H.O.T trademark lawsuit suit ends up going to the Supreme Court

The lawsuit regarding the trademark of the first-generation idol group H.O.T was eventually sent to the Supreme Court.

According to the legal circles, K, who claimed the trademark rights of H.O.T (the five-member group consisting of Moon Hee Joon, Jang Woo Hyuk, Tony Ahn, Kangta, and Lee Jae Won), filed an appeal in January through their legal representative because they were not satisfied with the appeal dismissal of the second trial following the first trial for the civil lawsuit against Salt Innovation.

Besides, it is impossible not to mention g.o.d – one of H.O.T’s opponents at that time.

Earlier on May 21st, 2021, the Seoul Central District Court’s Civil Affairs Division 62 ruled against the plaintiff when K, known as H.O.T trademark right holder, filed a lawsuit against H.O.T member Jang Woo Hyuk and Salt Innovation. In this lawsuit, K claimed the trademark of H.O.T and that their trademark right had been violated, attracting attention from the group’s fans. The trial process began 11 months after K filed the lawsuit with the court in December 2018. 

K reportedly appealed against the first trial’s ruling but the court eventually dismissed the appeal on December 14th, 2022. Not accepting the ruling, K continued to file a petition of appeal.

K claimed that the trademark rights were violated when five members of H.O.T held a concert under the name H.O.T with Salt Innovation. Following the concert in 2018, H.O.T members continued to hold a performance in 2019 by using the name High-five Of Teenagers instead of H.O.T. In response, K argued, “Whether the trademark H.O.T is used directly or indirectly, it is still a trademark infringement”, adding “The purpose of the lawsuit is to prevent the infringement of H.O.T trademark rights”.

High-five Of Teenagers H.o.t

In this regard, Jang Woo Hyuk was also summoned by the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office for questioning on charges of trademark violation but K dropped the lawsuit against Jang Woo Hyuk in January 2020.

K claimed that Jang Woo Hyuk and other members used H.O.T trademark without permission at their ‘2018 Forever High-five Of Teenagers’ concert held at the Jamsil Main Stadium in October 2018. After K raised the issue, Salt Innovation confirmed and announced the name of the concert using the full name “High-five Of Teenagers” instead of the abbreviation H.O.T.

Regarding the lawsuit, the Patent Court ruled in favor of H.O.T members, citing the plaintiff’s claim in a lawsuit filed by Salt Innovation against K in July 2020. The Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office also concluded that Jang Woo Hyuk and Salt Innovation did not violate the Trademark Act and Copyright Act.

Source: Daum

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