IP Litigation in Korea
DICHOTOMY OF INFRINGEMENT & APPEAL AGAINST IPT’S DECISION
In Korea, IP related cases are handed in two ways. Infringement cases will be reviewed by usual court as a civil action while the Patent Courts reviews an appeal against the rulings and decision rendered by Intellectual Property Tribunal (IPT) as a special administrative lawsuit.
In patent cases, the court decides on whether the decision of the Intellectual Property Tribunal (IPT) on the rights of patent, utility model, design, or trademark is illegal and should be revoked. The IPT makes decisions on legality of refusal to accept an application for patent registration, on invalidation of patent registration, and on affirmation of the scope of a patent right.
The party who is dissatisfied with the decision of the IPT may file a suit seeking to revoke the decision with the Patent Court within 30 days from the date the decision is served. When decision on legality of refusal is challenged, the defendant of a suit shall be the Commissioner of the Korean Intellectual Property Office. When decision on invalidation of patent registration or decision on affirmation of the scope of a patent right is challenged, the defendant of a suit shall be the opposite party in the decision process. On the principle of separation of powers, the Patent Court can only revoke the decision of the IPT and neither permits patent registration of any invention nor invalidate a patent right.