(File pix) Pop group T-ara's decision to leave talent agency MBK Entertainment recently, means it can no longer use its current name for at least a decade.

KUALA LUMPUR: Pop group T-ara's decision to leave talent agency MBK Entertainment recently, means it can no longer use its current name for at least a decade.

This is the result of MBK's Dec 28 application to register a trademark for the name "T-ara" at the Korean Intellectual Property Office.

If the application is accepted, the four members of T-ara may have to promote their music under a different name, and pay royalties to the agency whenever they perform songs which they had released under T-ara.

In a recent statement, the agency said: "We have applied to register a trademark for ‘T-ara’ and we believe we are justified as the (former) agency (of the group).”

MBK dismissed fans' fears that a "second BEAST situation" would emerge.

Many of them have drawn similarities between T-ara’s situation and that of the Highlight (formerly BEAST) members who left Cube Entertainment.

Highlight has been unable to use "BEAST" because Cube has trademarked it.

"Saying that this will be a second BEAST situation is pure speculation.

"In that case, the agency had forbidden members of BEAST (Highlight) from using ‘BEAST’ after they had settled on their future plans and requested to use it.

"We had a beautiful parting with T-ara and its members have not decided on their future plans."

T-ara’s contract with MBK Entertainment ended last monthand the members decided to leave the agency. Both the agency and members said that the group would not be disbanded.

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