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NAM & NAM | South Korea | 6 Sep 2021

Trial decisions to which double jeopardy applies

In South Korea, in accordance with the prohibition of double jeopardy, once a patent trial decision on the merits is rendered and becomes final and conclusive, no person may demand a subsequent trial based on the same facts and evidence with the Intellectual Property Trial and Appeal Board. In a recent decision, the Supreme Court held that the prohibition of double jeopardy does not apply to......
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NAM & NAM | South Korea | 30 Aug 2021

Are free downloadable apps considered to be "goods" under trademark law?

South Korean trademark law provides that if a registered trademark is not used properly in South Korea for a three-year period following its registration, any third party may request its cancellation. In a recent case, a third party requested a trial to revoke the registration of a trademark that had been used on an app. This raised the question of what is an app, if not a kind of goods?
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NAM & NAM | South Korea | 9 Aug 2021

Original patents: FTC issues order to correct unfair ad

As the term "original patent" lacks any specific legal meaning, it is among the potentially misleading terms misused in the marketplace. The Fair Trade Commission (FTC) recently ruled that an ad claiming ownership of an original patent constituted an unfair indication. In doing so, the FTC also specified the requirements for claiming an original patent.
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NAM & NAM | South Korea | 19 Jul 2021

Improved damages calculation for trademark, design and unfair competition infringement cases

Mirroring a recent amendment to the Patent Act, the Trademark Act, the Design Protection Act and the Unfair Competition Prevention and Trade Secret Protection Act have also been amended to include an improved method for calculating damages in trademark, design and unfair competition infringement cases. These revisions mean that the protection available to IP owners against intentional......
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NAM & NAM | South Korea | 7 Jun 2021

Design law amendment to cover projected image designs

With the advancement of technology, projected displays are becoming increasingly commonplace. A new amendment to the Design Protection Act which allows for the protection of functional projected image designs (eg, holograms, augmented reality and projected displays) is due to take effect in 2021. It is expected that there will be widespread interest in this development from applicants in......
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NAM & NAM | South Korea | 19 Apr 2021

Strengthened provisions for keeping designs secret

Unlike patent applications, which are published in full after a fixed period to prevent redundant research and investment, the details of design applications are disclosed via publication in the Design Gazette at the time of registration. Parties may postpone the disclosure of a design using the secret design system. A recent amendment to the secret design system aims to offer applicants......
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NAM & NAM | South Korea | 12 Apr 2021

Trademark infringement theory – innocent or infringing?

Where an application for a trademark which is substantially similar to a prior registered trademark is successful, does the use of the later filed trademark constitute infringement of the prior registered trademark? This situation is not explicitly addressed by the Trademark Act, but the courts have traditionally held that it does not constitute infringement. However, a recent Supreme Court......
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NAM & NAM | South Korea | 22 Mar 2021

Notable changes to trademark practice

The Korean Intellectual Property Office recently updated the Trademark Examination Guidelines, the Similar Goods Examination Guidelines and the Trademark Act Enforcement Rules. The updates affect, among other things, Class 09 software descriptions and non-traditional and foreign language trademarks. This article summarises the most noteworthy changes.
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NAM & NAM | South Korea | 25 Jan 2021

Patent Court takes issue with ex officio examination of trial request validity

If an invention subject to confirmation is identical to a later-registered patent, a request for a scope confirmation trial will be considered improper as this could result in the later-registered patent's validity being denied without it being subject to an invalidity trial. However, the Patent Court recently ruled that if the IP Trial and Appeal Board ex officio dismisses a scope......
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NAM & NAM | South Korea | 18 Jan 2021

KIPO measures to prevent online counterfeits

According to a Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) press release, the number of reports concerning online counterfeits has increased by 204.4% year-on-year following the increase in online shopping during the COVID-19 pandemic. In response, KIPO has devised a number of measures to more effectively combat the rapidly increasing online distribution of counterfeit products while......
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