Prosecution Clears H.O.T.’s Jang Woo Hyuk Of Trademark Rights Violation Suspicions

The prosecution has deemed the suspicions of H.O.T.’s Jang Woo Hyuk violating trademark and copyright laws invalid.

According to concert production company Salt Innovation, the Seoul Central District Public Prosecutors’ Office deemed on September 24 that Salt Innovation and Jang Woo Hyuk did not violate trademark and copyright laws in regards to the usage of “H.O.T.” during the group’s “Forever High-five Of Teenagers” concert in October 2018. SM Entertainment’s past director Kim Kyung Wook currently holds all trademark rights to H.O.T., and he previously filed charges against Jang Woo Hyuk and Salt Innovation after claiming that they had used the H.O.T. trademark without permission.

Salt Innovation released an official statement on September 26 and explained, “The group held the concert under the title ‘High-five Of Teenagers’ to prevent unnecessary legal disputes with Mr. K [Kim Kyung Wook], who claims to be the owner of the [H.O.T.] trademark. Despite these efforts, however, Mr. K made the shameful move to sue not only the organizer Salt Innovation but also the members of H.O.T. for ‘violating trademark and copyright laws.’ The fact that this was revealed through the media regardless of the authenticity of the claim caused great pain not only to the organizers but also to the members of H.O.T.”

The company continued, “Even if some H.O.T. group names were used during the concert, contrary to the one-sided claims made by Mr. K, given that the concert was held by all the members of the group H.O.T., this usage would have fallen under the ‘use of one’s name or nickname in accordance with commercial practices,’ which is hardly a violation of trademark rights. Because [Salt Innovation] had reviewed the legal issues surrounding this matter, we knew that trademark infringement problems wouldn’t be a problem. However, we were particularly careful not to use trademarks or labels that could cause even a little conflict in order to prevent unnecessary disputes from continuing. We proceeded with the ‘2018 Forever High-five Of Teenagers’ concert like this.”

Salt Innovation then added, “We believe the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office’s decision to deem the matter ‘invalid’ was a perfectly reasonable and wise decision that resulted from these efforts put in by the H.O.T. members and [Salt Innovation].”

The concert production company finally stated, “We believe that the decision of the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office has the meaning of recognizing the organizers and members of H.O.T. who put in effort towards working in a proper and legal way. We will continue to strive towards reaching the correct conclusion in the ongoing civil cases and other related disputes.”

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Top-Left Photo Credit: Xportsnews

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