South Korea

Jack Ma steps down from Alibaba, KIPO holds IP festival, and flea market fakes: news digest

In our latest edition, we look at New Zealand joining TMclass, the Singapore IPO bolstering innovation ties with Kazakhstan, a GI deal between Switzerland and Georgia coming into force, and much more.

Jack Ma steps down from Alibaba, KIPO holds IP festival, and flea market fakes: news digest
31 May 2019

KIPO launches all-women anti-counterfeiting group, Make Canada Great Again suit, and cannabis brands: news digest

In our latest news digest, we look at an anti-monopoly committee in Uzbekistan clamping down on a Coca-Cola copy, the BBC drawing ire for perceived slogan nabbing, and much more.

10 May 2019

Scotch Whisky in Korea, Pakistan IPO tackles fakes, and Samsung domain: news digest

In our latest round-up, we look at applications rising at the Philippines IP Office, a perfume trademark battle, a debate over whether the Wikipedia brand has been tarnished by WikiLeaks, and much more.

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30 Aug 2019

Compliance with Cosmetics Act – justifiable reason for non-use of trademark?

The IP Trial and Appeal Board recently found that non-use on cosmetics due to a likelihood of consumer confusion with a mark famous for medicinal products is an acceptable defence. This decision is noteworthy, as it broadly interprets ‘legitimate reasons’ for not using a registered mark. Read more

22 Aug 2019

Encouraging news for owners of products with famous shapes

Thanks to their fame in the South Korean market, global luxury brands Van Cleef & Arpels and Hermès recently each had a 3D mark recognised for its distinctive nature by the Intellectual Property Trial and Appeal Board. Read more

29 May 2019

Good news for joint trademark owners in South Korea

As of 24 October 2019, any one of the joint owners of a trademark in South Korea will be able to file a request for the renewal of the mark. This amendment to the Trademark Act is meant to ease the burden placed on joint trademark owners.   Read more

12 Mar 2019

KIPO amends trademark examination guidelines – key changes highlighted

The Korean Intellectual Property Office has amended its trademark examination guidelines, effective as of 1 January 2019. This update reviews the main points of interest for trademark owners and applicants. Read more

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Brand management

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23 Jan 2018

K-pop superstars T-ara vow to fight for rights to their name; experts predict bitter legal battle ahead

Members from one of the most popular Korean bands in the world, T-ara, are taking legal action for rights to use the group name following a trademark application by their former management agency.  Read more

Enforcement and litigation

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14 Jan 2019

Korea Customs Service announces amendments to IP rights protection guidelines

Late last year the Korea Customs Service issued an announcement regarding important proposed amendments to the IP rights protection guidelines. This update reviews the amendments which may have the greatest impact on brand owners. Read more

30 Nov 2018

Korea Customs Service's 2017 report on IP rights seizures: significant decrease compared to previous year

According to a report recently published by the Korea Customs Service, there were 7,263 customs seizures of counterfeit goods in 2017 – a 26% decrease compared to 2016. Read more

18 Oct 2018

“Leveraging the law is not the whole solution”: interview with Philip Morris’ Herman Cheung

In an exclusive interview, the tobacco giant's Manager of Illicit Trade Prevention talks to WTR about the importance of anti-counterfeiting efforts as the company transitions to a smoke-free future. Read more

10 Aug 2018

Trademark "reveals" Star Trek series name, T-ARA denied, and PewDiePie responds to “fake” sponsorship: news round-up

In our latest round-up, we look at a call to boycott a Hawaiian food chain over trademark enforcement, an analysis of cutting-edge technologies being developed in the fight against counterfeit food, and much more. Read more

Goverment/policy

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8 Oct 2018

Korean brands under scrutiny as antitrust watchdog turns attention to trademark revenues

South Korea’s Fair Trade Commission has revealed that the “trademark usage fees” of the country’s largest chaebols (conglomerates) exceeded W1 trillion ($884.5 million) last year – the first time that monetary barrier has been broken.  Read more

8 Jan 2018

New international panels to be established in South Korean courts

The Korean National Assembly has approved an amendment to the Court Organisation Act which stipulates that the district courts in the five statutory venues for IP rights disputes. Read more

IP offices

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7 Apr 2018

Trump, Brexit and Korean reunification: the political issues weighing on the minds of trademark practitioners

​​​​​​​Research from World Trademark Review reveals the political issues that counsel say could significantly impact enforcement efforts, both now and in the future. Read more

9 Jan 2018

Chinese brands rise, app store warning and K-pop fans furious over T-ARA trademark: news round-up

In our latest round-up, we look at a brand protection company closing a $12m investment round, an author seeking registered  protection for a steamy National Hockey League team name, and much more. Read more

27 Oct 2017

KIPO calls out Chinese plagiarism, USPTO rule making, reality show trademark protection and pugs in Prada: news round-up

In our latest round-up, we look at the fallout from Kid Rock’s latest tour announcement, how the Korean IP Office is speaking out on behalf of domestic brands, and much more. Read more

6 Oct 2017

KIPO’s expenditure set to surpass income as filings drop reported: exclusive data analysis

In the first of a new series of country data reports from World Trademark Review, we identify the key trademark trends in the Korean market, consider where filing business is emanating from and highlight the performance of leading domestic brands. Read more

Portfolio management

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16 Oct 2018

Significant increase in non-use cancellation actions - what mark owners should know

Owners of marks not currently active in South Korea should take note of data recently published by the Korean Intellectual Property Office, which showed that the number of non-use cancellation actions has significantly increased in recent years. Read more

23 Jan 2018

K-pop superstars T-ara vow to fight for rights to their name; experts predict bitter legal battle ahead

Members from one of the most popular Korean bands in the world, T-ara, are taking legal action for rights to use the group name following a trademark application by their former management agency.  Read more

Trademark law

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14 Sep 2018

Saudi Arabia to adopt plain packaging, T-ara resolve trademark dispute, and ICANN needs your feedback on RPMs: news round-up

In our latest round-up, we look at the US brands with the most loyal customers, 7-Eleven taking a menswear brand to court for alleged trademark infringement, and much more. Read more

5 Sep 2018

Supreme Court rules that AMERICAN UNIVERSITY trademark is inherently distinctive

In a notable decision, Korea’s Supreme Court has ruled that the mark AMERICAN UNIVERSITY was sufficiently distinctive among South Korean consumers to be registered in connection with university education services. Read more

10 Aug 2018

Trademark "reveals" Star Trek series name, T-ARA denied, and PewDiePie responds to “fake” sponsorship: news round-up

In our latest round-up, we look at a call to boycott a Hawaiian food chain over trademark enforcement, an analysis of cutting-edge technologies being developed in the fight against counterfeit food, and much more. Read more

25 Jun 2018

Franchise founders criminally indicted for failure to transfer trademarks to franchises

Following a lengthy investigation, the Seoul District Prosecutors’ Office has issued criminal felony indictments against the individual founders of several Korean franchise businesses, charging them with breaches of trust. Read more

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