The term “BORAHAE” has been a near and dear one to ARMYs. Initially coined by BTS‘s V to express his love for the members and fans, the term has spread wide and far.
In 2021, a cosmetics brand LALALEE‘s stepped on ARMYs toes when they attempted to file a copyright for the term. Of course, they soon revoked the filing and apologized. The incident led to BIGHIT MUSIC taking action and they filed for the copyright themselves..
As there have been continuous attempts to acquire rights to representative terms related to HYBE and its artists, we have recognized this as a serious issue. We are doing our best to procure rights, in order to prevent other businesses from possessing or owning words related to our artists. The copyright claim to ‘BORAHAE’ was also part of this objection.
— HYBE Labels
However, as of October 21, 2022, BIGHIT MUSIC has been denied the copyrights to the term. The reason is simpler than one expects. The Korea Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) recognized that the term was coined not by BigHit Entertainment as a company, but by V as an individual.
The KIPO claims that the copyright filed by BIGHIT MUSIC was rejected due to Article 34 (1) 20 of the Trademark Act. To explain it simply, if the person who created the IP is in a business relationship such as employment with the filing company, they need to be aware of and acknowledge the use of the IP as a trademark. So in V’s case, he needs to acknowledge and give permission to BigHit Entertainment to use the term “BORAHAE” as a trademark.
In a similar case, when BIGHIT MUSIC filed for a trademark over the name and related terms to “BTS”, all of the members agreed to it. It is currently unknown as to if V will give his permission to the company for the trademark, or if he will decide to file for it on his own.