Select Country

Select a country to view information on local trademark law

A-E  F-J  K-O  P-T  U-Z

Multinational Agreements
Enter Client Voucher:  info
for Free

Get Listed

Promote your expertise to IP professionals worldwide.
read more

Subscribe to Free Newsletter

To keep updated on the latest amendments to international trademark laws click here

Amendments to Trademark Laws

Print this page
Okt 20, 2022 (Newsletter Issue 15/22)
South Korea
Show Country Survey

Virtual Goods Examination Guidelines Published

The Korea Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) has adopted the "Virtual Goods Examination Guidelines" that went into effect on 14 July 2022.

The Guidelines indicate that virtual goods are presumptively different from real world goods and virtual goods previously described as downloadable image files. Thus, KIPO will not automatically reject applications for virtual goods based on trademarks for real world goods or trademarks for downloadable image files. Trademark owners might need to consider applying for virtual goods corresponding to their goods/services in the real world as soon as possible before the trademarks are registered by a third party. The key points of the Virtual Goods Examination Guidelines are as follows:

1. Virtual Goods Description Requirements
The broad description of "virtual goods" by itself will not be accepted. Instead, the product type must be specified, for example, "downloadable virtual apparel," "virtual shoes," etc.

2. Classification of Virtual Goods
Virtual goods generally belong to International Classification 9. Further, KIPO has added new Similarity Codes specifically for virtual goods as a way to help distinguish and examine virtual goods.

3. Determination of Similarity
The Virtual Goods Guidelines provide that when comparing virtual goods, they will be presumed similar if the corresponding real world products are similar. However, virtual goods falling within the same Similarity Code may still be found dissimilar depending on the characteristics of the goods. Notably, trademarks for virtual goods will be presumed dissimilar to their real world counterpart goods until a court precedent establishes otherwise.

For more information, please click here