry are 2 different authorities. Some of our clients get confused with these two departments, but having the company registered does not mean it would automatically register for your trademark or you will be entitled to any trademark rights.

In other words, if you would like to enjoy the exclusive right to use your company’s name or logo, it is inevitable to get a trademark, by which you can use it in relation to the products / services / inventions of yours and it will save you a lot of hassles when your products or services provision get more popular in time. In fact, some clients might come late (they just ignored this part from the start and suddenly remembered after a couple of years of the incorporation), then found out their business / product name has already been taken by others in their preferred category (i.e. a class of trademark, like machine tools; cooking; telecommunications; etc.) and so they couldn’t register in that category now. Because some businesses may have ignored the importance of trademark and eventually suffered from the plagiarising behaviour at the end, realising they should have taken this step earlier. 

Talking about the exclusive trademark right, many people mix up “™” and  “®”. Generally, the “™” symbol can be used whether the trademark is registered or not.  But the “®” symbol means this trademark is a registered one, and you are entitled to the exclusive trademark right provided by the Trade Marks Registry. In other words, by obtaining this right, your company can then apply the “®” symbol next to your company’s name or logo as an identification. You can take legal actions against any parties that violate the trademark law, such as using your trademark without your consent / agreement, to prevent anyone to take your trademark’s benefits (could be company name, products, inventions, ideas, etc).

 

Be the First-Mover in Your Market

Moreover, having a trademark can also be a first-mover advantage for your company, you can easily dominate the market if you have a newly-invented product or service. Any newcomers would then be hard to get an identical trademark anytime soon. In essence, it gives you a chance to become the market leader if you act quickly with the trademark registration.

According to our 18 years of experience, if a HK company owns a registered trademark, it will be a lot easier to cooperate with her mainland China partners because those Chinese companies tend to believe you are a reputable company and they are willing to pay extra for your products / services, which makes the whole trademark registration very worthwhile as it just costs you less than HK$100 per month for owning the 10-year trademark right.

 

Easy-to-Prepare Materials for Registration

Before kicking off the registration, you just have to provide :

  • The trademark you would like to register graphically
     
  • What products / services will be covered by this trademark? (i.e. baby foods, hygienic and beauty care, etc.)
     
  • Would you like an official search / non-official search first? (to ensure your trademark is available for registration)
     
  • Information of the trademark’s owner

 

5 Steps for HK Trademark Registration

Trademark registration sounds complicated yet it is not as hard as you thought. Our experienced advisor will guide you step by step throughout the whole process, whether you are a local or overseas firm. Here we’ll give you some ideas :

1. File the Application

Gather all necessary information of your product / creations / services and we will assist you in submitting the application. In general, the application procedure can take as little as 6 months.

2. Deficiencies Checking

The Trade Marks Registry will conduct a thorough check on the application and provided documents. The authority will get in touch with us if further information is required.

3. Search and Examination

The Trade Marks Registry will then perform a proper search to see if any identical or similar trademark has already been registered. The authority will also review and see if the submitted trademark is proper and fits the Trademark Ordinance’s requirements.

4. Objections (possible to occur)

If the requirements are not met, the Trade Marks Registry has the authority to object to the application. Yet, applicants are granted 6 months for amendments in order to meet the requirements.

5. Registration

Once your trademark has been accepted for registration, it will be published in the Hong Kong Intellectual Property Journal. If no opposition by a 3rd party is made, the Trade Marks Registry will enter your trademark into the trademarks register and you will be issued with a certificate of registration, meanwhile, the notice of the registration will be published in the Journal too. As the owner of a registered trademark, your rights take effect from the filing date of the application, which allows you to use it for 10 years.

 

How to Make Your Trademark Stand Out?

- Be creative, emphasise the uniqueness of your trademark, for instance, in the food industry, using “MEAT FOOD” instead of “MEET FOOD” might be objected by the Trade Marks Registry since the chance of getting a similar trademark is massive.

- No description of the products in terms of quantity or quality like “100 Chicken Wings” or “Quality Chicken Wings”.

- No geographical name like “Milano Fashion”.

- Use your invented product name would be the best since as it would most likely be innovative.

 

If you are not sure whether you are having a trademark idea similar to others, shoot us an email at info@bridges.hk or call +852 2159 9666. Our on-site Trademark Team will help ease the application process and smoothen your journey.

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