The process is 100% online, only a signed Power of Attorney will be required (a simple scan). Interested in filing more than one mark? Contact us to get a special offer.
Is a Korean trademark valid in the USA?
A trademark registered in South Korea (also known as the Republic of Korea) is not automatically valid in the United States of America (USA). In order for a trademark to be protected in the USA, it must be registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) or used in commerce in the USA.
It's important to note that the registration process in the USA is different from the registration process in South Korea, so the examination and registration process will be different.
In summary, a South Korean trademark registration doesn't automatically provide protection in the USA. To secure protection in the USA, it is necessary to file an application with the USPTO and go through the examination process.
[Click Read More to learn about renewals, oppositions, searches and assignments in South Korea]
How to register a trademark in South Korea?
To register a trademark in South Korea, the following steps should be taken:
- Conduct a trademark search to ensure that the desired trademark is available for use and registration.
- File a trademark application with the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO). The application should include the desired trademark, a list of goods and services for which the trademark will be used, and the name and address of the applicant.
- Pay the required fee for filing and processing the trademark application.
- Wait for a decision from the KIPO. The examination process typically takes about 9-12 months.
- If the trademark is approved, it will be published in the Official Gazette of the KIPO.
- After the publication, any person may file an opposition to registration within 30 days from the publication date.
- Once the opposition period has passed, if no opposition has been filed or if the opposition has been unsuccessful, the trademark will be registered.
It's important to note that the process may take a long time and also the trademark registration is valid for 10 years and can be renewed indefinitely for periods of 10 years. It's also important to use the trademark to avoid losing it.
We recommend hiring a trademark attorney provided by Bonamark.com who can help you to navigate the process and ensure that your application meets all of the necessary requirements.
Official Trademark Office in South Korea
Name of Trademark Office: The Copyright Bureau of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Korea.
Address: 338, Galmae-ro, Sejong, 339-012 Republic of Korea
Phone number: (82) (0) 44 203 2595
Extensive Search & Study
In South Korea there are some local features, such as: the marks "REND" and "LEND" will be considered identical as the sound "R" is similar to the sound "L" in South Korea. Our attorney will review your trademark and provide you with a registrability opinion. We recommend hiring only local attorneys (such as ours) for such searches as foreigners might not be aware of local traditions and the best practice.
Free Trademark Search in South Korea
To search for trademarks in South Korea, you can use the online database provided by the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO). The database is called the "Korean Trademark Information Service (KTMIS)" and can be found on the KIPO website.
Here are the steps to perform a trademark search using the KTMIS:
- Go to the KIPO website and navigate to the KTMIS page.
- Select the "Trademark" tab.
- Use the search criteria to enter the desired trademark or keywords related to the trademark. You can search by trademark name, registration number, or application number.
- Click the "Search" button to begin the search.
- Review the search results to see if any trademarks similar to the desired trademark have already been registered or applied for.
It's important to note that the search results will show all the trademarks that are identical or similar to the searched mark, including trademarks that are already registered or pending, also it's a good practice to conduct a comprehensive search before filing a trademark application, to help avoid potential legal challenges down the road.
We recommend purchasing an extensive study of Bonamark.com, which includes searching for all potentially similar trademarks and all potential risks associated with using the desired trademark.
Trademark Registration Procedure & Requirements
To file a trademark application in South Korea, the following documents are generally required:
A representation of the trademark: The representation should be in the form of a drawing or image file of the trademark, it should be clear and in a proper format.
A list of goods and services: A list of the goods and services for which the trademark will be used. The list should be specific and detailed, using the appropriate international classification of goods and services.
Power of attorney: A power of attorney signed by the applicant, which authorizes a representative (such as a lawyer or trademark agent) to file the trademark application on their behalf. This document is not required if the applicant is filing the application themselves.
Name and address of the applicant: The applicant's name and address should be provided. If the applicant is a company, the company name and registration number should be provided.
Payment of the required fee: The fee for filing and processing a trademark application in South Korea must be paid at the time of filing.
- Government fee for trademark registration in South Korea are 62,000 won or electronic application process.
- If your application is accepted, you can expect to pay a one-time fee of 211,000 won to complete the registration.
- There is an accelerated examination in South Korea and our fee is USD 260 per application extra
- These fees are included in our prices.
