Species names registered under the Seed Industry Act are held to be generic names and therefore cannot be registered as trademarks. During a recent case, in fact, the Korean Supreme Court noted that if a registered species name was not recognized as a generic name this would enable third parties to obtain a trademark registration for the same name. This would conflict with Art. 109(1) of the SIA (Seed Industry Act), which stipulates that “if a species name is applied for as a trademark under the TMA (Trademark Act) before the SIA application (…) such a name cannot be registered under the SIA as being likely to cause confusion”.
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