On January 3, entire members of T-ARA left their management agency MBK Entertainment without disbanding.
Shortly after their departure, news outlets reported that MBK Entertainment had applied to register a trademark for the name '티아라' 'T-ARA' at the Korean Intellectual Property Office on December 28.
If the application is accepted, the members cannot continue their career under the name of T-ARA.
It was also reported that even if the members decide to use a different name, they will have to pay royalties to MBK if they wish to perform any songs they had released as T-ARA.
Many people draw similarities between T-ARA and Highlight(former BEAST)'s situation, as Highlight's members were not able to use their first group name 'BEAST' after they left CUBE Entertainment due to trademark issue.
Following the reports, MBK Entertainment stated, "We did submit our application to register a trademark for 'T-ARA'. We believe that we are well justified applying for this trademark (as the former agency of the group)."
The agency continued, "Unlike BEAST's situation, we had a beautiful parting with the members. As the members have not decided on their future plans yet, we are sorry to be criticized for our actions."
Exclusive contracts of T-ARA's four members with MBK Entertainment expired in December 2017, and all members decided not to renew their contract.
(Credit= 'KIPRIS' Official Website, 'officialtara' Facebook)