After 17 years, Shinhwa have gained the rights to their group’s name.
Shinhwa was a trademarked name that was owned by SM Entertainment, and the trouble started in 2003 after the group’s contract ended and they choose not to re-sign. SME filed an injunction against Shinhwa to stop them from using the group name going forward, but eventually Shinhwa “won” the right in court to continue using the name. However, it’s assumed that they had to pay a heavy compensation fee themselves and agree to handover royalties to SME. In any case, at some point the rights were transferred to Joon Media (Open World Entertainment, which should sound familiar). So when the members came back from the military and decided to reunite for a group comeback under Shinhwa Company in 2012, they were allowed to use the group name but only because Joon Media retained rights to manage their overseas works. At some point, Shinhwa sued Joon Media to regain control of the Shinhwa name, and with the lawsuit ongoing, the company name changed to ShinCom Entertainment in 2014 to avoid any legal repercussions.
Well, now they can go back to plastering Shinhwa over anything they want, since the name is back to being theirs.
Elated about gaining the rights to their name, Shinhwa commented, “We are very happy that we have been able to reclaim our name through this long hard battle. We send our gratitude to all the fans who have shown us support and cheered us on so that we may protect our name of Shinhwa. We will continue to do our best so that the name ‘Shinhwa’ can shine even brighter.”
So that’s 17 years without owning the rights to their group’s name and 12 years of legal battles/compromises.
It’s only appropriate that the group that will never die are the ones who ended up outlasting companies to eventually win. A rare occasion when unending stall tactics were actually rather pointless since they were up against the undead zombie idol group that will be doing dick circles together on stage until they’re like 90.