in

UK Wholesaler Wins Against SM To Cancel Some Trademark Rights of ‘EXO’

After losing to a trademark judgment against a British wholesaler, what are the products SM Entertainment can’t promote under the name EXO?

SM Entertainment Loses Some of the Trademark Rights of EXO – Here’s What Happened

(Photo : EXO, SM Entertainment (News1))

On May 10, the Korean media outlet Press9 reported that a UK-based pharmaceutical wholesaler won a trademark judgment filed against SM Entertainment to cancel some of the trademark rights of “엑소” (EXO), which is famous for its idol group name.

It seems that the trial was raised to use “엑소” (XO!) as a brand of intercourse necessities, such as condoms and contraceptives.

According to the Korean Intellectual Property Office on the same day, the Korean Intellectual Property Tribunal ruled on May 3 that the British pharmaceutical wholesaler called, “Sustainable Ethical Enterprises Limited” requested to cancel some designated products of “EXO.”

UK Wholesaler Wins Against SM To Cancel Some Trademark Rights of 'EXO'

(Photo : EXO (News1))

In particular, “엑소” (EXO) is a trademark that can be used exclusively for designated products registered by SM Entertainment. Since 2011, SM Entertainment has registered designated products for EXO in Korea in various fields such as beverages, clothing, food materials, household goods, precious metals, home appliances, and cosmetics as well as performing business and entertainment business.

SM Entertainment registered EXO for the aforementioned fields despite being an idol group, with the intention of preventing the use of the trademark in other industries while taking into account the possibility of brand and business expansion.

UK Wholesaler Wins Against SM To Cancel Some Trademark Rights of 'EXO'

(Photo : EXO, XO! (Press9))

Meanwhile, Sustainable Ethical Enterprise Limited applied for the trademark, “엑소” (XO!) in March 2020. Designated products of “XO!” include contraceptives, condoms, and other products used for sexual health and activities.

As it was difficult to register “XO!” in Korea due to its similarity to the pre-registered trademark “EXO,” Sustainable Ethical Enterprises Limited filed for a patent trial in August 2021.

UK Wholesaler Wins Against SM To Cancel Some Trademark Rights of 'EXO'

(Photo : EXO (News1))

In May 2022 the, the Korean Intellectual Property Tribunal ruled in favor of Sustainable Ethical Enterprises Limited, saying:

“We cannot avoid cancellation without proving that we used or did not use a designated product trademark in Korea within three years before the requested date.”

As a result, EXO under SM Entertainment can’t promote any of the designated products under their name including vitamin and vitamin supplements, disinfectants, dietary supplements, medicinal candies, pharmaceutical drugs and animal drugs, medical mouthwash, medical weight loss tea, weight loss medical drugs, plasters, and portable medicine boxes filled with contents.

UK Wholesaler Wins Against SM To Cancel Some Trademark Rights of 'EXO'

(Photo : EXO (News1))

But rest assured that the rights to the remaining designated products except for canceled items are maintained by SM Entertainment and EXO.

Although the UK-based wholesaler won the case, SM Entertainment can file an appeal with the Patent Court against the patent judgment.

What is the Meaning of ‘엑소’ (EXO) in K-pop?

UK Wholesaler Wins Against SM To Cancel Some Trademark Rights of 'EXO'

(Photo : EXO (News1))

EXO is the name of a global K-pop group. The idol band was originally comprised of 12 members (hereinafter nine members) including Suho, Xiumin, D.O., Chen, Chanyeol, Baekhyun, Kai, Sehun, Lay and former members Kris, Tao and Luhan.

When they debuted in 2012, the name EXO is said to be derived from the word, “EXOPLANET” which means, “a planet that orbits a star outside the solar system.”

For more K-Pop news, follow and subscribe to KpopStarz.

KpopStarz owns this article.

Written by Eunice Dawson

Credit: KpopStarz

READ MORE:
1 aespa member keeps making mistakes while performing, even the choreography clip is in the wrong formation

BTS to Not Attend 2022 Billboard Music Awards — Here’s Why

LE SSERAFIM Kim Garam Draws Comparison to Bang Si Hyuk’s Celebrity Crush