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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In Europe, Middle East and Africa, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for seven consecutive years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.

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South Korea > Intellectual property > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

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  1. Intellectual property: local firms
  2. Leading individuals

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Local firms clients in South Korea using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

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Kim & Chang’s substantial practice is a popular choice for international pharmaceutical companies, and in one example, Mee Sung Shim successfully defended Merck Sharp & Dohme in a negative scope confirmation trial relating to the company’s Cancidas patent. The team was also busy across the full range of IP, with practice head Jay Young-June Yang successfully acting for Discovery Communications in the Supreme Court in a cancellation action based on improper use of a trade mark by a Korean individual; and Eui Hwan Kim achieving a favourable result for Slowfood-Korea in a case that determined that a shop’s overall appearance comprises protectable trade dress under the Unfair Competition Prevention and Trade Secret Protection Act 2009. Duck Soon Chang and Sang-Wook Han are also names to note.

Lee & Ko is highly active for patent originators subject to invalidation and scope confirmation challenges, although the team does also represent domestic challengers. Choong Jin Oh and Vera Eun Woo Lee acted for Takoma in patent infringement and invalidation proceedings relating to BASF’s oxime ester photo initiator patents. In other highlights, practice head Young Mo Kwon led a team that successfully defended Kakao in a patent infringement dispute brought by a non-practising entity in the US, and Un Ho Kim assisted LG Household & Health Care with a trade mark infringement action against SM Brand Marketing relating to its SUM trade mark. Managing partner Jae Hoon Kim is another key figure.

Shin & Kim’s practice heads Yong-Ho Moon and Ghyo-Sun Park handled a number of patent disputes for Korean pharmaceutical and technology companies. Park and Bo Kyung Lim successfully defended Hanmi Pharmaceutical against a patent infringement claim brought by Eli Lilly seeking compensation for damages incurred as a result of patent price reduction, and Moon and Lim are representing LMS in a patent infringement and concurrent patent invalidity dispute against 3M arising from the patent for a light management film package. Another name to note is Sang-Hyeok Im, who focuses on resolving disputes concerning media content; Im, Park and Woo-Gyun Kim are representing a number of broadcasters in the Supreme Court in a case to determine whether links to pirated content amount to infringement of copyright.

Yulchon’s ‘very professional and customer-oriented’ practice acts for leading companies from the consumer, electronics, software, chemicals, steel, and pharmaceutical sectors, among others. Practice head Jeong Yeol Choe led a team that successfully acted for Posco in a patent invalidation suit against Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal involving an alloy-coated steel sheet patent, while in the pharmaceutical sector, Choe, senior foreign counsel Samuel Sungmok Lee and Sang Tae Jeong assisted Samsung Bioepis with the invalidation of a method of use patent covering HumiraTM, a biologic sold by AbbVie Biotechnology. In other highlights, Dong Soo Han and Jeong Hoon Hwang represented Playnomore in its successful appeal against a claim brought by Hermès International that alleged the client had copied the design of Hermès’ handbags. Cheol Hwan Kim and Hyeong Joo Lim are highly regarded.

Bae, Kim & Lee LLC’s contentious offering in this space includes a number of former judges, including practice head Taeck Soo Kwon, Myung Kyu Lee and Jung Hi Park, who are particularly strong in representing clients in the pharmaceutical and high-tech industries, and Jihyun Kim and Tae Uk Kang, who focus on trade secrets. Recent work takes in copyright and trade secret mandates, and in one example Kwon and Tae Uk Kang are defending Netmarble Games in a copyright infringement dispute pertaining to the mobile version of the Blue Marble game. On the non-contentious side, In Gi Min, ‘business-minded’ foreign attorney Susan Park, Hoodong Lee and Jihyun Kim are advising The PyeongChang Organizing Committee for the 2018 Olympic & Paralympic Winter Games on IP licensing for the Games. Lee also handles contentious work and is praised for his ‘deep analysis of patent claims and excellent communication skills in English and Japanese’.

Yoon & Yang LLC represents key client SK Innovation in major patent litigation, with practice head Wonil Kim and Sejung Lee successfully defending the client in a patent validity case concerning the manufacturing process for lithium-ion battery separators. In another favourable result, Dong Oh Hong and Chulgun Lim defended CJ CGV in a patent infringement action relating to the company’s method of issuing its CJ One Card. Hong was also active in the trade mark space, where he represented Salvatore Ferragamo in a trade mark infringement action against SD International arising from similar shoe designs. Other noteworthy lawyers include Jeong Gyu Kim, and Kwang-Wook Lee, who was part of a team handling a significant copyright dispute in the book publishing sector.

Lee International IP & Law Group has a strong reputation in the market for representing international companies involved in IP litigation, and the firm benefits from the expertise of its team of sixty patent attorneys. Clients include Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Golf USA and Ikea. Foreign attorney Lance Lee and Dong-Hwan Kim are the main contacts.


Foreign firms

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Foreign firms clients in South Korea using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

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Ropes & Gray LLP’s ‘very responsive team has a keen sense of providing legal advice with a good commercial perspective’. The practice has industry expertise across a range of sectors including technology, chemicals, biochemical, automotive and heavy industry and is proficient at advising on transactional work as well as major litigation. Highlights included acting for Toray Chemical Korea in a trade secret misappropriation criminal investigation instituted by the US Department of Justice, adverse to DuPont, and successfully representing Hanwha Group in a trade mark opposition raised by Invista. The practice is led by William Kim and David Chun and includes counsel Hanyong Lee.

