Procedures for Registering a Trademark

The Korean Trademark Act is characterized by:
i) First-to-File Rule;
ii) Substantive Examination; and
iii) Opposition

A person who intends to use a trademark in Korea can register the trademark. But the registered trademark will be subject to cancellation if it remains non-use for three or more consecutive years after its registration.

A person who desires to file a trademark application must designate one or more goods/services according to the Nice Classification of Goods or Services. A trademark application may be filed for the registration of a trademark for goods or services which fall under several classes in accordance with the Nice Classification. In this case, the applicant must pay additional fees for each classification.

The Examiner will examine all trademark applications to assess whether they are distinguishable in terms of the marks and their goods or services, and whether or not they fall within a prohibited category. If the Examiner does not find any grounds for a rejection in a trademark application, or if he decides that a rejection has been overcome by the applicant's response (argument and/or amendment), the Examiner shall render a decision to publish the trademark application in the Official Gazette for two months for an opposition.

Upon decision of the trademark registration, the applicant can apply for establishment registration of the trademark right by paying a registration fee within two months from the date of receipt of the registration decision. If the applicant fails to pay the registration fee within the two month period, the trademark application will be deemed to have been abandoned without an additional period. The term of a trademark right is 10 years from the date of registration. The term of the trademark right may be extended every ten years by filing a renewal request. As long as the trademark right is in use, it is considered semi-permanent. If you need more detailed information with respect to the registration fee, please click the KIPO’s Fees and Payments.