Other documents: Depending on the specific circumstances of the case, the KIPO may require additional documents. For example, if the applicant is not the original owner of the trademark, a document showing proof of the transfer of ownership may be required.
It's important to note that the application should be written in Korean.
You will need to submit a single application for each trademark you wish to register.
How long does it take to register a mark in South Korea?
The time it takes to register a trademark in South Korea can vary depending on the specific circumstances of the case. However, on average, the process takes about 9-12 months from the date of filing to the date of registration.
The process is as follows:
- Filing the trademark application: This step typically takes a few days to complete.
- Examination: The Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) will conduct an examination of the trademark application to ensure that it meets all the necessary requirements. This step typically takes around 6-7 months.
- Publication: If the trademark is approved, it will be published in the Official Gazette of the KIPO. This step typically takes around 2-3 months.
- Opposition: After the publication, any person may file an opposition to registration within 30 days from the publication date.
- Registration: Once the opposition period has passed, if no opposition has been filed or if the opposition has been unsuccessful, the trademark will be registered.
It's important to note that the time frame can be subject to change depending on the workload of the KIPO, the complexity of the application, or any objections raised. Also, It's important to use the trademark to avoid losing it.
Accelerated Trademark Examination
It’s possible to request an Accelerated Examination after the application has been filed already. In such a case, it’s beneficial to request an Accelerated Examination as soon as possible to shorten the much of period. Kindly refer to the details below:
When we request an Accelerated Examination, it takes about 2 weeks - 1 month to decide whether to allow the request or not.
If the request is allowed, the usual examination period of 1 year will be shortened to 4-6 months.
Requirements: Evidence of Use of the trademark in South Korea
Trademark Costs to Register a Trademark in South Korea
The costs to file a trademark application in South Korea can vary depending on the specific circumstances of the case. However, in general, the following fees are typically associated with the process. Please note that these are government fees. The total price listed on the website includes the government fees and the legal fees of our local attorney.
NOTE! The number of goods/services is limited to 10 per class. Each extra item costs US$4. Example: clothing; t-shirts; jeans; are 3 items. No extra fees.
Aloha shirts; American football pants; Athletic clothing; Athletic shoes; Athletic tights; Athletic uniforms; Athletics footwear; Athletics hose; Athletics shoes; Athletics vests; Babies' clothing; That's 11 items in total, so an extra fee of US$4 per item will apply.
Application fee: This is the fee for filing a trademark application with the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO). The current fee is KRW 62.000 per application.
Examination and Publication fees: This is the fee for conducting an examination of the trademark application by the KIPO. The current fee is KRW 211.000 per class of goods or services.
Other fees: Depending on the specific circumstances of the case, additional fees may be required. For example, if an opposition is filed against the trademark, additional fees may be required for legal representation and/or for any legal proceedings that may be necessary.
It's important to note that these fees are subject to change and may be different depending on the date of the application.
Trademark Attorneys in South Korea
A trademark attorney in South Korea, also known as a patent attorney or intellectual property attorney, is a legal professional who specializes in trademark law and related intellectual property matters. They are licensed and authorized to represent clients in all aspects of trademark law, including trademark registration, infringement, and enforcement.
A trademark attorney provided by Bonamark.com in South Korea can help you with the following:
- Conducting trademark searches to ensure that the desired trademark is available for use and registration.
- Preparing and filing trademark applications with the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO).
- Advising on the registrability of a trademark, including advice on the likelihood of success in obtaining registration.
- Representing clients in legal proceedings related to trademarks, such as opposition and cancellation actions.
- Assisting clients in the enforcement of their trademark rights, including advising on infringement and taking legal action against infringers.
- Reviewing and negotiating trademark-related agreements, such as license agreements and coexistence agreements.
- Providing general legal advice on intellectual property law and related matters.
Trademark attorneys in South Korea are typically members of the Korean Patent Attorneys Association (KPAA) and have passed a certification exam and have met the other requirements set by the KPAA. It's important to note that only a trademark attorney is authorized to represent clients before the KIPO and in legal proceedings related to trademarks.
1. Trademark Renewals in Korea
A trademark renewal in South Korea is the process of extending the registration of a trademark for an additional period of time. In South Korea, trademarks are registered for a term of 10 years and can be renewed indefinitely for periods of 10 years.
A trademark is renewable for a period of 10 years and valid from the registration grant date.
