The Amended Unfair Competition Prevention and Trade Secret Protection Act - Rules of Domain Name Dispute Resolution -

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Woo, Jong Kyun
Issue Date
BK 21 law
Journal of Korean Law, Vol.4 No.1, pp. 179-195
On December 22, 2003, the Korean National Assembly passed an amendment to the Unfair

Competition Prevention and Trade Secret Protection Act (“UCPA”) for the prevention of domain name cybersquatting. Cybersquatting is generally defined as an act of reserving domain names which are identical or similar to other’s trademarks for the purpose of reselling them to the legitimate owners. Cybersquatting produced a number of dusputes between trademark holders and domain name registrants. In Korea, courts have judged domain name-related disputes under the Trademark Act, the Unfair Competition Prevention Act, the Commercial Act or the Civil Act. However, no definitive legal grounds were provided or established by such Acts for the prevention of domain name cybersquatting.

Thus, the recent UCPA amendments have been designed to establish substantive and definitive legal grounds for preventing domain name cybersquatting. The new Act adds the act of cybersquattimg as an act of unfair competition and provided the defimitiomn of “domain name.” According to the amendments, “bad faith” is a key element for constituting cybersquatting. For the trademark holders, the amendments also allow a claim for the de-registration of domain name at issue for the eventual settlement of such dispute. The amended UCPA also provides for the claims for compensation of damages and recovery of credit as a remedy of domain name cybersquatting just as any other unfair competitive acts. owever, The amended UCPA excludes criminal punishment from domain name cybersquatting unlike other claims for unfair competition. The amended UCPA took effect on July 21, 2004, and it is expected that the rights of the lawful right holder such as a trademark right holder will be efficiently protected in the cyberspace and fair trade will be established therein. However, considering that domain name related disputes are currently a concern, the re-examination of the Trademark Act and its practices should be conducted in order to deal with new issues in the future such as the key word service or Metatag.
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College of Law/Law School (법과대학/대학원)The Law Research Institute (법학연구소) Journal of Korean LawJournal of Korean Law Volume 04 Number 1/2 (2004)
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