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SM Entertainment Lose In Current Lawsuit

By Edward Leary | July 31, 2017 07:35 AM EDT

SM Entertainment is one of the top 3 largest Korean entertainment companies in Korea, so it is no surprise that they have their stars and their associated products approved before being used for anything else. Unfortunately, SM Entertainment was reported to have recently lost a case involving trademark usage.

SM recently tried battling it out with LG's Household and Care Brand S:UM due to the similarities in their names. SM has been wanting to open a market called 'SUM' as a term to brand their celebrity shop.

According to the case, "The use of a similar trademark would infringe the trademark right as it could mislead or confuse the traders and/or general consumers in regards to the source of the goods or services." Despite SM's continued efforts to use the name, the courts continue to state, "The difference in fonts and the like are only a small difference that is difficult to distinguish by the general consumers with an average attention to details. Also, even though the target group is for young teenage girl fans, the main consumers of 'SUM' are foreigners who travel to Korea from foreign countries, such as Japan and China. Hence, this demographic overlaps with LG Household & Health Care's product 'su:m' which also sells in Japan and China."  

SM Entertainment responded to the situation saying, "LG Household & Health Care's product is pronounced as 'soom (breath)' whilst our brand is pronounced as 'Some' (abbreviation or slang for 'something'). Therefore, the notion of the two products is completely different. Also, the demographics for our market is female fans in their teens, whereas 'su:m' is targeted more towards middle-aged women." However, their idea was overlooked and cost them the case.

SM Entertainment will now have to find a new creative name and way to market their celebrity products. What do you think of this lawsuit? Perhaps SM Entertainment can open a contest for fans to name it instead? Wishful thinking!

Tagged :  SM Entertainment, LG, SUM


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