The Korean Trademark Act is, often, criticized by scholars and Korean legal practitioners for not being an effective means of enforcing copyrights and for being overly cumbersome. The new changes are a step in the right direction. Korea promulgated on September 1, 2017 the revised Korean Trademark Act.
The following are the major changes.
Any party may file an action to cancel a a trademark for non-use under revised Korean Trademark Law
This change shall, likely, increase the number of litigants. Prior to this change, courts would require litigants to establish that the litigant is an “interested” litigant. The change may cause an increase in litigation.
Effect of Cancellation on the filing date of the non-use action no longer the cancellation decision under revised Korean Trademark Law.
Prior to this change, the effect of cancellation was the date of cancellation decision, thus, limiting potential monetary damages for infringement during the lawsuit. Many interesting cases occurred, because of less than ethical defendants.
Paris Convention Article 6Septies
Korean Trademark Act duplicates the protections afforded under the Paris Convention in regard to the registration of a trademark of a representative or agent of a copyright holder in another nation. Previously, Korea extended the right to sue, only, to representatives and agents. Presently, the right is extended to those with business relations.
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