Korea: Collective mark right for a geographical indication

Korea: Collective mark right for a geographical indication, Collective mark right for a geographical indication, Collective mark right, geographical indication

Korea: Collective mark right for a geographical indication

A geographical indication enables one business to exclude other competitors from using a certain mark, but unlike a trademark, it has no “exclusive owner.”

Both a trademark and a geographical indicator serve the purpose of displaying the origin and quality of goods in relation to company earnings while also gaining intellectual property protection. Based on these parallels, some nations protect geographical indicators as a trademark under a trademark and geographical indication protection statute, while others protect geographical indications as a collective mark or certification mark under a trademark act.

In the Republic of Korea, geographical indications have been protected as a collective mark under the Trademark Act (Act No. 7290) since July 1, 2005. Under the Act, if a product has a specific quality, reputation, or characteristic originating from the geographic characteristics of a region, such as a climate, soil, or topography of the region, or personal conditions like traditional production methods, the geographical indication denotes the region in which the goods are produced, manufactured, and processed.

Concept

“Geographical indication” refers to an indicator used to identify items produced, made, or processed in a given location where a particular quality, reputation, or other attribute of goods has essentially originated from such specific area.

Requirements

With the exception of services, geographical indication protection is limited to goods, which include agricultural goods, marine items, processed goods, and industrial products (particularly handicrafts).

A geographical indicator refers to the items’ geographical origin and indicates the name of a location where the goods are produced, manufactured, and/or processed. It is not restricted to the name of an administrative district and does not require that things be produced, made, or processed in the same location.

Specific quality, reputation, or other characteristics of the goods are required. The quality, reputation, or other characteristics of the goods produced, manufactured, and/or processed in a specific place must be differentiated from goods produced, manufactured, and/or processed elsewhere.

The basic correlation between characteristics of the goods and the geographical environment is required. A geographical indication is based on the geographical environment including natural conditions (e.g. climate, soil, topography) or personal conditions (e.g. specific production method) as well as the quality, reputation, or other characteristics of goods which are produced, manufactured, or processed in a region.

An application to register a collective mark for a geographical indication shall be filed by groups (producer group, processor group, etc.) with a corporate personality that consist only of persons who produce, manufacture, or process goods corresponding to the geographical indication of a certain region. An application filed by an individual, companies under Commercial Law, or groups without a corporate personality shall not be registered.

To register a collective mark as a geographical indication, a legal entity such as a producer group qualified to file shall prepare and submit the required application to the Korean Intellectual Property Office together with documentary evidence validating its qualification as a geographical indication, the registration fee, and the registration decision of an examiner.

Effect

A collective mark for a geographical indication excludes any third party from registering a trademark or a collective mark as a geographical indication which is identical or similar to a registered collective mark for another geographical indication. When a person in another region uses a mark which is identical or similar to the registered geographical indication on the designated goods, he/she may assume civil and criminal liability for infringement of trademark rights.

The collective mark right for a geographical indication does not apply to marks which are customarily used for goods identical to the designated goods for the registered collective mark for a geographical indication; or a geographical indication or a homonymous geographical indication used by a person who produces, manufactures, or processes goods related to a geographical indication in the relevant region.

Source: KIPO

*** Other Articles***

– You could visit here to see the Procedure of Trademark in South Korea.

– You can also check the Required documents of filing trademark in South Korea.

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