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Korea: Amended South Korean Trademark Act to enter into force in September

The Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) announced a major revision of the South Korean Trademark Act which was recently approved by the National Assembly and will enter into force on 1 September 2016. According to information provided by KIPO, it is the most comprehensive revision of the trademark law since 1990.

The new provisions include, among many others, the following:

  • Legal standing no longer necessary to file a request for cancellation due to non-use of the trademark. Up to now, a party requesting cancellation due to the non-use of the trademark had to prove that he/she is doing business in the same field as the trade mark owner or that he/she is owning an application which is similar to the challenged trade mark. By eliminating these conditions, the law revision will make it easier for third parties to challenge unused marks.
  • Electronic use of trademarks accepted: According to the revised law, also the electronic use such as e.g. in e-commerce or other electronic services will be recognised as one of the possible types of trade mark use
  • Elimination of the one year period during which registration of a new mark similar to an expunged mark is not permitted: According to the revised law, applicants no longer have to wait until the end of this period to submit their application for a desired trademark.

A comprehensive overview on all new provisions of the Trademark Act is available on KIPO's website (at the time of publishing this item only in Korean -  open the pdf files related to the entry of 11 March 2016).

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