Trademark

Korean Company “LG DISPLAY” ended long disputes with “ROLEX” by abandoning its trademark rights

Korean company “LG DISPLAY” filed a mark “ROLED” designating “rollable display panel, wearable telecommunication devices in the form of wristwatches, smartphones, etc.” in January 2018. Swiss watch brand “ROLEX” filed an opposition against this trademark application in August 2018 on the grounds of similarity between the marks. Despite the filed opposition, the mark “ROLED” was registered in April 2019 by the Korean Intellectual Property Office.

ROLEX did not stop there. They filed an invalidation trial against the “ROLED” registration at Intellectual Property Trial and Appeal Board in July 2019, but the trial was also dismissed. The Intellectual Property Trial and Appeal Board stated in its decision that the marks are not similar in its appearance and sound and that both marks are coinages with no meaning. Further, considering the fact that the brand “ROLEX” is broadly known to public and that the trade condition of the products of both sides are practically different, the marks will not be likely to cause confusion to the consumers. Ironically, the fame of the petitioner’s brand actually weakened their grounds.

ROLEX did not give up and filed a law suit at the Patent Court in September 2020 to revoke the decision of the Intellectual Property Trial and Appeal Board. While the long disputes continue to last between ROLEX and LG DISPLAY, LG DISPLAY finally accepted argument of ROLEX and filed a petition to obliterate their trademark registration for “ROLED” in regards to “wearable telecommunication devices in the form of wristwatches” in December 2020 and on the same day ROLEX withdraw the filed lawsuit against LG DISPLAY.

ROLEX actively and aggressively took actions to protect their brand and achieved what they pursued for a long time in the end even though the achievement was not made by the decision of the authorities.

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