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Benelux trademark protects Belgium, Netherlands and Luxemburg. In order to obtain trademark protection in Benelux you can register your trademark in two ways: First option is that you request registration in the entire European Union with one single application; this can be done via the European Union Trademark which grants trademark protection in the 28 country members of the EU (more info here). Second option is that you register directly your trademark in Benelux. If you want to proceed this way please follow the steps described below.
Step 1 - Trademark Comprehensive Study
Before filing your trademark in South Korea it is important that you evaluate possible obstacles that may arise during registration process. Our Trademark Comprehensive Study will not only list similar trademarks (graphic & phonetic) that may conflict with yours, but also give you an Attorney's opinion about registration probabilities and the class(es) that belong your product/services.
Trademark Class Recommendation
Graphic & Phonetic Similarity Trademark Search
Trademark Attorneys Analysis & Advice
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Step 2 - Trademark Registration Request
Your Trademark Application will be filed by specialized attorneys in South Korea, who will carry out all needed tasks before the Trademark Office in South Korea in order to obtain registration approval. As soon as your trademark is filed we will send you a filing report which will include application number and date, plus a scanned copy of filed trademark application in South Korea.
Process Handled by Experienced Trademark Attorneys
Filing Report & Scanned Copy of Application
Online Tracking of the Registration Process
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Step 3 - Trademark Registration Certificate
Once your trademark application is approved, our attorneys will complete all necessary requirements in order to obtain the registration certificate in South Korea. After the certificate is issued, it will be forwarded to your address along wit h a registration report specifying registration number, registration date and any special consideration that should be taken into account in South Korea.
Process Handled by Experienced Trademark Attorneys
Delivery of the Registration Certificate & Report
Monitor & Reminder of important dates
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 Frequently Asked Questions
Trademark Registration
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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.

 
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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.

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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.

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Do I need to sign a Power of Attorney?

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

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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.

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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.

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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
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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.
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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
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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.

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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
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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.

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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.

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What will be the renewal date of my trademark?

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

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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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Does having a registered trademark in South Korea afford me any right?

Owners must register their trademarks in order to secure rights.

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What is the web address of the trademark national office?

The web address of South Korea’s national trademark office is available at:  http://www.kipo.go.kr/

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Is there any need to use my trademark before I apply for registration?

It is not necessary for the applicants to use the mark or to intend to use it before applying for registration.

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What are the grounds for a Trademark Application to be opposed?

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
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Who can contest my trademark registration?

Anyone can contest a trademark registration.

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Is it possible to cancel a 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
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Are there any rights established by having a registered trademark?

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
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How long is the opposition period?

The opposition period starts on the date the application was published and ends two months after that date.

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Is South Korea a member of the Madrid System?

South Korea is a signatory of the Madrid Protocol.

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Do I need to present periodic statement of use?

No, it is not a requirement to present any filing that would set forth the owner’s use of the mark.

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When should I renew my trademark?

Renewals are made every 10 years after the expiration date of the registration.

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What will be the renewal date of my trademark?

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

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Is there any documentation that should be presented when renewing a trademark?

A power of attorney is necessary to renew a mark.

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If my trademark expires, do I have a grace period?

A 6-month grace period is available after the mark’s expiration date.

Basic Questions
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What is a trademark?

A trademark identifies products and services in order to distinguish them in the market. The name, the verbal element, is not the only component that distinguishes a trademark; figurative elements such as logos, design, images, colors and sounds also create an identity that can be protected through trademark registration.

 With the registration, the owner (person or company) becomes the owner of the trademark. The registration is given for a particular country/territory, for certain products or services and for a specific term. While the registration is in force, only the owner may use the trademark in the market where the trademark is registered.

 Some symbols to consider:

® Means the trademark is registered.

TM Some countries use this symbol to show that the trademark has been filed at the trademarks office and is still undergoing the registration process.

SM Some countries use this symbol to show that the service mark has been filed at the trademarks office and is still undergoing the registration process.

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What is the difference between a trademark, patent and copyright ?

There are many ways to lay claim to your work. Trademarks, patents, and copyrights offer protection for owners of intellectual property. A trademark helps people find your goods and services. When recognized as a registered mark, it protects your right to exclusively use the image, logo, phrases, or words to distinguish your goods or a service in the market.

patent safeguards ideas and inventions. It gives a creator or inventor exclusive rights that prevent other people from making, using, or profiting in any way from an invention or creative innovation without the consent of the inventor.

You cannot patent an idea because we all have them. You must materialize your concept into a tangible invention, innovative product, device, or process that offers new solutions to a problem to secure a patent.

Copyright protect published, performed, or printed creative works. People who produce artistic or musical work seek to protect their “right” to stop others from “copying” what they do. Copyright protection protects any original creative works of authors including:

  1. a) artwork (2 or 3 dimensional),
  2. b) photographs, graphic drawings, and designs as well as other forms of creativity;
  3. c) songs, music, and sound recordings of all kinds;
  4. d) books, manuscripts, publications, and another written work; and
  5. e) plays, movies, shows, and other performance arts.

 

A trademark, patent, or copyright are all examples of ways you protect your intellectual property. Your right to control and benefit from your efforts are increasingly important in our global economy. Registering a formal claim to your property is a critical step in protecting what you own.

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What is the difference between TM, SM, ® and other symbols?

