South Korea

Vodka wars, a crackdown on squatters and more: Asia-Pacific Legal Updates you may have missed

WTR’s Legal Updates are written by a select panel of over 160 leading experts who analyse the latest trademark-related developments and decisions in more than 60 jurisdictions.

Vodka wars, a crackdown on squatters and more: Asia-Pacific Legal Updates you may have missed
Register Tracker: Asia
21 Jun 2021

Register Tracker: Asia

China dominates this landscape with local brand owners active at home and in neighbouring countries.

South Korea reports record trademark applications; Selfridges for sale; Right Guard under new ownership – news digest
15 Jun 2021

South Korea reports record trademark applications; Selfridges for sale; Right Guard under new ownership – news digest

In our latest round-up, we look at OpSec Security introducing a new integrated authentication label, the Portuguese IP office launching an anti-counterfeiting site for kids, and much more.

Latest

View all
16 Sep 2021

Partial design applications becoming more popular in South Korea

The steady increase in applications over the past 10 years (particularly by major domestic and foreign companies) suggests that the partial design system has been a useful tool for companies seeking to strengthen their design competitiveness. Read more

2 Jul 2021

Italian fashion brand recovers trademark rights in South Korea

Italian fashion company Alviero Martini, which is well known for its original products bearing a map logo sold under the mark 1A CLASSE, has successfully challenged a Korean business that was imitating its trademarks and overall business concept. Read more

26 May 2021

Supreme Court confirms that use of later-registered mark can infringe earlier-registered mark in landmark decision

As a result of this decision of the Korean Supreme Court, it is now possible for a senior trademark owner to directly assert its trademark rights against the owner of a later-filed trademark in the courts, without having to first invalidate the later-filed trademark. Read more

14 May 2021

Data highlights South Korea’s trademark ecosystem as one that is heavily utilised by local brands

The Asian Tiger is known for being an innovation powerhouse, but data analysis shows it isn’t all about the patents. Read more

Anti-Counterfeiting

View all
16 Oct 2020

Korean IP Office counterfeit crackdown; Trump fakes memo; Trinidad and Tobago joins Madrid System – news digest

In our latest round-up, we look at Nestle beginning a water brands sale, the Pakistan IP Office publishing a list of prospective geographical indications, and much more. Read more

13 Oct 2020

Victory for Hermès as court rules that teaching how to fabricate fakes may constitute unfair competitive act

This groundbreaking decision of the Seoul District Court substantially broadens the scope of acts that may be considered unfair competition in Korea. Read more

3 Aug 2020

Landmark Supreme Court decision applies catch-all provision to sale of luxury goods

The South Korean Supreme Court has, for the first time, applied the "catch-all" provision of the Unfair Competition Prevention and Trade Secret Protection Act to the sale of imitation luxury fashion goods. Read more

17 Feb 2020

More encouraging news for owners of products with famous shapes: district court recognises distinctive nature of Chanel bags

A recent decision of the Seoul Central District Court in a case involving lookalike Chanel bags should encourage owners of products with famous shapes to consider taking more forceful steps to stop the sales of lookalikes in Korea. Read more

Brand management

View all
2 Mar 2021

IP Hall of Fame nominations open; USPTO reflects on future of designs; Philip Morris prevails in Korea – news digest

In our latest round-up, we look at Mr Potato Head going gender neutral, Beyond Meat signing new licensing deals, Pink Lady owner defending its trademark, and much more Read more

3 Apr 2020

Samsung knows how to stand out from the crowd, and this is key to building its brand equity

The company has survived ups and downs with relative ease by focusing on its core values of quality and innovation. Read more

1 Apr 2020

Supreme Court holds that first sale doctrine still applies to sales of goods in violation of sales restrictions in licence agreement

In a blow for licensors in South Korea, the Supreme Court has held that a distributor which sold products that it believed to have been lawfully obtained from a trademark licensee was not criminally liable for trademark infringement. Read more

27 Feb 2020

How intellectual property transformed the e-sports industry: interview with Fnatic’s Andrew Cooke

In a conversation with WTR, Andrew Cooke, general counsel of e-sports team Fnatic, reveals that an entire generation of e-sports athletes are waking up to the power of their IP as brands race to catch up with this rapidly evolving consumer market. Read more

