South Korea Trademark Application
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Introduction

    Trademark application in South Korea operates on a first-file-first-get basis, and can be based on an intent to use basis. No proof of use is required for the issuance of the trademark certificate.

    Common law does not apply in South Korea.  Hence, prior usage of the mark in South Korea does not give rise to any unregistered trademark right.

    Foreign company or individual can apply to register their marks in South Korea without nationality restriction or residency requirement.

     

Fees

Our fee is HK$11,800 per mark per class from application to forwarding of certificate. The fee is inclusive of both the official filing fee, official registration fee and our professional fee. In the event of the application not approved for publication, half the fee will be refunded.

Additional class for the same mark can be included in the same application at the reduced fee of HK$8,200 per class. If the specified goods numbered more than 20, the 21st item onwards will have an charge of HK$200 per item.

Unless the application encounters objection, suggested amendment or opposition, there will not be any extra-charge. The chance of objection or opposition can be reduced by (1) choosing an invented word as the mark, or adding a distinctive logo to the mark, and (2) having a search conducted before application to find out whether the mark is identical or similar to any existing registered mark or prior application. If the application proceeds straight-forwardly without encountering objection or opposition, no further fee is needed.

In the event of any complication such as objection or suggested amendment by the examiner or opposition by third party, the client has the choice of (1) continue to pursue for registration at additional fee according to the complication, or (2) abandon the pending application and have half the fee refunded.

 

Search

Prior to filing, the chance of success can assessed by having a search at the fee of HK$3,000 per class. The search is inclusive of both identical and similarity search. Pre-application search report is available within 1 week of instruction.

Search is optional at the choice of the client. If the client’s mark consists of simple logo or common words found in dictionary, search is usually recommended. On the other hand, if the client’s mark is an invented word, or a complex logo, then the client may take a chance to file the application without search.

 

Timeframe

The application for trademark registration in South Korea takes between 12 to 20 months to complete :-

Filing receipt and filing number
1 week
Application searchable in official website
1 week
First Examination report
6 - 12 months
Opposition period after publication
3 months
Issuance of trademark certificate
2 -3 months

Upon registration, a registered trademark is first valid for 10 years and is renewable indefinitely for further periods of 10 years each by paying the renewal fee.

South Korea trademark certificate sample :

South Korea tm cert sample

 

Specification

The specification of goods or services in South Korea application should normally be based on the South Korea translated list of the WIPO detailed goods list.

Specification of goods or services can either be based on actual use or intended use of the mark. Commencement of use is not a pre-requisite for the registration and issuance of trademark certificate.

Although ideally all types of goods or services on which the client’s mark is currently used or intended to be used should be specified so as to achieve broad coverage in the class applied for, it should be noted that any item from the 21th item onwards selected in each class will attract a charge of HK$200 per item.

After filing, the scope of the specified goods or services can only be narrowed and not be extended. Upon registration, the scope of the exclusive right granted by the registration is limited by the ambit of the specified goods.

 

Convention Priority

If the client has filed an application in another WTO country within the last half year, then there is a choice of treating the effective filing date in South Korea to be the same as the date of the earlier application.

Priority claim is usually made when the South Korea application is part of a coordinated world-wide filing exercise, or when a search reveals that a recent application of a third party may be surpassed by the priority claim, or if the client is concerned about possible competing third party application in South Korea at around the same time.

 

Details Required

1. Full name, address and nationality of the trademark applicant.
2. Selection of goods items and/or services items to form the specification.
3. Logo or stylized mark in .jpg format.
4. Power of Attorney (no need of notary public nor legalization). 

 

 

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