Trademark Opposition to registration in Mainland China and Hong Kong

Borsam IP
Borsam IP

Most of the countries have trademark opposition procedure. However, some countries and areas adopt “examination after publication completed”, and some adopt “publication after examination completed”, like Mainland China and Hong Kong. Though Hong Kong is a part of China, the trademark system has differences between Mainland China and Hong Kong. We will make a brief comparison about trademark opposition procedure.


When can a trademark be opposed?

The opposition period is three months, in both of Mainland China and Hong Kong. However, the period is not extendable in Mainland China, while it is extendable once by two months in Hong Kong.


Who can oppose a trademark?

Section 44 of the Trade Marks Ordinance (Cap. 559) in Hong Kong provides that “any” person may give notice to the Registrar of opposition to the registration of a trade mark.

Article 33 The China Trademark Law provides that the prior owner of trademark or interested parties, within three months from the date of the publication, shall file an opposition against the trademark.


What are the requirements?

In Mainland China, the applicant can choose to file an opposition online or offline. The requirements to launch an opposition are a simple statement, a power of attorney, and an identification document, such as an ID card for an individual or a business certificate for an entity, the evidence to prove that you are the interest party, with paying 450 CNY official fee. No documents need to be notarized or legalized.


In Hong Kong, the launch of trademark opposition is more complex. Though the opponent can file it online by a digital form, he should print out the form and the statement, and then sent the copies to the IPD and the trademark applicant. The official fee is 800 HKD.


How is the flowchart? (pending)

To make it clear, please click on the below pictures to view them. 





Who afford the cost?

In Mainland China, the parties afford their own cost respectively. In Hong Kong, an award of costs will generally be made in favour of the successful party.


Do you miss the deadline?

In Mainland China, you are deemed to catch the deadline if all the documents are mailed before or on the last day. However, in Hong Kong, you are considered to catch the deadline if IPD receives all the documents before or on the last day.


Can the deadline be extended?

All the deadline in Mainland China is not extendable. But most of the deadline in the opposition procedure is extendable in Hong Kong. For example, the deadline for the opponent to file the opposition and for the applicant to file the counter-statement are extendable once by two months.


How long will it take to get a decision for opposition?

Considering the relief approach of the parties, we can see that it takes about 2 years or more to get a decision for opposition, both in mainland China and Hong Kong. However, in Hong Kong, it always takes longer.


In conclusion, there are significant differences between Mainland China and Hong Kong regarding the trademark opposition. So the applicant would better appoint a local and professional trademark attorney to help you proceed. And I hope this article is helpful for legal practice.