A bill to revise the Korean Trademark Act and the Design Protection Act introducing punitive damages for trademark and design infringement was passed by the Korean National Assembly on September 24, 2020. The revised Trademark Act and the revised Design Protection Act will take effect starting in April 2021.
The revised Trademark Act and the revised Design Protection Act will allow a rightful owner to claim punitive damages up to treble the actual damages for willful trademark and design infringement. The punitive damages system for patent infringement introduced to the Patent Act and the Unfair Competition Prevention and Trade Secret Protection Act in 2018 has been extended to trademarks and designs.
In addition, the standard for calculating royalties, which is one of the methods for calculating damages for trademark and design infringement, has been revised from the “generally acceptable amount” to the “reasonably acceptable amount,” thereby raising the standard for the royalties in actual trade, which used to be recognized in precedents.