Hong Kong Top Brand Mark Scheme (“the Scheme”) to recognise the sustainable achievement of Hong Kong companies in brand building and to promote the profile of local brands. The Scheme is co-organised by the Hong Kong Brand Development Council and the Chinese Manufacturers’ Association of Hong Kong (the Organiser). It is administered by the Hong Kong Top Brand Assessment Board (the Board) under the Hong Kong Brand Development Council. Meanwhile, a Technical Advisory Committee with wide representation of experts has been formed to provide advisory and technical support.
Based on well-structured assessment and licensing procedures, Hong Kong Top Brand Mark Scheme introduces a unified identity system for Hong Kong brands, and it is operated in parallel with Hong Kong Top Brand Awards and Hong Kong Top Service Brand Awards (“the Awards”). Only winners of the Awards are entitled to applying for the licence. After successful completion of a due registration and review process, licensed organisations can promote their company, brand and products/services under the scope of licence with the contemporarily and uniquely designed Hong Kong Top Brand Mark.
This document encompasses the rights and obligations of both the Organiser and applicants or licensees under the Scheme. The document prevails all other documents in case inconsistency arises.
For the purpose of the regulations detailed in this booklet, the following definitions and abbreviations shall apply:
An organisation pursues the attainment of Hong Kong Top Brand Mark Licence.
A due process performed by the Organiser or her designated representatives to verify the capability of applicant or licensee to meet the requirements and regulations required by The Scheme.
Hong Kong Brand Development Council
Hong Kong Brand Development Council Co. Ltd.
An organisation that has signed Hong Kong Top Brand Mark Licence and agreed to protect the interests of the Organiser by following the regulations stipulated in this document.
Documented requirements, including but not limited to “Judging Criteria of Hong Kong Top Brand Awards” and “Judging Criteria of Hong Kong Top Service Awards,” and “Hong Kong Top Brand Mark On-site Assessment Criteria,” established by the Organiser that are relevant to the performance of an applicant or licensee in branding.
Scope of licence
The encompassment of the licence that cover company name, brand name and one or more product categories that have been reviewed and accepted by The Board.
Technical Advisory Committee
The supporting structure of The Scheme with wide representation of technical experts in the field of branding research, design, product liability, management system, marketing, legal services and etc.
Hong Kong Top Brand Awards and Hong Kong Top Service Brand Awards.
Hong Kong Top Brand Assessment Board.
Hong Kong Brand Development Council and the Chinese Manufacturers’ Association of Hong Kong.
Hong Kong Top Brand Mark Scheme operated by the Organiser.
The Hong Kong Top Brand Mark, a distinctive visual symbol specially designed by the Organiser and made up of graphic signature and logotype. Top Mark serves as a cachet to recognise and advocate the achievements of a brand and the products or services under it, in respect of reputation, distinctiveness, innovation, quality, image, and environment performance. It is applied to all official occasions/activities related to the Awards and the Scheme, and can also be used by the holders of Hong Kong Top Brand Mark Licence for the purpose of business promotion and brand image building.
Top Brand Mark Licence
An official document issued by the Organiser to grant an organisation the right to use Top Mark for promotion of organisation’s overall image and products/services.
2.1. The Organiser shall ensure impartiality of the Scheme at all times. And it should not cancel the Top Brand Mark Licence granted to licensees, except in accordance with the regulations stipulated in this document and other published requirements relevant to the Scheme.
2.2. The Organiser shall have the duty and the right to interpret the details in this document and publish document, as deemed necessary, to allow applicants and licensees to understand the intent and actual requirements of this document.
2.3. The Board is the authority to grant, maintain, supervise, renew, suspend or terminate any licence and to administrate any other matters related to The Scheme on behalf of the Organiser.
2.4. The Board is advised by the Technical Advisory Committee regarding the suitability and adequacy of the Scheme requirements, products/services categorisation and assessment protocol.
2.5. The Organiser keeps all information provided by an organisation in relation to an application for the licence and all information obtained during an assessment in strict confidence. Under this provision, only those personnel who require the information for the processing of application and renewal of licence will have access to such information. Such personnel will include the Board, the Judging Panel of the Awards, on-site assessment team, and administrative and supporting staff involved in The Scheme.
2.6. The Organiser publishes information as necessary in order to inform and update applicant and licensees of the requirements and regulations for applying and maintaining the licence.
2.7. The Organiser may publicise in the media the authorisation of licence issuance and termination under these Regulations as it deems appropriate.
2.8. The Organiser processes application according to the application procedure as defined in Appendix 1.
2.9. The Organiser deploys assessment team to perform an on-site assessment to an applicant prior to the granting of the licence as well as to a licensee at any time earlier than the renewal date of the licence.
2.10. The Organiser will investigate any complaint made to the Organiser by a third party against a licensee regarding activities included in its scope of licence.
2.11. The Organiser shall not be liable to any loss or damage to applicants, licensees and other parties in relation to the usage of the Mark. And the Organiser should be indemnified by an applicant or licensee against any liability incurred by it in relation to the application, usage or any matter concerning the Mark.
