Source Music had previously filed for the trademark of the names GFRIEND and G-FRIEND. Unfortunately, as of July 26, 2022, their application had been rejected.
In March 2021, Source Music had applied to the Korean Intellectual Property Office to register for a trademark, two whole months before the official dissolution of the group. The filing of the rights indicated that the company already had an inkling of what was to come, and had tried to protect what they saw as their intellectual property. This led to the group not being able to promote under their original name, GFRIEND. Ultimately, SinB, Eunha, and Umji re-debuted as VIVIZ, while Sowon, Yuju, and Yerin decided to pursue solo careers.
The trademark application was rejected on July 14, 2022, by the Korean Intellectual Property Office along with a notification of submission of opinions regarding the matter. The office explained that the reasons for rejection included that “the trademark for ‘G-FRIEND’ was identical to the English name for the 6-member South Korean girl group GFRIEND and cannot be trademarked.”
As for Source Music’s attempt to trademark ‘GFRIEND’ without the dash, the office rejected it on the basis that “the trademark ‘GFRIEND’ is directly affiliated with the 6-member South Korean girl group GFRIEND, and as a group that is noticeably identifiable by the general consumers, any use of this trademark by the applicant for product use can cause misconception and potential deception of consumers.”
Source Music however, had already previously attained the trademark rights for the official logo used by GFRIEND during their promotional period. They have now failed to attain rights to the name itself. What does this mean for the girls and Buddys? It is now legally possible for the group to promote under the name GFRIEND without being legally implicated by Source Music. However, they face legal implications when it comes to the use of their previous official logo and other similar icons. Their songs are also still registered under Source Music, which may make it difficult for the group to perform their old repertoire.
It is possible for the group to use their old name now that Source Music does not have control over the copyright. Looks like a reunion may be possible now! GFRIEND made their debut in 2015 and announced that they would be disbanding in May 2021.