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Hong Kong Design


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Hong Kong Design

Introduction to Hong Kong Design

The Hong Kong design registration system is territorial in nature though the Hong Kong sovereignty has returned back to China from United Kingdom in 1997, so the design registered in mainland China or any other countries, including United Kingdom cannot be automatically extended to Hong Kong for legal protection. Separate filing in Hong Kong is a must if the applicant also wants to get their designs protected in Hong Kong. Generally speaking, the same as patent practice, the Design Registry of the Hong Kong Intellectual Property Department does not conduct substantive examination on the design before granting registration, but only examines the design application to ensure that it meets the formal requirements for filing. Since the Design Registry only performs a “formality” examination without a formal substantive examination, a straightforward design application in Hong Kong takes only 2-3 months from application till issuance of the design registration certificate.


Registered design protection is renewable for periods of five years up to a maximum of 25 years. The owner of a registered design has the right to prevent others from manufacturing, importing, using, selling or hiring the design product after getting his design registered. The Hong Kong Design Registry adopts the International Classification for Industrial Designs (“Locarno Classification”) for classification of the goods of the design for protection and the applicant shall state the Class of the goods of the design to be applied. Multi-class design applications are allowed in Hong Kong on condition that the goods must fall within the one Locarno Class and comprise a set of articles. A set of articles means two or more articles that incorporate the same or similar design, are of the same general character, and usually sold together or intended to be used together.


Unlike mainland China, English is also the official language in Hong Kong, so the applicant can file design application either in English or in Chinese. If the application is filed in English, all future proceedings for the registration and the design registration certificate will be issued in English. If the application is filed in Chinese, then the future procedures and the registration certificate will be issued in Chinese, respectively. In spite of this, certain information in the application must be shown in both Chinese and English languages, for instance, the title of the article for design protection and statement of novelty must be given in both English and Chinese.


Documents/Information Required for Filing Design Application in Hong Kong

Unlike mainland China, to file design applications in Hong Kong, no Power of Attorney is required, while only the following documents/ information are required:


  1. Name and address of the applicant(s) and the designer(s);
  2. Locarno classification of the article;
  3. Drawings/photos of the article, i.e. a set of clear representations of the design;
  4. Title of the article to which the design applies, in both Chinese or English;
  5. A statement of the features of the design for which novelty is claimed (pattern, ornament, shape or configuration);
  6. If convention priority is to be claimed, a certified copy of priority document should be filed within three months from the date of filing the application. If the priority document is not in English or Chinese, a sworn English or Chinese translation of the document is also required; and
  7. If the applicant is not the designer, please advise how the applicant has acquired the rights to record this application, i.e. by employment or assignment?


Estimated Cost for Filing Hong Kong Design

Regarding the respective official fee and attorney fee for filing design applications in Hong Kong, please kindly click here for our Schedule of Minimum Charges for Hong Kong Design for reference. The client is also encouraged to consult with us on the exact cost for the specific application by email: