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South Korea Trademark Registration 

 
Attorneys - South Korea
 
Welcome:

My name is Tae-Won KIM and I'm the representative Attorney in South Korea.

I'll be personally in charge of your trademark registration process.
 
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A trademark attorney will process your trademark registration in South Korea through the following steps:

 
Trademark Comprehensive Study   Step 1. Trademark Comprehensive Study:
A trademark search report with attorney's analysis and opinion about registration probabilities.
Step 1 Prices
 

 
Trademark Registration Request   Step 2. Trademark Registration Request:
A trademark attorney will file and process your trademark application before the Trademark Office.
Step 2 Prices
 

 
Trademark Registration Certificate   Step 3. Trademark Registration Certificate:
Once your trademark application is approved, we will obtain your registration certificate.
Step 3 Prices
 

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Should I file my trademark in local characters?

    Yes, for a broader and stronger protection in South Korea, we recommend registering your trademark in local characters.

    If the trademark is registered only in its original version (Latin characters), the protection does not always properly protect its equivalent in the local language. This means that a third party could use or register the same trademark (or a similar one) in local characters.

    In additional to the legal benefits, the registration and use of the trademark in local characters can also have commercial benefits. The public in South Korea will recognize your brand more easily if they are able to read and correctly pronounce the mark.

    Registering your trademark in its original version, as well as local transliteration/translation, will provide a greater protection from any possible infringements.

  • Is there a time frame for the trademark registration approval?

    The average time frame for the registration approval is 16 months, if no objections or oppositions arise.

     

  • If I register my trademark in South Korea, do I have protection in other territories?

    No. The mark will be protected only in South Korea.

  • Do I need to sign a Power of Attorney?

    Yes. A power of attorney is needed to complete the process of trademark application.

  • Are there any benefits from a pre-filing use of the trademark?

    Pre-filing use has minimal benefits since rights are primarily established through registration. However, it will help the applicant demonstrate distinctive qualities of the mark and win over objections on the basis of non-distinctiveness.

  • Will there be problems in case I don’t use my trademark after registration?

    Yes. Third parties may possibly appeal for the cancellation of the trademark on the ground of non-use.

  • What are the types of trademark that can be registered in South Korea?

    Any mark that can be replicated graphically, capable of making a good/service distinguishable from others, and can be represented visually, is accepted for registration. 

    • Names
    • Slogans
    • Words
    • Touch
    • Taste
    • Sound
    • Color
    • Hologram
    • Shape (three-dimensional)
    • Device
    • Smell
    • Motion
  • What are the phases of application after a trademark has been filed in South Korea?

    The sequence of the trademark application is as follows: 

    1. Examination – Several elements will be examined and the mark being applied for should comply in terms of:
      1. Formalities
      2. Classifications
      3. Clarity
      4. Descriptiveness
      5. Distinctiveness
      6. Deceptiveness
      7. Conflict with earlier registrations
    2. Publication – The following details will be posted online so that third parties will have the chance to file for an opposition case:
      1. Mark
      2. Name and address of applicant
      3. State/country of incorporation of applicant
      4. Citizenship of applicant
      5. Goods/services
      6. Date and number of application
      7. Information on priority claim
      8. Trademark representation
    3. Registration – The registration certificate will be issued once opposition cases are resolved and won.
  • What type of trademark is non-registrable?

    These marks are against the trademark law of South Korea: 

    • Generic marks/terms
    • Non-distinctive marks
    • Surnames
    • Name of a geographic location
    • Use of names or flags or symbols of international organizations, states, regions and nations. Note. It can be registered if the international organization is famous
  • Does South Korea use the "Nice Classification" system?

    Yes. South Korea applies the Nice Classification system. For trademarks that will be used for multiple classes of goods/services, a single application would suffice but multiple applications are also permitted.

  • Is there any possibility to claim priority in South Korea?

    Yes. The home filing date can be accepted as the filing date in South Korea if: 

    • The home country is a Paris Convention signatory
    • The home filing date does not exceed 6 months prior to the date of filing in South Korea
    • If the international registration can be based in South Korea
  • What do I need to do to satisfy the use requirement?

    To satisfy the requirement, the mark must be used within 3 years from the date it was registered or within 3 years preceding the date when the petition to cancel was filed. It must be used for commercial purposes and must occur in this jurisdiction.

  • Once my trademark has been registered, for how many years will be valid?

    A registered mark in South Korea is valid for 10 years which is counted from the date of its registration.

  • What will be the renewal date of my trademark?

    The renewal date is counted 10 years from the date the mark was registered.

  • Is it legal to use my trademark even if it is not yet registered?

    Yes. It is legal to use an unregistered mark for any good or service.


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