chapter  24
12 Pages

Protection of famous product configuration mark (Viagra trademark for diamond shape and blue colour) in Korea

WithByungil Kim

The High Court held that the diamond shape with blue colour had become a famous trademark and there is likelihood of confusion about the source of the products, even though there were further trademarks on the surfaces and packages. The legal basis for the protection of well-known marks in Korea is primarily the Trademark Act and supplementarily Unfair Competition Prevention Act, which is available as a means to protect a well-known unregistered mark from those seeking to misappropriate the goodwill associated with that mark. In the present Viagra case, the Supreme Court of Korea has ruled that in spite of massive sales, advertising, and reputation, the shape or colour of certain tablets is simply not perceived as an indicator of source. The Korean Supreme Court reversed the decision by the Appellate Court in favour of Pfizer, and struck down claims of trademark infringement and unfair competition.