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1. To be more specific, what things may constitute a trade mark?

With reference to section 3 of the Trade Marks Ordinance, which entered into force on 4 April 2003, a trade mark may consist of words (including personal names), indications, designs, letters, characters, numerals, figurative elements, colours, the shape of goods or their packing, and even sounds and smells. This provision allows a broader range of marks to be trade marks than that permitted under the previous law, which forbade sounds and smells to be trade marks. However, you must note that under the Ordinance, a trade mark must be capable of being represented graphically, i.e., by way of writing, drawing, musical notation, written description or any combination thereof. Thus unless a sound or smell can be clearly described by drawing or any written description, it cannot be registered as a trade mark.

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