Q. Should the mark of the foreign basic trademark application be exactly the same with the mark of the Korean national trademark application for a priority claim to be accepted in South Korea?
A. The marks should be assessed to be either exactly identical or substantially identical for a priority claim to be accepted in South Korea. Effective from January 2021, the Trademark Examination Standards of the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) listed the following cases as examples of the acceptable priority claim when comparing the marks to check for the formality requirements of a priority claim:
1) in the case of a word mark, where the difference exists only in fonts that are conventionally and generally used when comparing the mark of the foreign basic trademark application and the mark of the Korean national trademark application; and
2) where filing a Korean Trademark application with a priority claim based on the one of the marks that are filed as a series of marks in the certain countries. The example of certain countries are India, England, New Zealand, Australia, etc. In these countries, for the marks to be accepted as a series of marks, the visual, aural, and conceptual features in each of the trade mark should be essentially the same and that any difference that exists should be minor which does not result in the substantial visual, aural, or conceptual changes in any of the marks.
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