In Korea trademark rights are only established by registration in accordance with the requirements and procedures under the Trademark Law. Korea adopts a "first-to-file" system of entitlement to registration of trademarks. However, the KIPO will typically reject an application to register 'famous international trademarks' or any marks similar thereto if not made by an entitled party.
In the absence of any Office Action, the estimated time frame for registering a trademark is about 12 to 18 months from the date when the application is filed. If, on examination, the Examiner finds no reason to reject the application, he will render a decision to publish it, and the application is published in the Official Gazette for thirty (30) days for public inspection.
When a trademark application is finally rejected by the Examiner, the applicant may lodge an appeal against such rejection to the Intellectual Property Tribunal (IPT). An appeal against the IPT's decision may be reviewed by the Patent Court and finally by the Supreme Court.