On January 3, Hyomin announced via Instagram that T-ara has officially departed from MBK Entertainment. Soon after Hyomin's post, MBK Entertainment confirmed the contracts weren't renewed with the members, however, the agency also stated this does not mean the group has disbanded. This left hopes for the girl group to continue promoting under different agencies, but fans now believe that might be difficult as MBK Entertainment has applied for the trademark of T-ara.
Based on the findings on the website of Korean Intellectual Property Office - the patent office and intellectual property office of South Korea - MBK Entertainment applied for the trademark of T-ara on December 28, 2017.
If the application is accepted, T-ara will be a trademark of MBK Entertainment, meaning the members will not be able to promote with the group name T-ara or perform T-ara's songs outside of MBK Entertainment.
The situation is similar to the past issue with B2ST and Cube Entertainment. The former B2ST members ultimately had to promote with the new group name of Highlight as they were unable to win the trademark for B2ST. The girl group is expected to see a similar outcome if they lose the trademark for T-ara.