Trademark Registration in .
South Korea is a beautiful country, predicted to be among the ones that will play a dominant role in the world economy. There are a lot of businesses that are entering the country, making the market competitive. To survive in such a market, one has to be different from the competition. One way of achieving this is to have a trademark registered under your name. Let us understand the Korean trademark registration process in detail.
South Korea trademark registration services
Any individual or company can register a trademark in Korea. To apply for a trademark, the applicant must file for a trademark with the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO). There are certain requirements to file for a Korean trademark. A trademark must:
- Not be descriptive of the goods and services it is associated with;
- Not have simple and commonplace components;
- Be different than already registered trademarks;
- Be different than already well-known trademarks with which the consumers are familiar;
- Not be deceiving or misleading in nature;
- Not include a national flag or a symbol of any international organization.
Types of Trademarks
Types of trademarks in South Korea
Different trademarks can be registered in South Korea, including trademarks for devices, symbols, signs, words, logos, sounds, smells, 3D shapes, holograms, motions, colors, or a combination of these.
Korea has a first-to-file system, which means that anyone who registers a trademark first becomes the trademark owner and has the right to use the trademark.
How to register a trademark in South Korea?
It is always good to search for existing trademarks to understand the available trademarks’ intricacies. This also helps in understanding why a trademark might have been refused.
Any applicant who wishes to use a trademark in South Korea must register a trademark with the intent to use it. If a trademark is registered but not used within three years, the registration can be canceled.
The documentation required for trademark registration includes:
- The application that includes the name and address of the applicant. If it is a company, then the name of the executive officer is also needed, and the trademark;
- Goods and the class or classes under which the good(s) fall;
- The date of submission;
- If priority right is claimed, then priority document;
- Ten specimens of the trademark (8cm x 8cm or smaller in size);
- If necessary, a power of attorney might be asked
If there is any problem with the application, if the applicant fails to provide proper specimens or if the applicant does not provide a power of attorney at the time of filing, KIPO will issue an amendment notice with a designated time limit.
To file a trademark, the applicant must classify the product or service under a class or classes, depending on the need for protection. According to the Nice Classification of Goods or Services for the Purpose of Registration of Marks, this is done. According to the Nice Classification, a trademark application may be filed for the registration of a trademark for goods that fall under several classes. For each extra class, additional fees are charged.
Claim Of Priority
The right of priority can be claimed in a trademark application for an applicant whose country of origin is part of the Paris Convention or under a bilateral agreement between the two relevant governments or on a reciprocal basis.
Trademark applications are automatically examined in order of their filing date. However, under Article 53(2) of the Trademark Act, the commissioner of KIPO may grant priority to trademark applications that satisfy certain requirements. The examination of a trademark application generally takes about five months from its filing date.
Once the publication is done in the Trademark Publication Gazette, people can file an objection and oppose the trademark if there is any problem. This should be done within two months. The opposing party must give a notice of opposition containing a brief statement on the grounds for opposition within the first thirty days. Then, the opponent may amend, add or supplement the grounds for opposition within the next thirty days.
The decision to grant protection
The examination determines that whether the trademark ticks all the boxes for protection or not, and if it does, the applicant receives grant protection related to the trademark right.
If there is no objection, the owner receives his trademark registration.
Refusal Step 1
If the application is refused, then a notification is issued to the applicant, informing him of all the reasons for refusal. The applicant is given time to argue against the decision.
Refusal Step 2
The applicant is given a specified time to prove or give evidence supporting their claim to revoke the refusal decision.
Refusal Step 3
The decision for refusal is based on whether the applicant made amendments to the application after receiving the notification from the examiner. If there are no corrections made, the application might get a refusal decision.
Refusal Step 4
Intellectual Property Trial and Appeal Board
If the applicant receives a decision of refusal and chooses to appeal against the decision, he can do that within thirty days of receiving the certified copy of the rejection decision.
Refusal Step 5
The patent court decides upon the trial of the intellectual property and gives a verdict.
Refusal Step 6
The highest institution of the judicial branch, the Supreme Court of Korea, gives the final ruling over the trial and patent court’s verdict unless a new trial is applied.
Price of Trademarks
Trademark registration cost in South Korea
The application fee for a trademark in South Korea is KRW 62000 or around USD 56. The registration fee for the trademark is around KRW 211,000 or USD 190.
Age of Trademarks
How long does the trademark last?
A trademark in South Korea lasts for ten years. The applicant can file for trademark renewal within one year before the expiration date or six months after the trademark expires (an additional fee is charged if the renewal is filed after the expiration.)
All in all, a business needs to register a trademark to survive in a business market. The Republic of Korea is also a part of the Madrid Protocol, providing different benefits for the trademark owners.
At Trademark International, we provide hassle-free trademark registration services catered to your needs, in compliance with the international requirements and standards. Korean trademark registration doesn’t have to be complicated, and that’s why Trademark International is here to assist with all of your intellectual property needs.
What to do? How to do it? When to do it? Will it work?
If these are the questions that come to your mind when thinking of registering a trademark, you have come to the right place. We, at Trademark International, answer these questions and more! Offering multiple trademark services, we guarantee client satisfaction. For expert advice and consultation, contact us now!
Frequently Asked Questions
The process for registering a trademark varies from country to country. To file for a trademark in the US, you can file an online application with the USPTO. The USPTO entertains two types of applications: ‘In-use’ and ‘Intent to use’. The online application is known as Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS).
Just like every country has its own registration process, the cost varies as well. Depending on the legal fees and the length of the process, the cost can go up or down. In the US, the price of registering a trademark ranges from $500 to $3000.
You need to file an application which should contain: your name and address, if it’s a business then the type of legal entity it is, details of the trademark, list of goods and services, the details of the class(es).
Yes, you can file for both: a local and an international trademark. Some countries entertain a single application to register a trademark locally as well as internationally.
Yes. It is possible to register a trademark in multiple countries with a single application but it depends on which union the country is part of. You can do this through the Madrid Protocol or EUIPO.
Countries have different laws regarding what can be registered as a trademark. In the US, the types of trademarks that can be registered are slogans, shapes, names, phrases words, images, 3D shapes, holograms, smells, and colors.