Intellectual Property Rights - Registered Designs

The Registered Designs Ordinance (Chapter 522 of the Laws of Hong Kong) replaced the regime formerly based on the UK Designs (Protection) Ordinance and introduced an independent design regime to Hong Kong. A registrable design consists of features of shape, configuration, pattern or ornament applied to an article by an industrial process. The features must have what is known as “eye-appeal”, in that the appearance of the article must be relevant to a customer’s decision to buy the product.  A registered design protects the outward appearance of a product and can be registered for a wide range of articles, including textiles.

A design registration is valid for an initial period of five years from the date of filing the application. The registration may be renewed for four further periods of five years, for a total of twenty five years. A design registration will prevent the unauthorised manufacture, import, use, sale or hiring of items which look the same as the registered design in Hong Kong.  In deciding whether there has been infringement, one must look at whether the substance of the registered design has been taken.

Contract – Rights of Third Parties

The Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Ordinance (Chapter 623 of the Laws of Hong Kong) (the “Ordinance”) came into effect on January 1, 2016 and applies to all contracts entered into after this date subject to certain specified exceptions, such as bills of exchange, covenants relating to land, and letters of credit. The Ordinance confers on a person who is not a party to a contract (i.e. a third party) the right to enforce a term of the contract if the contract expressly provides that the third party may do so or the term purports to confer a benefit on the third party. Unless the contract contains an express provision to the contrary, (1) rescission or variation of a contract that affects a third party's right will require consent of the third party; and (2) the third party may assign such third party's rights, except for a personal right, to another person.