Lee & Ko

South Korea

Hanjin Building
63 Nandaemun-ro, Jung-gu
South Korea


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Founded in 1977, Lee & Ko is a premier full-service law firm in Korea. With more than 800 professionals organized into 80 specialized teams, Lee & Ko is consistently ranked in the top tier in all of its leading practice areas by international publications. Lee & Ko’s foreign and domestic clients benefit from its incomparable breadth and depth of resources, experience and professionalism.

With more than 100 seasoned patent and trademark attorneys, Lee & Ko’s IP group delivers superior legal services focused on helping clients to navigate the complex legal landscape by providing practical and effective solutions. The IP group is dedicated to the protection, transfer, counselling and enforcement of IP rights. With unrivalled experience in advising and representing clients in cross-border patent/trademark disputes and IP prosecution, the IP group has a global reach and is consistently ranked in top-tier categories for intellectual property by numerous global law firm evaluators, including the Legal 500, Asialaw Profiles (Euromoney), Chambers & Partners, IAM, WTR, and Managing Intellectual Property.

Patent prosecution and patent office trials

The IP group assists clients in multiple industry sectors, including biotechnology, specialty chemicals, semiconductors, materials science, electronics, mechanical, pharmaceuticals, telecoms and computer software. The IP group’s patent attorneys have significant experience litigating before the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) in invalidity and scope confirmation actions and freedom-to-operate analysis. The breadth and scope of their experience allow the IP group’s patent attorneys to create robust patents by evaluating patent applications during preparation, filing and prosecution with a critical eye towards enforcement. The combined prosecution, transactional and litigation experience enables the IP group’s patent attorneys to ensure that clients develop valuable patent portfolios which offer the broadest protection while ensuring patent validity and enforceability.

Patent litigation, enforcement and dispute resolution

Success in any litigious matter can mean many things. However success is defined, the IP group produces results for its clients. The IP group understands that clients need a trial team with substantial technical and scientific knowledge, but also substantive knowledge of the law and the rules and procedures governing legal proceedings. Many of the IP group’s litigators have strong technology related backgrounds and skills which cover a wide range of technical fields. The IP group also includes litigators who were former judges specializing in IP law and IP cases while serving on the Supreme Court, the Patent Court or the Seoul High Court, as well as former examiners and administrative law judges from the KIPO. When criminal issues arise, the IP group works closely with attorneys in Lee & Ko’s white collar crime group who formerly served as public prosecutors. Complemented by insight received from senior lead litigators, many of whom have 20 to 30 years’ trial experience, and seasoned foreign legal counsels, the IP group is in a unique position to create an effective trial team that can provide comprehensive legal services framed by technical, strategic, judicial, administrative and international perspectives.

Patent development and counselling

The IP group assists clients in developing and deploying a portfolio of strategic IP assets. Beyond the knowledge of IP matters and underlying technology, the IP group is fully aware that a key component to the success of any client includes the strategic use and licensing of its IP portfolio. The IP group has unrivalled experience in negotiating licensing, distribution and joint venture agreements covering all areas of intellectual property. Besides licence negotiation and drafting, the IP group provides counselling for clients on licensing strategies, IP-related competition law issues and strategic product development and distribution.

Trademark prosecution and portfolio management

Lee & Ko offers strategic counselling, trademark prosecution and portfolio management services to clients around the world. Through its network of international law firms, Lee & Ko currently advises numerous multinational and Korean clients across various industries on trademark prosecution matters in more than 50 countries.

IPTAB practice

Lee & Ko has decades of trademark litigation experience before the Korean Intellectual Property Trial and Appeals Board (IPTAB) and has successfully represented multinational clients as part of its worldwide campaigns involving a series of IPTAB actions. Lee & Ko provides positive results but also coordinates legal strategy with other disputes pending around the world.

Comprehensive judicial enforcement of trademark and related rights

Lee & Ko’s trademark team provides comprehensive enforcement solutions by integrating its investigations, enforcement and regulatory teams. Experienced Lee & Ko attorneys in both civil and criminal litigation formulate the best enforcement strategies tailored to each client’s unique circumstances and needs.

Lee & Ko’s team works closely with its criminal practice team to instigate criminal proceedings when appropriate and to gather evidence that may be used to later establish civil liability and support any damages claims. This approach is critical because there is no practical means of civil discovery in Korea. Lee & Ko’s attorneys based in Korea, China and Vietnam provide monitoring services on the production and distribution of infringing goods and counterfeits in these countries and other nearby regions. Lee & Ko’s Chinese and Vietnamese lawyers also provide legal expertise in the relevant local laws.

Customs and border management

Lee & Ko’s trademark team is experienced in pursuing customs and border protection measures when appropriate. These may be pursued along with civil and criminal litigation under the Trademark Act and the Unfair Competition Act. Numerous Lee & Ko professionals have extensive experience working with the Korean customs authorities and former high-ranking officials who provide invaluable insight on this issue.

Lee & Ko’s highest priority is to build lasting relationships with clients by being responsive to each client’s specific needs. The firm has a well-earned reputation for successfully handling landmark matters in many of the most important transactions and cases involving business both in Korea and worldwide. Lee & Ko’s fully integrated team of legal experts – with specialties including tax, fair trade law, antitrust and competition matters, criminal enforcement and defense, as well as corporate practice – is well-suited to protect clients’ trademarks, brands and worldwide reputations.