GFriend fans call for justice, slam HYBE for trying to 'sabotage' girls with trademark

Hybe to trademark GFriend which would stop the disbanded girl group to come together in the future


                            GFriend fans call for justice, slam HYBE for trying to 'sabotage' girls with trademark
GFriend's name to be trademarked by Hybe (@gfriendofficial/Instagram)
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Anyone who is a fan of K-pop knows about GFriend. They were one of the most popular third-gen girl groups. Debuting in 2015, they had a successful run right from their rookie years as they won several rookie of the year awards and were the first girl group to be nominated at MTV Europe Music Awards. They had a lot of other firsts too like being the first girl group to be interviewed by the Grammy’s. Even casual music listeners know about their hit singles ‘Me Gustas Tu’ and 'Mago’. So why were they disbanded by Hybe?

GFriend was under Source Music which was later acquired by Hybe Labels. The group disbanded in May 2021. Fans found it quite shocking since they were doing very well and there was no reason for their sudden disbandment. And after further investigating, Buddys (GFriend’s fandom) found that Hybe was trying to trademark the girl group’s name which would mean that the group could never get back together to promote as GFriend in the future unless it was under Hybe.

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Hybe trademarking GFriend considered 'sabotage'

Fans conveyed that they felt this was akin to deliberate sabotage from Hybe’s side. It seems that the revenue from GFriend that Hybe got will be used to fund their new girl group which is set to debut under Source Music. And Buddys find this unfair. This is quite similar to the situation that the iconic boy group BEAST faced with their old company Cube. They had to change their name to Highlight and start from scratch after Cube trademarked BEAST.

With Hybe’s alleged trademark application still in process, fanbases have come together to organize a protest in hopes that Hybe’s request will be rejected. If the application is approved, along with the name, the group might also not be able to use their discography which is credited to GFriend. Buddys have also discovered that the trademark process was begun two months before the group disbanded which shows that Hybe must have had some ulterior motives behind their decision. Since the members might have not agreed to disband they could get back together in the future but this trademark hitch could stop them.

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Some Buddys are saying the blame lies with Source Music and not Hybe as the trademark application is filed under Source Music. But since Hybe owns Source Music, a majority of the fans are asking Hybe to release a proper explanation.

'GFriend deserves better'

Angry fans have been trending #JusticeForGFriend and #Gfriend_Deserves_Better hoping that they will be given an explanation. One Buddy tweeted, “The people who made their groupname known in the kpop scene. The people who works hard to bring their company up from debt, basement and known. The people who owns the name GFRIEND.” Another added, “I hope all of you, fandoms from Hybe groups, read about the Gfriend case, what Hybe did is serious and one day it could happen to anyone else.”

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Fans have also been circulating the initial thread that explained why the trademark is an issue, “How the companies HYBE and Source Music mistreated, sabotaged, and lied about the girl group GFRIEND, and are now trying to take the group name from the artists. The unlawful contract termination and the GFRIEND trademark problem explained.” “Gfriend deserves better after all the hard work they put to build their name and get that nugu agency out of the basement,” said another.

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