Is it possible to register trademarks containing the well-known another person’s name in South Korea?
  • Date : 2021/12/31
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Q. Is it possible to register trademarks containing the well-known another person’s name in South Korea?


A. According to the KOREAN TRADEMARK ACT, generally, any trademark containing the name, title, or trade name, portrait, signature, seal, literary name, stage name, pen name of a prominent person, or his or her abbreviated title are ineligible for Trademark Registration. (“Article 34 (1) No.6”)


However, in case when the consent of such person has been obtained, trademark registration may be obtained.

To elaborate, when obtaining the consent from the multiple number of people (such as “BTS”, a South Korean boy band), in principle, it is necessary to obtain the consent from every individual member. However, as an exception, if the usage and management status which does not require the consent of every members is confirmed, a trademark application can be filed independently.

In addition, the fact that whether or not the corresponding individual agreed with the applicant to file the trademark application in South Korea containing his/her name must be confirmed through the consent. . For example, when signing a contract between the idol group and the agency, it is common for the individual to allow the general powers, such as portrait rights, to the agency. Therefore it is necessary to check whether or not the allowed powers cover the trademark rights of the individual. Also, in case of person under age, a consent of legal representative is required.

 


Article 34 (Trademarks Ineligible for Trademark Registration)

(1) Notwithstanding Article 33, none of the following trademarks shall be registered:

6. Any trademark containing the name, title, or trade name, portrait, signature, seal, literary name, stage name, pen name of a prominent person, or his or her abbreviated title: Provided, That where the consent of such person has been obtained, trademark registration may be obtained;


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