Enforcement and Litigation

View all
8 Jan 2021

P&G's PITERA mark is famous, says Patent Court

In a victory for The Procter & Gamble Company, the Patent Court of Korea has held that the PITERA mark is famous in South Korea, independently from the SK-II brand. Read more

3 Jun 2020

Supreme Court establishes criteria for application of UCPA’s ‘catch-all’ provision

Recent decisions of the Korean Supreme Court relating to K-pop and golf have shed light on the criteria that right holders must fulfil in order to seek redress under the ‘catch-all’ provision of the Unfair Competition Prevention and Trade Secret Protection Act. Read more

11 Feb 2020

USPTO protest letter passes 80 signatories; KIPO face mask warning; Inter Milan scores win – news digest

In our latest round-up, we look at the Benelux IP Office adding its trademark image data to the EUIPO’s TMview platform, Greece being identified as a transit point for counterfeit cosmetics, and much more. Read more

4 Feb 2020

Super Bowl counterfeit crackdown; BTS trademark blocked; Pelton scammer stunt – news digest

In our latest edition, we look at the Cyprus government re-securing a HALLOUMI trademark, another call for unhealthy food plain packaging, the UKIPO’s Cardiff office closing, and much more. Read more

Government/Policy

View all
5 Mar 2021

Philip Morris Korea win highlights importance of royalties documents

Trademark experts explain the importance of distinguishing the kinds of intellectual property that royalty payments are for when importing raw materials into South Korea. Read more

26 Oct 2020

Innovation at the Korean Intellectual Property Office: spotlight on cutting-edge tools and services

In an exclusive guest post, the new commissioner of the Korean Intellectual Property Office, Kim Yong-Rae, reveals the agency’s innovative non-core tools and services for trademark users – and those planned for the future. Read more

4 Nov 2019

KIPO’s crackdown on Korean copycats and what it means for foreign brands

A Korean government crackdown on alleged copycat brands has seen two businesses have offices shut down, and product seizures in shops operating overseas. WTR consulted Korean practitioners to ascertain how foreign brands need to adapt to stay safe of the campaign. Read more

29 Oct 2019

UKIPO postpones Brexit work, Canada plain packaging and KIPO warns of trademark squatters: news digest

In our latest round-up, we look at INTA bringing the Unreal Campaign to Lima, the UAE IP office forgoing certain fees, Stan Lee’s daughter suing POW! Entertainment, and much more. Read more

Law Firms

View all
28 Aug 2020

Economies are battered but many major offices set for record trademark numbers

As the data continues to be updated, we are able to get a better understanding of the extent of the coronavirus’ impact on the trademark ecosystem. Read more

15 Oct 2019

KIPO warns of Brexit damage, fake water filters, and call for fast-food packaging regulations: news digest

In our latest round-up, we look at Saks partnering with Authentic Brands to acquire Barneys, the Consortium for Common Food Names being granted observer status at WIPO, the UKIPO publishing advice on IP rights after Brexit, and much more. Read more

10 Sep 2019

Jack Ma steps down from Alibaba, KIPO holds IP festival, and flea market fakes: news digest

In our latest edition, we look at New Zealand joining TMclass, the Singapore IPO bolstering innovation ties with Kazakhstan, a GI deal between Switzerland and Georgia coming into force, and much more. Read more

10 May 2019

Scotch Whisky in Korea, Pakistan IPO tackles fakes, and Samsung domain: news digest

In our latest round-up, we look at applications rising at the Philippines IP Office, a perfume trademark battle, a debate over whether the Wikipedia brand has been tarnished by WikiLeaks, and much more. Read more

IP Offices

View all
29 Apr 2021

Exclusive roundtable – IP offices reveal how covid-19 could shape future operations

The Long Read: As remote working has become du jour for many, WTR asks the IP offices of Canada, the European Union, Singapore, South Korea and the United Kingdom to reflect on the ups and downs of operating during a global pandemic – and what might remain of the systems developed over the past year. Read more

12 Mar 2021

New KIPO examination standards to assess similarity of software-related goods and services

