Once a trademark is filed at the Korean Intellectual Property Office, the filed mark will go through examination by the examiner. With no grounds of refusals raised by the examiner, the mark will be published for 2 months and if no objections are raised by third parties the Korean Intellectual Property Office will issue Notice of allowance and require payment of registration fee. Within 1 or 2 weeks of payment of registration fee, the trademark certificate will be issued, which means the whole process of trademark registration is completed.
There are some trademark offices that only provide electronic format of the trademark certificate such as European Union Intellectual Property Office and or trademark office in Australia. In South Korea, trademark certificate can be issued both in hard copy and soft copy. Further, trademark certificate can be re-issued in cases if the registrant lost the certificate, there is any update to the information shown on the certificate including information of registrant or even the registrant simply needs an additional copy of the certificate. The certificate also can be issued in English version in case that the certificate needs to be filed as instruments in foreign countries.
Regarding the certificate, we should always remember that the information on the certificate is the information at the time of registration. If you need to have the trademark registration assigned from the registrant, concluding assignment agreement after simply checking the trademark certificate can be a mistake. There are chances that the owner of the trademark registration has been changed after the certificate was issued and even that the trademark registration has been cancelled, invalidated, withdrawn or expired.
Accordingly, you should always check the details of registration with a recently updated trademark register. With the trademark register, you can check information such as changes in registrant or renewal details which are not on the trademark certificate. However, even information on the trademark register my not be up to date. If there are pending issues with the trademark registration such as transfers or trials, usually those are also recorded on the trademark register as pending issues. In checking trademark register, layman may not know which is the important information or how to interpret that information. Thus, if you need to check the details of trademark registration, we recommend consultation with experts.