At Paul Hastings LLP, Jong Han Kim represents Korean clients in cross-border patent and trade secret litigation and also advises on global compliance programs. In one standout matter he acted for Kolon Industries in a multibillion-dollar dispute with DuPont over aramid fiber technology, in which DuPont claimed Kolon had stolen crown-jewel trade secret information. Kim was also busy defending a major technology manufacturer on multiple patent infringement cases in the US.

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP developed its practice with the hire of Seong Kim, who joined from Steptoe & Johnson LLP. Kim divides his time between the firm’s California and Seoul offices and specialises in patent and trade secret litigation; in one example of work he is defending Hyundai Mobis in a patent infringement action in Michigan relating to car airbags. Foreign consultant Seth Kim is also noted.


Patents and trade mark attorneys

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Patents and trade mark attorneys clients in South Korea using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE WHO REPRESENTS WHO SITE

The ‘overall level of service is outstanding’ at Kim & Chang, where the team is ‘adept at providing strategies to strengthen a patent portfolio to ensure maximum patent protection for products’. Senior patent attorney Young Kim’s highlights included representing Wyeth in blocking the launch of a generic product by obtaining a sales stay under the patent linkage system from the Ministry of Food & Drug Safety, and successfully acting for F. Hoffmann-La Roche in appealing an earlier invalidity decision relating to a patent covering a biological product. Stand out individuals in the sizeable team include foreign attorney Alex Hyon Cho, who provides ‘very practical advice’ on trade mark and design issues, ‘exceptional’ foreign attorney In Hwan Kim and patent attorney Sang Young Lee. Man Gi Paik leads the patent prosecution practice.

Bae, Kim & Lee LLC’s IP prosecution team represents multinationals from a wide range of technical fields, including engineering, electronics, manufacturing, and pharmaceutical. As well as handling the full range of registration work, including validity and scope proceedings before the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), the team also assists with patent, trade mark and copyright litigation. Patent attorney Catherine Eunkyeong Lee is managing partner of the IP group and leads the chemical, biotechnology and pharmaceutical team. Other names to note include Hoo Dong Lee and Jihyun Kim. Won Hee Cho left the firm.

Lee International IP & Law Group’s substantial team includes patent attorneys, trade mark attorneys, attorneys-at-law, engineers and scientists. The team advised on numerous potential patent, trade mark and copyright infringements, including assisting Lotteria with a review of promotional materials regarding its Pop brands and Hello Kitty, and acting for Wacker Chemical in a patent infringement dispute. Kyoung-Joo Park, who is a patent attorney and an attorney-at-law, is the main contact.

Lee & Ko’s ‘very solution-oriented’ practice is headed by Seong-Ki Kim, who specialises in the field of chemical engineering. Kim and Seong Tahk Ahn, who leads the electrical and mechanical patent prosecution team, advised Universal Display on its acquisition of 1,700 organic light-emitting diode-related patents from BASF and Fujifilm. In the trade mark space, Vera Eun Woo Lee assists multiple Hyundai companies with trade mark registration and management issues. Other names to note are Hui Jin Yang, who leads on pharmaceutical and chemical work, ‘very impressive’ foreign attorney Kevin Lee, who joined from Kim & Chang, and patent attorney Ji- Woong Park, who ‘has great technical knowledge and the ability to instantly spot the crucial issues’.

Y.P. Lee, Mock & Partners’ practice is divided into three specialist teams of patent attorneys, who cover pharmaceutical, mechanics and electronics, and the firm is particularly recommended for its telecoms work. It also has a smaller division that handles trade marks and copyrights. Founding partner Youngpil Lee is the main contact.

Yoon & Leeprovides consistent quality and responsiveness in a large volume of cases’, and is ‘experienced in several technical fields’. As well as advising major Korean electronics companies on global IP issues, it also has a good reputation for assisting Japanese electronics companies with IP work in Korea. Another area of strength is the pharmaceutical and cosmetics sector, and the team was successful in a case before the patent court relating to a patent application for a hair-setting agent with improved durability. Founding partner Dong-yol Yoon, who ‘leads the patent group effectively and efficiently’, ‘has a deep knowledge in the chemical field and is highly experienced in the prosecution of patents before the Korean Patent Office’. Another name to note is Ji-man Park, who has ‘excellent legal and technical knowledge’ of telecoms.

Central Intellectual Property & Law is a specialist IP boutique that handles the full range of non-contentious patent and trade mark work. Hoon Chang is president of the firm.

Cho & Partners is best known for handling anti-counterfeiting matters for major international companies such as Apple and Walmart, and the practice is highly regarded for its work for luxury fashion brands. The active prosecution practice has a focus on trade marks. Name partner Tae-Yeon Cho and Ik-Hyun Seo lead the firm.

Y.S. Chang & Associates is one of the oldest IP firms in South Korea. The firm provides a full range of services regarding patents, trade marks, domain names, designs, copyrights and licenses. Bong-Sig Song is the managing partner.

Yoon & Yang LLC was active on a number of patent invalidation actions in 2016. The practice was strongly enhanced by the hire of Dong Gyou Choi, who previously held the position of commissioner at the KIPO. Wonil Kim heads the team.

You Me Patent & Law Firm enjoys a good reputation for patent and trade mark prosecution work, and the firm acts for multinationals, including Fortune 500 companies, small entities, and individual inventors alike. Managing partners Won-Ho Kim and Joo-Hyun Song are the main contacts.

Yulchon has particular expertise in the healthcare sector where patent attorneys Kyung Ae Yoon and Hyun Sook Han are registered pharmacists; the duo were part of the team that represented Samsung Bioepis before the Korean Intellectual Property Trial and Appeal Board in invalidating a method-of-use patent sold by AbbVie Biotechnology. Other names to note are Seung Jo Kim, Jin Hyung Lee and Myung Hoon Kim.


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