The Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) is planning to amend the current Trademark Act in an attempt to take steps against so called "trademark brokers". According to KIPO, many small businesses are operating without registering their trade marks. Brokers take advantage of the situation, register similar trademarks only to threaten these small businesses with claims of infringement.
According to the proposed amendment, a trade mark registration for a trade name which was continuously in use before the registration will be invalid. In this way, small businesses will be allowed to keep their trade names.
Moreover, the amended trade mark act includes the following stipulations:
- improved trial system for the revocation of unused trade marks
- shorter pendency period for trade mark registrations
The amendments are currently under discussion in the Korean legislation.
For further information, please refer to KIPO news of 4 July 2012 (in English)