BORAHAE trademark application by HYBE is denied by Korean Intellectual Property

By James Wan

What you need to know (in a nutshell)

  1. HYBE label attempted to register the phrase “BORAHAE” as a trademark but the application was denied by the Korean Intellectual Property Office.
  2. The reason for the denial was that HYBE was aware that another party, BTS member V (Kim Taehyung), was using a similar trademark through a contractual arrangement with the company.
  3. The situation is not yet resolved, as Taehyung is recognized as the inventor of “BORAHAE” but does not currently hold the copyright to it. HYBE can either reapply for the trademark rights or give credit to Taehyung by using his name. Fans have expressed disappointment with HYBE’s decision to not give Taehyung credit for his creation, which is now a crucial component of BTS’s brand and image.

Full Article

HYBE label attempts to trademark “BORAHAE”, created by BTS’s V.

Last year, the Korean Intellectual Property Office refused HYBE’s application to secure trademark rights for “BORAHAE”.

Korean Intellectual Property Office refused due to:

V’s “I Purple You” was coined when he said, “Borahae means to trust and love like the last colour of a rainbow.”

HYBE requested a trademark application, despite knowing another party already used it via contract.

Kim Taehyung’s work for HYBE requires them to adhere to Article 34 (1) No. 20 of the Trademark Act.

The Trademark Act’s Article 34(1) No. 20 prohibits obtaining trademarks for goods identical or similar to those a person is aware other uses, or intends to use, through any contractual relationship (e.g., partnership/employment).

The deal is not finalised.

HYBE must either reapply for trademark rights or recognise Kim Taehyung as the author of “BORAHAE” if they wish to use it.

BTS members agree Taehyung’s name should be trademarked.

Taehyung’s fame is recognised worldwide, with fans and business experts hailing him as the originator even without copyright.

Park Sungwoo recognised V had coined “Borahae” on YTN Radio in September 2021 when discussing BTS trademarks.

Hearing the news, ARMYs expressed upset at HYBE’s choice to discredit Taehyung instead of giving him due recognition.

The hashtags #BORAHAE YOURS KIMTAEHYUNG trended on Twitter as people voiced their discontent with the trademark dispute.

Taehyung’s creation symbolises BTS and is now a key part of their identity, included in promotional materials for joint projects.

Fans wish for the trademark case between Kim Taehyung, author of “Borahae,” and holders to favour him as businesses often exploit artists.