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Newsletter 2018-Autumn

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General topics

Relaxation of the Requirement for a Power of Attorney from Foreign Legal Entity

The Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) announced that the procedure for filing a Power of Attorney has been simplified to make it easier for foreign legal entities to file applications for patents, trademarks, etc. in Korea.  The KIPO implemented the simplified procedure as of August 10, 2018.   Previously, a Power of Attorney from a foreign legal entity was generally req...

Patent

A Korean Patent Management Company, “KDB Fund,” Files Infringement Lawsuit Against Apple

It was confirmed that a Korean patent management company acquired the individual technologies of Pantech, a Korean mobile phone company, and filed patent infringement lawsuits against Apple with the Seoul Central District Court.  Korea Development Bank Infra IP Capital Fund (KDB fund) is Korea's first patent management company fund, which was established with the investment of KRW 50 billi...

Global ICT Companies Compete for Dominance in Bio-recognition Patents

As bio-recognition technologies surfaced as a new prospective industry of the future, the competition between global Information Communication Technology (ICT) companies for dominance of related technology patents has officially begun.  While Samsung Electronics is in the lead, US companies, such as Intel, Qualcomm, and Microsoft are catching up, and are generally ahead of Korean and Japan...

Recent Decision Providing a Flexible Standard for Determining the Inventive Step of a Selection Invention

Under Korean practice, a selection invention is an invention essentially comprising a species, which is selected from a broad genus in the prior art and is not directly disclosed in the prior art.With respect to the inventive step of a selection invention, the Supreme Court has previously held: “A selection invention can be acknowledged to have an inventive step if it produces a superior effect...

Applications for Protection of New Varieties of Plants Rise Steadily

The Korea Seed & Variety Service (KSVS) announced that a total of 9,923 applications for protection of new varieties of plants were filed in Korea as of June 2018, and 7,294 cases among them were registered for protection.  The KSVS also said that the number of applications has been slowly increasing each year, particularly, applications for flowers.  According to statistical data...

Trademark

The Mark “GLIATAMIN” is Dissimilar to the Prior-Registered Mark “GLIATILIN”

FactITALFARMACO S.P.A. (“Plaintiff”), which is an Italian pharmaceutical company, filed an invalidation action against the registered mark “” (“Defendant’s Mark”) which is owned by Daewoong Bio Inc. (“Defendant”) with the Intellectual Property Trial and Appeal Board (IPTAB).  In the invalidation action, the Plaintiff argued that the Defendant’s Mark is confusingly similar to the prior-regi...

The Mark “AMERICAN UNIVERSITY” Created a New Distinctiveness with Respect to the Services “University Education”

FactAmerican University (“Applicant”) filed an application to register the mark “” (“Subject Mark”) with respect to the services “university education, teaching,” etc. with the KIPO.  However, the KIPO refused the Subject Mark on the basis that the element “AMERICAN” is a conspicuous geographical indication and the element “UNIVERSITY” is merely descriptive of the designated services. ...

General law

Supreme Court Orders Confiscation of 191 Bitcoins Obtained as Proceeds of Crime

The rise of bitcoin and other virtual currencies, and their potential for use in money laundering of criminal proceeds and other illegal activities, has presented novel challenges to the legal system in many countries around the world.  Now the Supreme Court of Korea has ruled, for the first time, that bitcoin is subject to seizure as the proceeds of crime.The Supreme Court rendered its fi...

International Division of Patent Court Will Hear its First Case in English

The International Division of the Patent Court will hear its first case conducted in the English language.  Under this new procedure, Blue Scope Steel Ltd., an Australian steel company, requested the Patent Court to permit hearings in English in its appellate procedure of the IPTAB Decision (Patent Court Case No. 2017Heo3720).  On July 20, 2018 the Patent Court approved the reque...

Lee news

NEW Members

Patrick J. Monaghan, Attorney at Law Patrick Monaghan is a senior foreign attorney, serving of counsel to Lee International.  Mr. Monaghan advises international and domestic clients on a variety of issues, including tech transactions, mergers & acquisitions, software licensing, data privacy, venture capital, private equity, corporate governance and labor and employment.In addition...

Lee International, Recognized as an Excellent Law Firm in 2018 Asia IP Patent Survey

Lee International has been recognized as one of the Tier 1 law firms in the category of “Prosecution” and as one of the Tier 2 law firms in the category of “Contentious Work” in 2018 Asia IP Patent Survey.  Asia IP is a legal magazine published by a Hongkong media group called “Apex Asia Media Limited,” which provides vital information and an extensive range of in-depth news to internation...

Continued Support by Lee International to Hearing-Impaired Children

For many years, Lee International has been supporting hearing-impaired children through the Snail of Love, a social welfare organization providing financial assistance for the costs of cochlear implant and hearing aids to the hearing-impaired and engaging in various activities to raise public awareness.  The Snail of Love announced on the 27th of August that a boy named Samuel from Hondura...