As the Revised Unfair Competition Prevention Act went into effect on June 8, 2022, name and image of famous entertainers and athletes, etc. will now receive protection. Right of Publicity is a bundle of rights to commercially utilize economic values associated with name, image, etc. For example, an act of using name, image, etc. of famous people, such as BTS members, Heung-Min Son, etc., without authorization falls under an act of unfair competition.
A symbol having an economic value that is widely known domestically and can identify a particular person, such as name, image, voice, signature, etc. is designed to be protected by the provisions. In case such a human symbol is used without authorization in a manner in contravention to customs of fair commercial trade or order in competition to infringe upon another’s economic interests, it is recognized as an act of unfair competition.
In case economic damages occur due to use without authorization, the victim may demand compensatory damages and injunction against the act of unfair competition, etc. and may also obtain recommendation and publication of corrective action by the Korea Intellectual Property Office (the “KIPO”) by petitioning the KIPO to conduct an administrative investigation.
The new provisions in the Revised Unfair Competition Prevention Act were prepared with the understanding that the fruits of investment and efforts of those in the entertainment industry, such as image of famous people, should also be protected when our cultural contents, such as BTS, Squid Game, Parasite, etc., are making great advances throughout the international market.
With the new provisions of the Revised Act in effect, realization of effective restraint against acts of unauthorized use of names and images of famous people and sale of unauthorized goods in the fan goods market is expected.
Going forward, when appealing against a decision of rejection by an examiner, the applicant for patent or utility model needs only pay the official fee for rejected claims.
Up to now, the official fee for the entirety of claims has been imposed even in case there are reasons for rejection against only parts of the claims. The revised rule applies to appeals filed on or after June 30, 2022 and lowers the burden on applicants in terms of the official fee for appeals by imposing the official fee only for the rejected claims, not the entirety of claims.
However, when the rejected claims are not indicated on the decision of rejection or when reasons for rejection include reasons other than those against claims (deficiencies in the description of invention, etc.), the official fee will be imposed in the same manner as before.