According to reports, 87 million households worldwide watched Squid Game from start to finish — but we don’t need numbers to know how immensely sensational the South Korean drama has become since its Netflix premiere in September 2021.
From celebrities dressing up as characters from Squid Game for Halloween to lead actress Jung Ho-yeon (playing Sae-byeok) racking up 17.9 million instagram followers overnight, the dystopian TV series has many other metrics to measure its mega popularity.
With great popularity comes great opportunities, and what is a better opportunity than securing the rights to the ‘Squid Game’ brand? According to the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), Netflix filed applications for the ‘Squid Game’ trademark in Malaysia and at least two dozen countries, including Argentina, Canada, the European Union, Peru, Taiwan, Philippines, Republic of Korea and the United States of America.
Should the applications be approved, Netflix will gain the rights to roll out a range of goods and services based on the hit TV series, such as fan merchandise or video games. Netflix has registered the ‘Squid Game’ trademark in more than one class in the Nice Classification, sources state. These include class 9 (digital recording media), class 16 (stationery), class 18 (luggage and leather goods) and class 21 (household or kitchen utensils).
Netflix’s attempt to secure the ‘Squid Game’ trademark means problems for businesses around the world, particularly those who have attempted to capitalise on the popularity of the show by selling products in relation to prominently featured items, such as Squid Game masks, red boiler suits, dalgona candy or 3-shaped (circle, triangle, square) business cards.
Approval of Netflix’s trademark application might mean trademark infringement for third party sellers as the aforementioned products may be deemed counterfeit. In order to avoid potential lawsuits, sellers may choose to stop production and selling of the products before a verdict is made on Netflix’s trademark application.
Trademarks are crucial for businesses, be it small enterprises or multinational firms. Aspects of branding such as logo, slogan, words or colours, are responsible for strengthening the connection between customers and the identification of goods or services. Netflix trademarking ‘Squid Game’ can mean reaping even better financial returns for the streaming giant and also prevent copycats from tarnishing the ‘Squid Game’ brand through the commerce of duplicate items.
We know intellectual property rights can be confusing – that’s why it’s important to discuss your concerns with an IP professional first, to determine your plan of action later. Our experienced team at Quality Oracle are at the helm to quell your IP worries. Get in touch for a free consultation today.