2/25/2008

Elimination of Automatic Acquisition of a Patent Attorney License for Korean Lawyers

The Legal Times reports, in Korean, that attorneys may no longer be able to use the title "Patent Attorney," but attorneys will still be able to perform patent attorney work if a bill pending at the Legislation Judiciary Committee passes.

The Legal Times reports that:
After a revised bill of the Tax Accountant Act, which eliminates automatic acquisition of a tax accountant license for lawyers, was presented to the Legislation Judiciary Committee, a revised bill of the Patent Attorney Act, having the same contents as the Tax Accountant Act was passed by the Commerce, Industry and Energy Committee and now is waiting deliberation at the Legislation Judiciary Committee.

Especially, because the new president of the Korea Patent Attorneys Association, who was elected on Feb 20. 2008, advocated the bills, patent attorneys are expecting that they are likely to pass.

On the other hand, lawyers understand that "it is reasonable to grant licenses of tax accountants and patent attorneys to lawyers" according to the Act 3 on the Attorney Law. Therefore they are anticipating that even though these bills pass, they will have no effect on lawyers' work.

A person with the Korea Patent Attorneys Association said that "Although the field of lawyers' work won't be curtailed on the basis of the interpretation by the Ministry of Justice, lawyers won't be able to act using a title of patent attorney anymore. And nobody knows whether or not the court would admit the interpretation by the Ministry of Justice."

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SeanHayes@ipglegal.com