Designs can be registered for a wide range of products, including computers, telephones, CD-players, textiles, jewelry and watches.
Registered designs protect only the appearance of products, for example the look of a computer monitor. Registration of the design does not protect the way in which the design product works. Protection for the way in which a product works may be available under patent law. Computer software is protected under copyright law.
Registered design owners have the right to prevent others from manufacturing, importing, using, selling or hiring the design product.
Registered design protection is renewable for periods of five years up to a maximum of 25 years.
You need to register your design to protect it in Hong Kong, China to stop unauthorized manufacture, import, use, sale or hiring of your design product in Hong Kong, China. If you intend to license someone else to manufacture, import, use, sell or offer for hire your design product in Hong Kong, you will need to register your design.
Applying for registration of a design elsewhere in the world or in other parts of China does not automatically give your design protection in Hong Kong, China.
If you do not register your design in Hong Kong, you will still have protection under copyright law for articles produced from your original design drawings. Protection under copyright law is for 15 years from first marketing of the article. But protection under copyright law has limitations. You cannot take legal action for copyright infringement where another person independently produces a similar design. But if a design is registered, a similar design will infringe, even if it was independently created. It is also generally easier to defend your right if the design is registered.
Application and registration of design in HK