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  1. Intellectual property – Local firms
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Bae, Kim & Lee LLC’s intellectual property practice is able to draw on the firm’s broad expertise to handle transactions, data protection and privacy, compliance in addition to its core offering in IP prosecution and patent litigation. The practice has notable strengths in contentious matters; Taeck Soo Kwon, Jung Hi Park successfully represented Dongkook Pharmaceutical in a Patent Court appeal seeking to invalidate a patent owned by Novartis. In copyright disputes, Kwon and Tae Uk Kang successfully advised Avocado Entertainment against copyright infringement charges and unfair competition claims filed by a competitor; one of the first major cases to consider whether certain ideas, such as game rules and storylines, can be protected under the Copyright Act and the Unfair Competition Prevention Act. Susan Park and Jihyun Kim are advising Netflix on all aspects of Korean music licensing in preparation for its launch in Korea. Other significant members of the team are Jihyun Kim, Kijoong Kang, Catherine Eunkyeong Lee, and Jihyun Kim.

Jay Young-June Yang leads Kim & Chang’s substantial and prominent IP practice, which remains the ‘top-choice’ for international pharmaceutical companies and international brands; the practice is well known for its strength in litigation and in a recent landmark case, Bo Hyun Park and Duck Soon Chang successfully defended Astellas Pharma against challenges to the patent term extension, the first Korean case in which the court issued specific guidance regarding the proper calculation method for determining the PTE term. Young Kim has an impressive track record in pharmaceutical patent litigation; she and Yu-Seog Won have defended one of Pfizer’s top-selling drugs, Lyrica, in various patent actions against generic companies. Sang-Wook Han is experienced in advising Japanese clients. For trade mark and design matters, Sung-Nam Kim, Ann Nam-Yeon Kwon, Angela Kim and John J Kim all have substantial experience in prosecution, enforcement and portfolio management. In patent litigation, Jong Seok Kim, Bong Seop Kim and Kum Uk Lee successfully represented AT Solutions in invalidating the patents of a competitor.

Lee & Ko’s team of experienced patent attorneys and IP specialists have an impressive track record representing a myriad of patent owners in the electronic, pharmaceutical, mechanical and telecoms sectors in domestic and cross-border litigation. The team’s expertise in trade mark enforcement is demonstrated by Choong Jin Oh, Sun Chang and Vera Eun Woo Lee successfully representing Toms Shoes in an action against Hana INT for trade mark infringement and dealing in counterfeit goods. In licensing and franchising work, Chang is advising Marriott International on all aspects of its business in Korea. Practice co-heads Young Mo Kwon and Un Ho Kim are the names to note for patent infringement and enforcement disputes. Jae Hoon Kim and Choong Jin Oh are also names to note for infringement work. Other key figures for litigation include Seong-Ki Kim, who handles disputes involving technologies of polymorphisms and patent prosecution, while Hyeon Gil Ryoo and Il Hee Bahn have a strong track-record in trademark prosecution, enforcement and portfolio management. Hui Jin Yang counsels clients in the pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and chemical industries.

Shin & Kim has successfully represented Korean pharmaceutical companies including Chong Kun Dang Pharmaceutical and PMG Pharm in several significant patent disputes; the practice also advises clients in the food and drink, cosmetics, tech and financial sectors. Recent highlights include Ghyo-Sun Park and Bo Kyung Lim acting for Chong Kun Dang Pharmaceutical Corporation in the successful reversal of a Trial and Appeals Board's decision, enabling their client to launch a generic drug. Lim also successfully represented Oilily World and Lady M Confections in a licensing and trade mark infringement case. Commercial litigators Yong-Ho Moon and Yoon Hee Kim are experienced in handling trade mark disputes, while Sang-Hyeok Im is recommended for media and copyright-related matters.

Yoon & Lee boasts an impressive roster of Korean and international pharmaceutical, cosmetics and electronic sector clients. The practice is comprised of experienced patent attorneys and former Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) examiners. Founder and managing partner Dong-yol Yoon leads the team which includes Ji-man Park, whose focus is in the field of electronics, semiconductors, IT and communication, and Byeong-ok Song who specialises in electrical and mechanical engineering and optics. In trade mark and designs, Sang-Yong Lee advises on registrations, portfolio management, opposition and prosecutions, while Seong-hwan Park is recommended biotechnology-related matters.

Yulchon's Jeong Yeol Choe frequently leads counsel in significant cases; alongside Cheol Hwan Kim and Hyeong Joo Lim, he successfully represented Celltrion against Roche before the Supreme Court in three separate patent invalidation and infringement actions concerning the client's patent. The team also handles IP disputes for international electronic conglomerates; Dong Soo Han and Jeong Hoon Hwang acted for Samsung Electronics in a dispute concerning semiconductors; Han and Kee Jeong Kim advised Hewlett-Packard Korea on a cross-border software copyright dispute. Han and Hwang also represent Kumkang Shoes in a trade mark infringement appeal and unfair competition claims. Senior foreign counsel Samuel Sungmok Lee is highly recommended for technology, electronics and licensing matters, as is Lim for trade secret disputes. Yong Min Lee and is also a name to note for copyright and cross-border IP enforcement.

Tae-Yeon Cho and Ik-Hyun Seo, founding partners of specialist IP boutique Cho & Partners, are instructed by well-known multinational companies in the luxury fashion, automotive, food and drink, and technology sectors to work across the gamut of IP-related matters. The practice is particularly known for anti-counterfeiting matters and trade mark prosecution.

Dong-Hwan Kim is a key member of Lee International IP & Law Group's litigation team; he assisted a multinational furniture retailer in copyright infringement proceedings against a Korean retailer and regularly advises leading Korean entertainers, broadcasters, and entertainment agencies on IP licensing and transactional matters. Seung-Hun Lee is defending a beverage manufacturer against copyright infringement and unfair competition claims.

Yoon & Yang LLC’s impressive client roster includes SK Innovation, Amazon, BMW and L’Oréal. Practice head Wonil Kim is experienced across patents, trade marks and trade secrets, while Dong Oh Hong and Keun Woo Lee focus on IP-related disputes. A cross-departmental team successfully defended Kumho Petrochemical in a trade mark registration appeal. Sungkwan Cho and Young Joo Song have also obtained favourable results for Easy Works and MCM Holding in persuading the Intellectual Property Trial and Appeal Board and KIPO to dismiss the registration of a new patent and trade mark filings respectively.

Jipyong handles the full-spectrum of IP-related matters, including application and registration of rights, copyrights and trade marks, licensing, trade secrets and representation in infringement disputes. Chang Ik Sung represented an employer in a claim for work-for-hire compensation involving image sensor packaging, as well as in patent invalidation and infringement proceedings.   Seung Soo Choi focuses on advising IT companies and start-ups on copyright, trade secrets and patents.

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