Owners must register their trademarks in order to secure rights.
The web address of South Korea’s national trademark office is available at: http://www.kipo.go.kr/
It is not necessary for the applicants to use the mark or to intend to use it before applying for registration.
A trademark application can be challenged on the following grounds:
- Mark is misleading, disparaging, deceptive, function, not distinctive, descriptive, or generic
- Proprietary rights
- Conflict with famous marks
- Conflict with trade names
- Conflict with a personal name
- Conflict with a company name (applicable only if the company is well-known)
- Registration under a different name (agent or representative) instead of the mark’s proprietor
- Conflict with principles of morality
- Against public order
- Unauthorized use of national insignia and protected emblems
- Unauthorized use of protected armorial bearing, state emblems or flags
Anyone can contest a trademark registration.
Yes. The following grounds make it possible for a registration to be cancelled:
- Proprietary rights
- Descriptive, not distinctive, misleading, disparaging, deceptive, functional, or generic marks
- Conflict with famous a trade name
- Conflict with a famous personal name
- Use of geographical indication
- Conflict with morality or public order
Yes. Owners of a registered mark in this jurisdiction establish these rights:
- Exclusive right to use the mark
- Right to challenge later conflicting applications
- Right to appeal for the cancellation of a later conflicting registration
- Right to file an infringement case against third parties that use a confusingly similar mark
- Right to authorize and give license to third parties to use the mark
- Right to appeal for the confiscation of fake goods bearing the mark
- Right to receive payment from parties that infringed the mark
- Right to file an infringement case against third parties that use the transliterated version of the mark
- Right to object to applications that use the transliterated version of the mark
The opposition period starts on the date the application was published and ends two months after that date.
South Korea is a signatory of the Madrid Protocol.
No, it is not a requirement to present any filing that would set forth the owner’s use of the mark.