On September 15, HYBE Label got slammed for destroying GFriend. It has been revealed how the music label tried to trademark the name GFriend. Being in a trademark could affect the group in the future. The hashtag "#JusticeForGFriend" now trends worldwide in social media.
#JusticeForGFriend trends online as GFriend's name is on application for a trademark
GFriend disbanded formally last May 22, 2021. The announcement was surprising that Buddies (Gfriend's fandom name) could not help but question what had caused the successful K-Pop girl group to make the radical decision.
Ever since then, GFriend fans have named a lot of ways where the girl group was not fairly treated. A theory that surfaced is that HYBE allegedly trademarked the girl group's name.
Reports stated that HYBE, the home of phenomenal K-Pop boy groups BTS and TXT, has applied to trademark GFriend's name as their intellectual property of the industry barrage in March 2021, two months prior to the girl group's abrupt disbandment.
A fan stated regarding Source Music and HYBE'e agenda, that the "GFRIEND" trademark has been applied for since March 11. The companies did it during the final year of GFriend's contract, two months prior to the end of their contracts.
Why people think a trademark would sabotage GFriend?
This is similar to the previous case of T-ARA. When MBK Entertainment's application was allowed, the members wouldn't be able to go on under T-ARA for a minimum of 10 years.
With the similarities between T-ARA and GFriend's situation, If HYBE's trademark application is allowed, GFRIEND wouldn't be able to use their group name for 10 years.
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Can GFRIEND Members use their K-pop group name in the future?
Granted that HYBE's attempt to trademark the name is successful, Buddies believe that the K-Pop act won't be able to push through with their activities with their original group's name.
With the situation, the fans are now playing in a waiting game and their hope goes with the decision of KIPO. There are two things that could also happen; They approve the application for trademark and will be accountable to publication which will lead to public resistance. KIPO will deny the application for trademark.
It has been suggested that when HYBE's application is turned down, the girl group can use the group's name whenever they need to.
On the other hand, GFriend member Sowon joined the IOK company. The K-pop idol will advertise herself as Kim So Jung and she will progress her acting career under the management of a new entertainment agency.
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Written by Annie Barmaine.