SEOUL, Dec. 13 (Korea Bizwire) — An increasing number of happiness-related terms and items are being produced with the social atmosphere in South Korea evolving to emphasize the small and simple joys in life as well as work-life balance.
According to the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) on December 12, ‘happiness’ brands inspired by ‘YOLO’ (You Only Live Once) and small but certain happiness (sohwakhaeng in Korean) such as LAGOM and OKLM have become trendy recently.
There were only 14 happiness-related brands prior to 2013, growing to 17 in 2014, 31 in 2015, 39 in 2016, and 130 as of September of this year.
The rapid growth in happiness-related brands is due to the increasing number of individual businesses and companies working to secure and commercialize the claim of ‘happiness’ brands in line with rapidly evolving consumer interest.
However, terms such as YOLO, small but certain happiness, and work-life balance are commonly used in trade business communities or to directly point to the nature of a product.
Therefore, businesses must exercise caution when using these expressions in trademarks for commercial products.
Lee Jae-woo, an official of the KIPO, suggested that “since these terms are being used by ordinary people as buzzwords, they cannot function as a source of indication, therefore trademark applicants must make use of distinctive characters or figures to increase the possibility of trademark registration.”
Lina Jang (firstname.lastname@example.org)