The Korean Intellectual Property Office (Director Lee In-sil) recently activated the trading of virtual products in virtual spaces such as expanded virtual worlds (metabuses)
As related trademark applications increase, it announced that it will prepare “virtual product screening guidelines” and implement them from the 14th.

In fact, there were only 20 trademark applications in related fields from 2010 to 2019, but from 6 in 2020 and 17 in 2021 to 717 by the end of May this year.

Previously, only forms such as “downloadable image files (virtual clothes)” and “computer programs (virtual products) in which virtual clothes are recorded” were recognized as product names.

With the implementation of this guideline, the scope of applicants’ choice of product names has been expanded by recognizing names in the form of “virtual + reality products” such as “virtual clothes” and “virtual shoes.”

The name “virtual product” itself is not recognized as a product name at all because the scope of the product is ambiguous and there is a possibility of trademark disputes.

In this review guideline, virtual products that used to be classified as products similar to image files or computer programs will be classified into separate product groups that are distinct from image files, and virtual products will be classified by reflecting the nature of real products.

Here, the product classification code (similar group code) reflects the attributes of the product itself and transaction conditions to determine the similar range between designated products, and is divided into the same and similar products and codes.

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