Trademark Dilution in Korea

Dilution in the U.S. is regulated by the Trademark Act (as revised by the Trademark Dilution Revision Act of 2006).

In Korea, the Unfair Competition Prevention and Trade Secret Protection Act (the “Unfair Competition Act”) does the role. The Act was amended in 2001 to add a provision on dilution. Article 2(1)(a)-(c) provide:

1. The term “unfair competitive act” means the act falling under any of the following items:

(a) An act of creating confusion between one’s own goods and any other person’s goods, by using any one identical with or similar to a name, trade name, trademark, container or package of goods of the other person, or a mark indicating the other person’s goods, which is known to the public in Korea, or by selling, distributing, importing or exporting goods using any of the above enumerated manners;

(b) An act of creating confusion with any other person’s business facilities or activities by using any one identical with or similar to the other person’s name, trade name, or emblem, or other mark indicating the other person’s business which is known to the public in Korea;

(c) Other than the acts of creating confusion under items (a) and (b), an act of damaging the distinctiveness or reputation attached to another person’s sign, identity of mark or the fame of any other person, by using any one identical with or similar to a name, trade name, trademark, or container and package of goods of the other person, or other mark indicating the other person’s goods or business, which is widely known in the Republic of Korea, known to the public in Korea, without any justifiable grounds as prescribed by the Presidential Decree such as non-commercial uses, or by selling, distributing, importing or exporting goods using any of the above enumerated manners;

Article 2(1)(c) does not specifically state the word “dilution,” but it contains phrases definitive of blurring (“damaging the identity of mark”) and tarnishment (“damaging the fame of any other person”).

Compare Article 2(1)(c) of the Unfair Competition Act of Korea with the definitions of ‘dilution by blurring’ and ‘dilution by tarnishment’ under the Trademark Dilution Revision Act of 2006 of the U.S..

`dilution by blurring’ is association arising from the similarity between a mark or trade name and a famous mark that impairs the distinctiveness of the famous mark.

dilution by tarnishment’ is association arising from the similarity between a mark or trade name and a famous mark that harms the reputation of the famous mark.

Tagged , ,

2 thoughts on “Trademark Dilution in Korea

  1. Dram_man says:

    You might want to add that Korean courts tend to be very conservative in applying this part of the Unfair Competition Act. Normally a plaintiff needs to show actual confusion in the marketplace. And damages? Fuggitaboutit!

  2. […] Posts Trademark Dilution in KoreaUnfair Competition Prevention and Trade Secret Protection Act of KoreaKai’s Korean IP Law Firm […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: