K-1 Obtains Global Trademark - Launches International Federation - "I Want to Run the Event as a Global Event"

Mar 11, 2023
Photo: K-1 Japan Group
K-1's international trademark returns to Japan.

On 28 February 2023, K-1 updated its corporate website, adding an automatic translator for six additional languages, revamping the design to be more user-friendly, and featuring a more easily accessible fight calendar. But most strikingly, the new update includes a K-1 LICENSE page, which officially states that M-1 Sports Media, a parent company of K-1, now holds K-1's license worldwide and manages the license through the K-1 International Federation (KIF). The page notes that the global right to the K-1 trademark is registered by K-1 Japan Holdings, including product names, service names, and logos. The company also now refers to itself as K-1 instead of K-1 Japan Group.

The international trademark of K-1 previously belonged to the Hong Kong-based K-1 Global Holdings Ltd, a subsidiary of EMCOM Holdings Ltd. 

After the 2011 collapse of Fighting and Entertainment Group (FEG), the original promoter of K-1, most of its trademarks were sold to Barbizon Co Ltd in July 2011. In January 2012, EMCOM Holdings Co Ltd announced that its subsidiary in Hong Kong, K-1 Global Holdings had acquired the K-1 trademark from Barbizon Co Ltd.

In May 2014, K-1 World GP - then known as K-1 World League, was launched after having secured the exclusive K-1 license for Japan. It then held the first K-1 World GP event in November 2014. Since then, K-1 World GP has held its events exclusively in Japan. It is unclear when or how K-1 acquired the international K-1 trademark, but with the upcoming 30-year anniversary event, K'FESTA 6, this could signify the return to the global stage for the once biggest kickboxing promotion in the world.

K-1 producer Takumi Nakamura talked about the K-1 license in today's K'FESTA press conference: "I want to run the event as a global event. We are planning to do various things such as overseas gym development. Specifics have not been decided yet, so please wait for the announcement."