It’s common practice for companies to file trademarks for their artist names. This is why many groups face the issue of not being able to promote under their original group name after leaving their company. One prime case is B2ST. They had to change their name to HIGHLIGHT after leaving Cube Entertainment, as the latter held the copyrights to the “B2ST” name.
Similarly, YG Entertainment holds the trademark for the name “G-DRAGON,” given that it was bestowed upon the star when he debuted. As of October 12, 2023, YG Entertainment successfully completed applications for the renewal of the trademark for “G-DRAGON.”
Fans have been calling this “unfair play” and “a low blow,” because YG Entertainment and G-DRAGON are currently in the midst of discussing a new contract. Things worked out for fellow member Taeyang, because Taeyang resigned with THE BLACK LABEL, a subsidiary of YG Entertainment. If G-DRAGON chooses to leave the nest for good, there is a high chance that he will not be able to promote using the name any longer.
The only way that G-DRAGON will be able to use the name should he leave YG Entertainment, is if the company decides to grant him the trademark rights out of good will.
It was previously confirmed by YG Entertainment that their exclusive management contract with G-DRAGON had ended in June 2023. Following this, they are currently in the midst of discussions for a separate new nonexclusive contract. On the other hand, rumors are rife that G-DRAGON may take his priceless self to Warner Music Korea instead.