Sughrue Hosts Seminar at Embassy of Republic of Korea

KAIPBA (Korean-American Intellectual Property Bar Association, president: Ms. Sunny Lee, Sughrue Mion PLLC) held a special lecture seminar at the Korean Cultural Center Washington D.C. on Wednesday, May 7, 2014. The special lecture seminar was sponsored and supported by the Korean Embassy Washington D.C.

The special program was a part of the KAIPBA bimonthly seminar and Mr. Ho-young Ahn, the Excellency Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to the United States and a guest speaker, Mr. Randall R. Rader, the Honorable Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit shared their thoughts with the audience, who are mostly the Korean American intellectual property practitioners.

Ambassador Ahn, in his greeting and opening speech, recalled his time working as the Counselor of the South Korean delegation to the OECD and explained how the international IP system has evolved via several international treaties. In addition, Ambassador Ahn highlighted the importance of IP policy and welcomed Judge Rader's lecture.

Judge Rader, who opened his talk by mentioning his recent visit to Korea during the International Judicial Program in last October, talked patent troll problems and suggestions to solve the problems. As a believer that patent protection promotes innovations and technology developments, Judge Radar views the problems associated with the patent trolls (e.g., sending mass threatening letters to retailers and solicit settlements or licensing fees which is far less than the actual litigation expenses) from the economic standpoint. He identified two sources of the patent troll-related problems: utterly expensive US litigation costs which mostly attributed to massive discovery procedure and an inflated assessed value of patented technology due to lack of public information on the actual value of the technology at the transactions. He viewed solutions to these two problems would address concerns about the patent-troll. He also indicated that legislative approach targeting patent trolls, for example litigation fee shifting to a losing party, would not be a good solution because judges should made a decision based on the merits and facts, not by characteristics of litigants (e.g., patent troll is defined as an entity which does not manufacture a goods, but exercises patent rights for monetary gains) and any abusive litigation should be determined by conducts of litigants, but not by characteristics of the litigants. Judge concluded his lecture emphasizing that not only judges but also patent practitioners are responsible for and should play a role in solving the problems.

KAIPBA special lecture was a great success with over 70 attendees from diverse intellectual property fields. After the lecture, there was a networking session with food and coffee, provided by the Korean Embassy.