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Amendments to Trademark Laws

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Dez 05, 2017 (Newsletter Issue 21/17)
South Korea
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Guidelines on Designation of Goods and Classification Amended

The Guidelines for the Designation of Goods and Classification (Guidelines) were amended on June 29, 2017, and the changes became effective on July 5, 2017. The Guidelines set out what designations of goods and services are acceptable to the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO).

Korea has adopted the Nice Agreement concerning the International Classification of goods and services for the purposes of the registration of marks. The eleventh edition became effective on January 1, 2017. In principle, KIPO examiners follow the general rules of the Nice Classification System, such as the class headings, explanatory notes and alphabetical list. However, not all goods and services designations in the alphabetical list of the Nice Classification have been included in the Guidelines.

With the recent amendments, the list of acceptable goods and services designations in the Guidelines has been significantly expanded. More than 4,000 goods and services designations have been newly added, some of which were adopted from the Nice Classification list, while others were adopted from the list of acceptable goods and services provided by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).

Particularly new goods and services have been introduced in the classes 5, 8, 10, 30, 38, 41, 42. For more information on designations, please click here

An applicant can still register a mark for goods and services which are not clearly listed in the Guidelines, as long as the applicant can satisfactorily explain to the examiner what the goods/services are and that they have been properly classified. However, with the introduction of the amended Guidelines' list of goods and services it should substantially get easier for applicants to obtain registrations for many goods and services, as well as registrations of a broader scope than before.