On February 14, 2017 the Korean Intellectual Property Tribunal ("KIPT") ruled in favor of Lutronic and against BTL Holdings Ltd. ("BTL") in a patent invalidation claim filed by Lutronic regarding BTL's system patent for subcutaneous treatment ("BTL Patent"), thus holding the BTL Patent invalid.
Lutronic is a leading innovator of aesthetic and medical advanced laser and related technology in Korea. enCurve, an aesthetic medical device independently developed by Lutronic, has proven itself to be one of the most-loved aesthetic medical devices in Korea as it ranked number one in the 2016 Korean Consumer Satisfaction Index.
BTL, one of the world's major manufacturers of medical equipment, filed a patent infringement injunction with the Seoul Central District Court against Lutronic asserting that Lutronic's enCurve has infringed the BTL Patent. In response, Lutronic filed a patent invalidation claim for the BTL Patent with the KIPT.
As a result of Yulchon's effective explanation of prior art and airtight legal reasoning, the KIPT found that the BTL Patent did not meet one of the essential requirements for patentability (i.e., the BTL Patent lacked inventive step). In other words, the KIPT held that the BTL Patent is invalid because any person having ordinary skill in the art could have easily invented an invention similar to the BTL Patent by simply combining other publicly available inventions or references. BTL did not appeal the KIPT's ruling and thus the KIPT's decision became the final judgment of patent invalidity on the BTL Patent.
In light of the KIPT's invalidation decision, the Seoul Central District Court recommended BTL to withdraw its complaint seeking a patent infringement injunction against Lutronic. On March 24, 2017, pursuant to the Court's recommendation, BTL withdrew its complaint against Lutronic. Accordingly, all lawsuits that were pending against Lutronic's enCurve were dismissed. Yulchon's successful representation of Lutronic in these patent invalidation and injunction proceedings is significant not only for Lutronic's domestic business but also for its exporting business going forward as the case substantially removed uncertainties surrounding the manufacture and sales of enCurve.