The Korea Intellectual Property Office’s amended guidelines intend to reflect more adequately the increasing complexity and diversity of software-related products, and thus allow applicants to secure registrations more easily. Read more

21 Sep 2020

China eclipses United States in latest Asia-Pacific filing figures – with Alibaba top of the pile on home turf

WTR crunches the numbers at the leading Asia-Pacific trademark offices to reveal the extent of China’s emergence as a regional superpower, with Alibaba leading the way among both agent and corporate filers at its home registry. Read more

9 Sep 2020

The rise of K-beauty trademark filings

Trademark applications for cosmetics in Korea have increased by approximately 39.6% between 2014 and 2019, reflecting the rising global popularity of Korean products in general, including K-beauty, K-pop and K-dramas. Read more

Online

View all
31 May 2019

KIPO launches all-women anti-counterfeiting group, Make Canada Great Again suit, and cannabis brands: news digest

In our latest news digest, we look at an anti-monopoly committee in Uzbekistan clamping down on a Coca-Cola copy, the BBC drawing ire for perceived slogan nabbing, and much more. Read more

14 Sep 2018

Saudi Arabia to adopt plain packaging, T-ara resolve trademark dispute, and ICANN needs your feedback on RPMs: news round-up

In our latest round-up, we look at the US brands with the most loyal customers, 7-Eleven taking a menswear brand to court for alleged trademark infringement, and much more. Read more

10 Aug 2018

Trademark "reveals" Star Trek series name, T-ARA denied, and PewDiePie responds to “fake” sponsorship: news round-up

In our latest round-up, we look at a call to boycott a Hawaiian food chain over trademark enforcement, an analysis of cutting-edge technologies being developed in the fight against counterfeit food, and much more.

Read more

27 Oct 2017

KIPO calls out Chinese plagiarism, USPTO rule making, reality show trademark protection and pugs in Prada: news round-up

In our latest round-up, we look at the fallout from Kid Rock’s latest tour announcement, how the Korean IP Office is speaking out on behalf of domestic brands, and much more. Read more

Portfolio Management

View all
7 Apr 2020

Expedited examination of trademark filings now easier to request

The Korean Intellectual Property Office is now allowing requests for expedited examination as long as the applicant pays for a prior trademark search. It is expected that requests for expedited examination will rise as a result. Read more

20 Feb 2020

Newly-amended examination guidelines include detailed standards for reviewing secondary meaning

The Korean Intellectual Property Office’s amended trademark examination guidelines, which came into effect on 1 January 2020, provide specific criteria for determining whether a mark has acquired secondary meaning. Read more

29 Nov 2019

Recent design law changes: key points highlighted

The Enforcement Regulation of the Korean Design Protection Act has recently been amended. This update summarises some of the more notable changes. Read more

29 May 2019

Good news for joint trademark owners in South Korea

As of 24 October 2019, any one of the joint owners of a trademark in South Korea will be able to file a request for the renewal of the mark. This amendment to the Trademark Act is meant to ease the burden placed on joint trademark owners. Read more

Trademark law

View all
5 Sep 2018

Supreme Court rules that AMERICAN UNIVERSITY trademark is inherently distinctive

In a notable decision, Korea’s Supreme Court has ruled that the mark AMERICAN UNIVERSITY was sufficiently distinctive among South Korean consumers to be registered in connection with university education services. Read more

25 Jun 2018

Franchise founders criminally indicted for failure to transfer trademarks to franchises

Following a lengthy investigation, the Seoul District Prosecutors’ Office has issued criminal felony indictments against the individual founders of several Korean franchise businesses, charging them with breaches of trust.

Read more

8 Jun 2018

South Korea rockets to top of customs ranking; illicit trade report reveals countries that need to do more

The Global Illicit Trade Environment Index scores 84 economies on the extent that they enable or prevent illicit trade. The report contains useful insights on the anti-counterfeiting landscape.

Read more

30 Apr 2018

Good news for service providers? Amendment to UCPA provides that their trade dress is protected

An important amendment to South Korea’s Unfair Competition Prevention and Trade Secret Protection Act, which will come into effect in July 2018, clarifies that the trade dress of service providers is protected under the act.

Read more