Under the Unfair Competition Prevention and Trade Secret Protection Act ("the UCPA"), unregistered source identifiers may be protected so long as the source identifier is widely recognized and has become well-known or famous (i.e., more than well-known) in Korea. Examples of possible source identifiers include names, trade names, trademarks, containers, product form, and product packaging. The UCPA can also offer protection for intellectual property not traditionally recognized under the IP laws, such as (i) damage done to distinctiveness or reputation of a third party’s identification marks or source identifiers and (ii) copying of a third party’s product configuration. If properly utilized, the UCPA can be an effective tool for protecting unregistered well-known/famous source identifiers, such as product names, brand names, outer appearances and designs.
Yulchon's IP Group has successfully represented and advised clients in numerous legal disputes relating to unfair competition, including civil claims for infringement, damages, and injunctive relief (preliminary as well as permanent), and criminal cases. Based on such experience, the IP Group is able to clearly advise the client on how to maximize protection of the client’s unregistered, intellectual property rights (e.g. identification mark or source identifier), as well as defend against improper assertions of unfair competition.
Major Practice Areas
- Civil litigation and injunctive relief (permanent/preliminary) against acts of unfair competition.
- Criminal litigation relating to acts of unfair competition.
- Countermeasures against acts of unfair competition by third parties.
- Improper assertions of unfair competition.
- Advise on negotiation and settlement of unfair competition claims.
- Advise on alleged violations of the UCPA and the Trademark Act for unregistered source identifiers, including product packaging and product configuration.
- Advise on strategies for protecting unregistered source identifiers including product packaging.
- Represented Samsung Electronics in a dispute with Apple relating to allegations of patent and design infringement, and unfair competition.
- Represented Danone in a dispute with a Korean company relating to unfair competition.
- Represented Oracle in unfair competition litigation between a Korean company and Oracle.
- Represented KT in litigation relating to unfair competition involving a product mark.
- Represented CJ Cheiljedang in litigation relating to unfair competition involving product packaging.
- Represented Newspaper Company “S” in litigation relating to unfair competition involving trade name.
- Represented Locus in a preliminary injunction action filed against Locus for copyright infringement and unfair competition relating to a rabbit character.
- Advised a foreign automotive company regarding legal issues, including trademark infringement and unfair competition.
- Advised large distributors and importers in relation to parallel imports.