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NAM & NAM dates back to the very beginnings of Korean IP. Founded in 1952, we have the longest history in the Korean IP field, and are conveniently…
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NAM & NAM | South Korea | 1 Aug 2022

KIPO publishes examination guidelines for virtual goods

Unsurprisingly, given the fast-growing awareness of the metaverse and its implications for brand owners, the Korean IP Office (KIPO) has seen a sharp hike in the number of trademark applications covering virtual goods. Reacting to this trend, KIPO has issued new examination guidelines for trademark applications covering virtual goods to prevent applicants' confusion and improve examination......
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NAM & NAM | South Korea | 6 Jun 2022

Easier restoration of IP rights

Compared with other systems around the world, South Korean IP laws have traditionally applied strict standards for the restoration of IP rights. However, recent revisions have relaxed these requirements, shifting the acceptable standard from "unavoidable reasons" to "justifiable reasons". While it is certainly a positive development that the South Korean IP office is being more lenient in its......
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NAM & NAM | South Korea | 18 Apr 2022

Judgment concerning infringement of neighbouring rights holder's reproduction rights

This article discusses a decision relating to infringement of the reproduction rights of a record producer with neighbouring (related) rights in copyright works. It highlights the wholly different rights that multiple parties can have in a work, and serves as a reminder that reproduction rights are limited where neighbouring rights are involved. Infringement is a distinct possibility, even......
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NAM & NAM | South Korea | 10 Jan 2022

Designs troubled by trademarks

Designs that are liable to create confusion over articles connected with another party's business cannot be registered and shall be invalidated if granted. Here, a question arises as to whether a likelihood of confusion requires that there be similarity between the design article and the designated goods of the trademark. The Patent High Court recently found that such similarity is not......
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NAM & NAM | South Korea | 3 Jan 2022

Revisions to South Korean Patent Act in effect from April 2022

Various revisions to the Patent Act will take effect in April 2022. The revisions meaningful to foreign applicants include an extension of the period for requesting trial or re-examination in response to a final rejection, the possibility to request re-examination along with an amendment to the claims after allowance, the introduction of a "split application" and the easing of the......
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NAM & NAM | South Korea | 22 Nov 2021

Internet links can lead to copyright infringement

The Supreme Court recently ruled on a copyright case, acknowledging that the defendant's act of linking to an uploaded copyright video work from their site, without the permission of the copyright holder, was an act of infringement. The Court previously denied infringement claims in relation to acts of linking to copyright material. This article looks at what has changed.
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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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