On 19 June 2020 Hong Kong gazetted the Trade Marks (Amendment) Ordinance, paving the way for the application of the Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks (Madrid Protocol) in Hong Kong.  This follows on from the outcome of a public consultation conducted back in 2014.

Currently, there are 106 contracting parties to the Madrid Protocol and Hong Kong is yet to be one.  Under the Madrid Protocol, foreign trade mark owners in member countries can apply to the International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organization to register their trade marks in other signatory trade mark offices.  Vice versa, Hong Kong or Chinese trade mark owners will also be able to apply for their trade marks in Hong Kong and designate other member countries in which to have their marks registered.

The Hong Kong Government aims to implement the Madrid Protocol as soon as possible, and will press ahead with obtaining the Chinese Central People’s Government’s consent to its application to Hong Kong as well as the relevant preparatory work on the passing of subsidiary legislation and the set up of the necessary IT systems.