March 07, 2024

Updates in relation to intellectual property systems and offices worldwide

Hong Kong

As of March 1, 2024, a new fee schedule in relation to industrial designs entered into effect in Hong Kong. The amended fees constitute reductions across the board in line with policy measures implemented with the intention of furthering IP development and services.

As per the new schedule of costs, the filing fee for industrial designs has fallen by an approx. 60% for paper filings now constituting 235 HKD and by an approx. 70% for those filed by electronic means comprising 315 HKD, with the fee for the registration of a design also decreasing by an approx. 60% amounting to 62 HKD.

Moreover, the yearly fees for the renewal of a design right have been reduced by rates between 10% and 40% depending on the renewal year, for example, the 2nd five-year renewal now comprises 835 HKD. Other fees, including amendments to applications or other documents pertaining to design registration or maintenance, have fallen by an approx. 20%.


On February 25, 2024, an official notice was published with respect to the cancellation of non-renewed trademarks in Libya. As per the notice, which entered into immediate effect, all Libyan trademarks published prior to 2021 that had not been renewed within the expiry of the prescribed 10-year protection period were canceled.

The decision was established in accordance with the Commercial Activity Law of 2010 and on the grounds that published trademarks in Libya are typically considered to be registered regardless of whether a registration certificate was issued, thus requiring the renewal of a mark every 10 years.

As per the applicable legal basis, the owner of a trademark is able to renew the mark every ten years and can request renewal at any time from 12 months prior to the date of expiry to 6 months following the expiration. If such renewal is not requested within the aforementioned time frame, the mark is canceled and will therefore cease to be valid.

The amendments to the trademark law of Libya signify a move toward a more streamlined IP system in the country, strengthening the integrity and trust in trademark rights and overall product branding in the market.

West Bank

The Trademark Office of the West Bank officially resumed operations as of January 7, 2024, following closures pertaining to the ongoing state of emergency and war in Gaza. It should be noted that whilst all legal deadlines were frozen during the closures, all deadlines pertaining to intellectual property from January 7th onwards are enforceable and therefore should be complied with.


As of April 1, 2024, the Japan Patent Office (JPO) will cease the issuance of paper certificates in relation to the registration of patents, utility models, industrial designs and trademarks. From the aforementioned date onwards, the JPO will exclusively issue electronic certificates in PDF format via the electronic system to rights holders.

The only exceptions to the JPO’s new electronic certification procedure are for international trademarks filed via the Madrid System designating Japan, and for international design applications designating Japan filed under the Hague System. As such, rights holders will continue to receive paper certificates confirming the registration of design and trademark rights filed via the Hague System and Madrid System respectively.


The Sudanese Intellectual Property Authority, or the Registrar General of Intellectual Property (RGIP), confirmed that the IP Office officially assumed trademark activity as of February 11, 2024. The office initially paused activity owing to circumstances in the country's capital and has temporarily relocated to an alternate area for operation.

The office will operate at a reduced level whilst at the temporary location and will, therefore, only receive new requests for various purposes such as registration, renewal, recordals, etc. All requests filed after February 11, 2024 will be completed once the temporary office retrieves its database, meaning that the examination of applications and other such actions may not occur until a future date.

Furthermore, owing to the circumstances, all communications and operations from the temporary office are set to be paperless and will therefore be received and sent exclusively via electronic means.

Author: Danielle Carvey