2.12. The Organiser shall have the right to amend the contents of this document and Scheme Requirements from time to time as needed without prior notice to applicants and licensees. Nevertheless, all change will only become effective 2 months after the new revision is published. Applicants and Licensees will be notified the new revisions within one month from the date of publish.
3.1. Applicants and licensees shall be committed to following the regulations stipulated in this document and other published requirements relevant to the Scheme at all times.
3.2. Applicants and licensees shall provide proof of legal status of the organisation under the scope of licence when submitting application and inform the Organiser in writing of any change to it within one month from the date of effective.
3.3. Applicants and licensees shall cooperate with assessment team and the Board by providing verifiable facts and, to their best knowledge, all information pertinent to the Scheme requirements.
3.4. Applicants and licensees shall appoint an authorised representative as a contact with the Organiser and inform the Organiser whenever there is a change to the appointment.
3.5. Licensees shall endeavour to ensure Top Mark is used, according to Guideline on the Use of Hong Kong Top Brand Mark.
3.6. Licensees shall inform the Organiser in writing on the following changes relevant to the scope of licence within one month from the date of effective.
I. Major change of feature(s) and function(s) of product, in particular those related to product safety; or
major changes in the scope, contents and modal operandi of the services that the Licensee provides;
II. Introduction of new products/services;
III. New design of trademark;
IV. Change of the operating location(s) and company address; and
V. Change of ownership or other matters that affect the eligibility of the licensee to apply for the licence.
3.7. Licensees shall ensure the Organiser’s reputation and interests will not be jeopardized under all circumstances.
3.8. Upon termination of license, the organisation shall return such license to the Organiser within one month.
4.1. If in the opinion of the Board, a licensee has failed to comply with or is incapable of complying with The Scheme requirements, The Board may, at its discretion, suspend part of or entire scope of licence of such licensee.
4.2. The suspension imposed by the Board shall become effective on the date of the written notice issued by the Board. The notice shall detail the grounds of such suspension.
4.3. Within four weeks from the date of the notice of suspension, the authorised representative shall provide the Board an action plan to rectify and prevent recurrence of any discrepancies raised by the Board.
4.4. Action mentioned in the action plan shall be completed effectively within 6 months and suspension can only be lifted after an on-site assessment is conducted and the outcome of assessment is reviewed by the Board as adequate.
4.5. Under the suspension, licensee in question shall not use Top Mark logo for the promotion of organisation’s image and product.
4.6. In case suspension cannot be lifted within 6 months, the licence shall be withdrawn and no renewal will be allowed. The organisation has to apply as new applicant.
4.7. The Organiser shall not be liable for any loss or damage suffered by licensee arising from whatever cause in connection with the termination or suspension of licence
5.1. An applicant or licensee may lodge a complaint or a dispute against any decision made or action taken by the Organiser. A written submission setting out the grounds of such complaint and dispute shall be made to The Organiser within four weeks after such decision or action has been made or taken.
5.2. The Organiser shall investigate and examine such complaints and disputes. The Organiser shall notify the organisation concerned the outcome of such investigation and examination.
5.3. The organisation may lodge an appeal to the Organiser if it considers the outcome of the investigation and examination as specified in clause 5.2 above is not acceptable. A written submission to the Organiser shall be made with grounds of the appeal within four weeks from the date of notification of a decision.
5.4. Upon a request from an organisation for appeal, Chairman of the Board shall convene a working committee, chaired by a Board member who has no prior involvement in the matter in question, to investigate the case.
5.5. The chairman of the working party shall further appoint at least two independent persons to review the case.
5.6. The Board shall make a decision on the review on the basis of the findings of the working committee. Chairman of the Board shall inform the organisation the result of the review in writing.
A1.1 Past Award winners should fill-in Hong Kong Top Brand Continuing Development Assessment Form (TB-RF) and Hong Kong Top Brand Mark Registration / Pre-registration Form (TM-AF) for the corresponding award category that they belongs to, then submit them to the Organiser for processing.
A1.2 For Award applicants, Entry Form (TB-EF) and Hong Kong Top Brand Mark Registration /Pre-registration Form (TM-AF) for the corresponding award category should be used.
A1.3 Administrative staff of Hong Kong Top Brand Mark Scheme will acknowledge the application and arrange assessment team to perform an on-site assessment.
A1.4 Assessment team should normally conduct an on-site assessment within one month from the date of application on the location of the Applicant and one of its representative operating sites
A1.5 The Board should review and approve licence with a validity of 1 year based on the stipulated scheme requirements.
A1.6 Licensees should fill-in Hong Kong Top Brand Continuing Development Assessment Form (TB-RF) and Hong Kong Top Brand Mark Registration / Pre-registration Form (TM-AF), then submit both forms to the Board. In order to maintain the right to use Top Mark, renewal form should be submitted at least 2 months before the expiry of licence.
A1.7 The Organiser should process the licence renewal according to A1.3 to A1.5.
A1.8 Extension of License Scope may be applied by a licence to include additional product/service category or other contents into the scope of licence, provided that the first renewal of the extended items should be conducted together with those originally included in the Licence.