Are trademarks containing text in a foreign language treated as a word mark in South Korea?
  • Date : 2021/12/30
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Q: Are trademarks containing text in a foreign language treated as a word mark in South Korea?


A:  In South Korea, until 2020, trademarks containing text in a foreign language where represented text is English alphabet, Chinese characters or Japanese hiragana/katakana have been treated as a word mark and compared with earlier trademark registrations in terms of pronunciation etc. On the other hands, trademarks containing text in other languages were treated as a device mark.



The examination guidelines have been updated as of January 1, 2021 and trademarks containing text in English language, Latin alphabet (French, German, Spanish, etc.), Chinese (traditional or simplified) and Japanese (hiragana/katakana) are now being treated as a word mark. Further, as an exception, the trademarks containing text in any other language will be treated as a word mark if the pronunciation and/or meaning of the text is well-known among consumers.


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