KOSDAQ-listed auto parts maker Hankook Technology has launched a legal dispute over the use of its company name against Hankook Technology Group, formerly Hankook Tire, which is listed on the stock market.
According to industry sources, Hankook Technology filed an injunction to ban the use of its company name against Hankook Technology Group with the Seoul Central District Court on April 28.
Hankook Technology said the change in the company name to Hankook Technology Group has violated its trademark rights as well as confused investors. Hankook Technology Group is the holding company of Hankook Tire.
Previously, Hankook Tire carried out a project to change company name in May to attach "Technology" and "Group" to the group's affiliate.
Cho Hyun-beom, who was recently arrested on charges of creating slush funds, will be in charge of Hankook Tire & Technology, while his elder brother and vice chairman Cho Hyun-sik will lead the holding company Hankook Tire Worldwide. Vice Chairman Cho was also indicted by the prosecution on Dec. 9 on charges of business embezzlement.
Hankook Technology said it has taken legal action against Hankook Tire because of its similar new company name, which often confused investors as well as the media.
Hankook Technology is a mid-sized company that has already used its current name for seven years and is well-known to the industry. Critics point out that confusion between the two companies is inevitable as they are expanding their scope to major application components.
In response, Hankook Tire said it confirmed trademark registration rights and carried out the change. It asserted that there are no flaws in the legal process.