South Korea Cho & Partners

Cho & Partners was established in 2002 by Tae-Yeon Cho and Ik-Hyun Seo, who decided to leave a large firm environment to create a more focused, efficient and responsive practice. Based on the reputation and capabilities of its founding members, as well as the established trust and loyalty of their clients, the firm was immediately active in representing multinational clients. These clients are among the most recognised names and leaders in various business sectors, including software and technology, retail, luxury goods and fashion and energy.

Since its establishment, Cho & Partners has continued to grow – a result of the firm’s uncompromising emphasis on maintaining its reputation for the highest levels of service, professionalism and integrity. This philosophy has been essential in developing and servicing the firm’s prestigious list of clients, whose needs are sophisticated and whose matters have a global impact.

Cho & Partners is proud of its approach of nurturing close personal relationships with its clients; this is the foundation of the firm’s ability to know its clients and thus serve their needs more effectively and efficiently.

Areas of practice

Cho & Partners has a strong and diverse practice in all aspects of intellectual property. It is active in both domestic and international prosecution practice for trademarks and patents, as well as related disputes and administrative proceedings. In addition to prosecution matters, the firm and its members have become particularly well known for their capabilities in the areas of litigation, anti-counterfeiting and internet-related matters.

In the area of anti-counterfeiting and enforcement, Cho & Partners has developed a strong reputation for its effective and creative programmes in combating many difficult problems in South Korea. The firm represents many brand owners and manages some of the most active anti-counterfeiting and trademark enforcement programmes in the country.

Cho & Partners is also active in domain name disputes, successfully reclaiming domain name registrations from cybersquatters for trademark owners. Tae-Yeon Cho is an executive member of the Internet Address Dispute Resolution Committee, the government body that administers Korean domain name disputes. In addition, Ik-Hyun Seo serves as a panellist for the World Intellectual Property Organisation with respect to global top-level domain name disputes.

In the area of litigation, Cho & Partners has successfully obtained several landmark decisions for its clients and is at the forefront of new developments in South Korea. As recent examples, in 2009 the firm filed a legal action against the largest online retail platform in Korea for the sale of counterfeits, which was the first such case to be reviewed by the Supreme Court. In 2013 the firm successfully used market survey evidence (still a relatively new practice in Korea) and obtained a decision acknowledging the appearance of a bag from a famous luxury brand as trade dress – a claim which has been acknowledged only very rarely by Korean courts. Further, the firm represented a famous luxury brand against counterfeiters and obtained favourable decisions with damages awards that were the highest ever in connection with counterfeit fashion/luxury goods – approximately $750,000 and $500,000.

Contact details

Cho & Partners
6th and 13th Floors Ann Jay Tower
208 Teheran-ro
Gangnam-gu
Seoul 06220
South Korea

E: ihseo@cholaw.com
T: +82 2 6207 6800
F: +82 2 6207 6801
W: www.cholaw.com

Professional contacts

Ik-Hyun Seo, Partner
E: ihseo@cholaw.com

Tae-Yeon Cho, Partner
E: tycho@cholaw.com

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Issue 70