The complex law about trademarks, globalized

I found this story very interesting in my browsing this morning. In short, it's the account of the tricky law of trademarking, as practised in South Korea, and it affects everybody's favourite coffee chain, Starbucks.It interests me on two sides of the coin. First, the explication of Korean law is instructive. Second, the information that's gleanable about trademarking and copyright law in general is also instructive. For us, who haven't even begun to categorize and protect our collective intellectual property, it's worth a study.Here's a snippet.

People keep pestering me about Starbuck’s trademark problems in Korea. I cannot tell you how many times people who know me and role as a blogger have said “What’s going on in that Starbucks thingy?” The problem on commenting is twofold. One, my interest in the facts, let alone forming an opinion, is basically nil. Second, this really is about as close to straight-up trademark case you can get, it is what it is. However I thought the announced decision last week by the Korean Supreme Court against Starbuck’s appeal against Elfreya (dba Starpreya Coffee) coupled with announcement by Starbuck’s CEO in Hong Kong last month to vigorously protect its trademarks in Korea has prodded me into posting this.