You recognize a registered trademark by the symbol of a circle-R following the trademark name or graphic image. Various typographic symbols show copyrights and patents. The presence or absence of a symbol does not change the validity of the registration, but a best practice is to use a circle-R or circle-C for copyrights every time you mention your intellectual property in print. These symbols give legal grounds for claiming damages in trademark litigation. The following is a list of some typical marks you can use on a web page, in written content, or even in a marketing letter.

  • TM: The TM sign shows the brand name for an unregistered trademark classified as a product (classes 1 to 34). The owner uses this sign to mark what they believe is their brand mark.
  • SM: The SM sign is identical to the TM sign except it designates a service mark (classes 35 to 45).
  • ®: ®: Use the ® symbol once you register a trademark or service mark. It shows that the country authority has approved the registration.
  • ©: Use the © symbol to mark a copyright. The word copyright is substitute sign for Follow it with the year of the publication and owner's name. Use it whether the work has obtained copyright registration or not.
  • Patent Pending: The phrase Patent Pending shows that you filed a patent application but cannot guarantee the application's approval.
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What are trademark classes?

Trademark Offices around the world use classes to divide commercial products and services into defined categories.  When you apply for your trademark to protect your brand, you must define the class or classes that you believe are best describe your business activity. 

There are 45 classes – 34 for products and 11 for services – which countries from around the world have standardized for international use under the "Nice International Classification".

These classes group all known products and services. You can register the same trademark if there are similar classes, for example, you may register the trademark KING for computers in class 23, and you can also register the same trademark in class 24 for cosmetics. 

Trademark protection only extends to commercial use within your specified classes.  It is possible, then for two entities conducting business in different classes to use the identical or similar trademarks and for each entity to enjoy full trademark protection in their respective classes. You can choose multiple classes under which to conduct business if you feel the protection must extend beyond only one class.

You can perform a search of your class with the following tool Trademark Class Search

 
Trademark Search
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Why do I need to perform a trademark search?

Once you have a product or service and think you have a name for it, how do you know you can use it as your own? What happens if you unintentionally use a registered trademark name? In the United States, under what common law, people can lay claim to a mark if they use it. It is not necessary to formally register a trademark. This fact and the sovereignty states have over the creation of chartered business entities and trade names, makes a trademark search imperative before one spends time and money registered a trademark.     

Too many people use a name without knowing if they have legal coverage, and they put up big marketing campaigns with names that later they find they cannot use. Performing a Comprehensive Search Study before you decide to register your brand mark is a wise decision especially when you consider future risks of litigation. 

It is a good idea to conduct a Study before you start doing business with a trademark.  It may not be in your best interest to use a mark if another company is already actively conducting business in the same class.  That company may be able to object to your use of the trademark and prohibit you from using the mark in a court of law.

 
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What is a preliminary trademark search?

Your preliminary trademark search is an important first step before you spend time and money considering whether to apply for a potential trademark or not.

If you have trademark experience, you can use free online resources like our Trademark Searchengine, or the Trademark Electronic Search System(TESS) offered to the public by the US Patent and Trademark Office(USPTO) to search for existing marks that are identical to your planned trademark. While preliminary trademark searches are a critical part of your registration process, a successful search that show no conflicts with identical marks does not necessarily mean the Trademark Office will not reject your registration application. 

if you have little or no experience dealing with trademarks, we suggest you find a professional help. Our company offers the offers the service Trademark Comprehensive Study. The Study will give you details about the classes where might want to register your trademark, it will also list of identical and similar trademarks, and finally it will provide you an Attorney's recommendation about registration possibilities and use of your trademark.

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How do I perform a trademark search?

First, we recommend your start by defining the class you want to register. You can find your class, using our Trademark Class Search tool. Using this tool you enter your product/service, and it will tell you the class or classes you should register.

After you have found your class(es), you can go directly to your country's Trademark Office and perform the search there. You can also try our Trademark Search engines. 

When searching, try different combinations of your name. For example, if you are searching for AMAZON, look for AMASON, HAMAZON, or similar word patterns. Try several different combinations of words and spellings.

Notice that several countries do not have online trademarks databases. You must go to local Trademark Office and ask for a list of trademarks.

Trademark Search may be challenging and time-consuming and, if you do not have the time or experience, our company offers the service Trademark Comprehensive Study. The Study will give you details about the classes where you might want to register your trademark, it will also include a list of identical and similar trademarks, and finally it will provide you an Attorney's recommendation about registration possibilities and use of your trademark.

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Do I need an Attorney to perform a Trademark Search?

No, you don’t, but if you have little or no experience dealing with trademarks, we suggest you find a professional help. Our company offers the offers the service Trademark Comprehensive Study. The Study will give you details about the classes where might want to register your trademark, it will also list of identical and similar trademarks, and finally it will provide you an Attorney's recommendation about registration possibilities and use of your trademark.

 
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Where can I perform a trademark search?

If you have some knowledge about trademark registration, you can search using our Trademark Search engine. If not, we recommend hiring a trademark attorney or trademark service like Marcaria.com to handle your trademark registration requirements, especially a trademark search because the entire process is complex and takes time.

Notice that if you do not complete the application process carefully, the registration process could be extended many months and cost far more than you intended to pay. The trademark search is a critical part of the process.

A broad trademark search is essential in today's marketplace given the increasing number of unregistered and common law marks. Globalization of markets also raises the question of entering international markets and registration of marks in foreign countries to protect your brand and your property rights.

You need to understand that even a completed comprehensive trademark search does not guarantee acceptance and registration of your mark. A Marcaria.com Trademark Comprehensive Study includes a more extensive review process and, more significantly, a formal opinion estimating the probability of your application's acceptance.

 

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