South Korea’s KG Mobility, formerly Ssangyong Motor, has been refused the right to register KG Mobility as a trademark by the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), according to local reports.
KG Group, a local steel and chemicals company, completed the acquisition of the bankrupt SUV maker just over a year ago and renamed the company KG Mobility Corporation earlier this year.
KG Group applied to register the English language name of KG Mobility as a trademark with KIPO in April but found the name had already been registered in over 30 countries including the European Union (EU), Australia and Turkey, a month earlier by Cihan Turan, known as a trademark ‘troll’, which tries to monetise trademark rights rather than using the names commercially.
KIPO rejected KG Group’s trademark application in September saying, under the Paris Convention, once an intellectual property or a trademark is registered in a certain country it is also protected in other countries. KIPO said, when KG Group applied for the trademark, the name had already been registered in the EU in the previous month.
The ruling cames as a blow to the automaker which has been ramping up its export drive under its new name this year. KG Group has already filed an appeal against the KIPO decision, but this process normally takes more than a year.
In the meantime, the automaker said it would use KGM as a brand name in overseas markets. If the appeal is rejected, the company would have to give up the KG Mobility name also in South Korea or face paying royalty fees to Cihan Turan.
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