Introduction to South Korea Trademark Registration System -- Trademark Registration -- kaizen
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Introduction to South Korea Trademark Registration System

Introduction to South Korea Trademark Registration System

Official Office for Trade Mark Registration

Korea Intellectual Property Office (KIPO)

Joined International Treaties for Trade Marks

Paris Convention; Trademark Law Treaty; Madrid Protocol; Singapore Treaty

Principle on Trade Mark Protection

South Korea adopts "first-to-file" for trademark protection, and the Trademark Act of South Korea protects merely the registered trademarks.

 If a registered trademark is used by someone else without authorization and/or license, the trademark owner can simply take an infringement action.

For un-registered marks, it is necessary to engage the point of “widely known?and “mislead the public? and court action can be taken under the Unfair Competition Prevention and Trade Secret Protection Act.

Kinds of Registrable Trade Marks

In South Korea, the term “trademark?includes word mark, device mark, 3D mark, color mark, their combination, and some non-conventional trademarks, such as motion mark and hologram mark.

In addition, there are special trademarks are enacted and protected, such as “certification mark? “collective trademark?and “business emblem?

Required Information and Documents

1. Applicant’s name, address, nationality / company’s registered country;
2. Specimen of the mark to be applied;
3. List of goods/services to be applied, and the class(es);
4. Translation & transliteration of foreign language in the mark;
5. A simply signed Power of Attorney; and
6. Priority document, if any.

Timeframe and Procedure for Application

If an application goes smoothly, the whole registration procedure takes about 10-14 months. If expedited examination is requested, the examination takes much faster.

A trademark application in Korea usually takes about 5-8 months for examination, if there is no any refusal, it will then publish 2 months for opposition purpose. If no opposition is filed, a registration certificate will be issued within 1 month upon payment of the official registration fee.

Duration and Renewal of Registration

A trade mark registration in Korea is valid for 10 years from the date of application, which can be renewed every 10 years, from 6 months before the renewal due date or up to 6 months after the date expires.

Cancellation System

If a registered trademark has not been actual used in South Korea by the owner or with his consent, in relation to the goods or services for which it is registered, for a continuous period of at least 3 years, and there are no valid reasons for non-use, any third party can apply for revocation to cancel/remove the registration.

Relevant Information

South Korea Trademark Registration Costs and Procedures

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