A mark can be renewed within 12 months before the expiration of the current trademark registration.
1.1 Trademark renewal fee in South Korea
The price is 590$ for one class (includes USD 260 in government fees). The government fee is included in the price. Extra class: US$380 (the government fee of US$260 is included)
1.2 Trademark renewal process
The process of trademark renewal in South Korea typically involves the following steps:
- File a renewal application: The renewal application must be filed within six months prior to the expiration of the current registration.
- Pay the renewal fee: The fee for renewing a trademark registration in South Korea must be paid at the time of filing the renewal application.
- Wait for a decision: The Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) will review the renewal application to ensure that the trademark is still in use and that all of the necessary requirements are met.
- Publication: If the renewal application is accepted, the renewed registration will be published in the Official Gazette of the KIPO.
- Re-registration: Once the renewed registration is published, it becomes effective and the renewed registration will be issued.
1.3 How to apply for a renewal?
Documents required: We only need a signed scanned PoA (Power of Attorney)in order to proceed with the service.
Also, it's important to note that the use of a trademark is a requirement for renewing it, non-use of a trademark for a period of three years or more may result in its cancellation.
1.4 What if the deadline is missed?
You can renew a trademark within the grace period of 6 months after the expiration date with paying an additional fee.
After the end of the grace period the mark expires without any ways of restoration, a new mark must be filed.
1.5 Trademark Expiration Date calculation.
Filing date: 01.09.2019
Registration date: 01.09.2021
Expiration date: 01.09.2031
The earliest date for filing a renewal: 31.08.2030
Grace period starts and ends: 01.09.2031-01.03.2032
Please be informed that the dates are determined to the best of our knowledge and we take no responsibility if the calculations are incorrect. We recommend that you contact us with an actual case in order to determine the renewal date with the highest accuracy possible.
Trademark assignment requirements in South Korea
In South Korea, a trademark assignment is the transfer of ownership of a registered trademark from one party (the assignor) to another party (the assignee). To complete a trademark assignment in South Korea, the following requirements must be met:
- The trademark must be filed: The trademark being assigned must be a registered trademark in South Korea.
- A written assignment agreement: A written assignment agreement between the assignor and the assignee must be executed and submitted to the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) along with the assignment application. The agreement must contain the details of the trademark being assigned, the names of the assignor and assignee, and the effective date of the assignment. (signed and scanned)
- Power of attorney: A power of attorney signed by the assignee, which authorizes a representative (such as a lawyer or trademark agent) to file the assignment application on their behalf. This document is not required if the assignee is filing the application themselves. (signed and scanned)
- Payment of the required fee: The fee for filing and processing a trademark assignment in South Korea must be paid at the time of filing. The total fees are around US$400-500.
- Assignor's certificate of nationality (notarized scanned copy); Also the Office might request a notarized and scanned Assignor's certificate of nationality.
It's important to note that an assignment can only be made with respect to the whole or part of the registered goods and services, also the assignment must be recorded in the register of trademarks. The total timeframe is 1 week if all the documents are correct.
How to Oppose a trademark in South Korea?
In South Korea, a person can oppose the registration of a trademark by filing an opposition with the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) within 30 days after the publication of the trademark in the Official Gazette of the KIPO.
The process of opposing a trademark in South Korea typically involves the following steps:
- File a notice of opposition: The notice of opposition must be filed within 30 days after the publication of the trademark in the Official Gazette of the KIPO. The notice should include the grounds for opposition and any supporting evidence.
- Pay the opposition fee: The fee for filing an opposition must be paid at the time of filing. The total price is around US$1000-1500.
- Wait for a decision: The KIPO will review the opposition and make a decision. This process typically takes around 6-12 months.
- Appeal: If the decision is not favorable, the opposing party has the option to appeal the decision to the Intellectual Property Trial and Appeal Board (IPTAB).
It's important to note that the grounds for opposition in South Korea include but not limited to, a prior registration or prior application of an identical or similar trademark, non-distinctiveness, likelihood of confusion, and violation of public order or morality.
It's also important to note that the opposition process can be complex and it's recommended to consult with us before deciding to oppose a trademark. Our attorney in South Korea will help you to prepare and file the opposition and ensure that all necessary documents are included, also ensure that the grounds for opposition are valid and that all requirements are met.