Trademark Applications Using K-Pop Stars on the Rise

      November 02, 2011 13:00

      Increasing numbers of applications are being filed for trademarks using the names of K-pop stars.

      The Korean Intellectual Property Office on Tuesday said trademark applications using the names of popular groups or their members soared from a mere 14 in 2007 to 238 last year. Trademark applications using the name "Girls' Generation" topped the list with 71.

      More than 10 applications were filed for trademarks using the name of TVXQ (47 applications); f(x) (32); The Grace, BoA, and TRAX (22); SHINee and Super Junior (21); Nine Muses (18); miss A (16); 2AM (15); 2PM (14); Sulli, a member of f(x) (12); and Wonder Girls and ZE:A (10).

      Six of the most popular stars or groups for trademarks are managed by SM Entertainment -- Girls' Generation, TVXQ, f(x), BoA, SHINee, and Super Junior.

      An SM Entertainment executive said, "Trademark infringement cases involving popular K-pop groups happen from time to time amid the Korean Wave, so we've launched a separate division to file preemptive applications for trademarks using their names since 2009."

      Most goods using the names of K-pop stars are music-related items or cosmetics, such as CD and MP3 player, and perfume, skin lotions, and soap. Next came clothes, bags and fashion accessories.

      Woo Jin-sik of KIPO said, "We believe that there will be more applications for trademarks using the names of pop stars as their popularity at home and abroad grows."

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