28 October 2019TrademarksSaman Javed

South Korean TMs involved in more than 1,000 infringement cases: KIPO

There were more than 1,000 cases of infringement of South Korean trademarks overseas in the first seven months of this year, the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) has said.

In a statement today, October 28, the KIPO said South Korean trademarks being used without authorisation were the subject of 1,140 cases across 62 countries worldwide.

The results come from the findings of a survey of the World Intellectual Property Organization’s global trademark database by the KIPO.

According to the office, infringement of South Korean marks was most common in ASEAN countries, with 594 of the cases taking place in eight countries in the region, including 204 in Indonesia, 116 in Thailand, and 83 in Singapore.

By industry, the majority of the infringed trademarks were from the electronics industry (361), followed by cosmetics (121), food (103) and clothing (82).

The KIPO said it plans to issue a set of guidelines, instructing companies how to look up trademarks overseas and to respond to potential damages.

Last year, the KIPO announced that it would impose harsher punishments for IP infringement, following the passing of legislative amendments by the Korean Parliament.

In particular, the office would introduce increased “punitive damages” for international patent and trade secret infringement, as reported by WIPR.

Under the revised laws, those who knowingly infringe another party’s trade secrets or protected patents will be liable for up to three times the amount determined as damages.

According to KIPO’s statement, the average value of damages awarded in patent infringement cases in South Korea is 60 million won (US$ 53,122).

But, the KIPO said this was an insufficient disincentive from knowingly infringing another party’s IP.

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