KBK & Associates

KBK & Associates is a full-service IP law firm that employs more than 150 IP professionals and technical specialists with extensive experience in all aspect of intellectual property.

KBK & Associates is widely acknowledged as a leading IP law firm in Korea, as evidenced by its status as number one Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) application filer in Korea for many years.

Firm history

KBK & Associates was established in 1981 as Kims International. The name was changed in 2004 to KBK & Associates to reflect the firm’s widened leadership. A subsidiary company, Patrea, was created in 2005 to offer drawings and annuity services.

KBK is continuously growing; the number of partners (now 15) has increased steadily over the years in order to strengthen the leadership in each practice area.

In 2020 KBK became a professional corporation to increase management transparency and improve services to clients.

Unique features

KBK has been the top PCT filer in Korea for 12 years, which shows that KBK is the most trusted Korean patent firm. In addition to its PCT expertise, KBK also has extensive experience handling foreign filings worldwide. This makes KBK the firm of choice for foreign clients seeking to obtain patent rights in Korea. The firm’s close relationship with the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) and the Intellectual Property Trial and Appeal Board (IPTAB) also places the firm in a position to offer higher probability rate of success in securing rights than other Korean patent firms.

The firm has developed specialised practice areas, each dealing with a specific technical sector. This enables the firm to meet client’s needs very quickly and cost-effectively.

The firm has also developed a successful litigation practice, as well as a patent monetisation practice. For example, KBK won the Supreme Court case of LG Uplus v Seoho Telecom in 2019, which put an end to the longest running dispute in Korean patent history. The firm also played a key role in helping its client become the owner of the most valuable standard-essential patents (SEPs) in the field of mobile communication and digital TV technology.

In order to streamline both its patent prosecution and licensing services, KBK has developed its own IT system, and continues to work on developing tools to enhance its capability.

International outlook

In order to support the firm’s international practice, its professionals are routinely sent abroad to learn different practices and widen the firm’s global network. The firm also operates its own training system to educate young attorneys in specific areas.

A large number of the firm’s professionals have dual qualifications as US attorneys and Korean patent attorneys. The firm also employs a Japanese national licensed to practise in Japan. A large number of KBK professionals are native Chinese speakers, which fosters seamless communication with Chinese clients.

These features all lead to clear and smooth communication with our foreign clients.

Areas of specialism

  • Patent prosecution before KIPO
  • Patent dispute before the Korean IPTAB
  • Patent dispute before the Patent Court of Korea
  • Patent prosecution before WIPO Licensing and monetisation dealing with SEPs
  • Invalidation searches

Contact details

KBK & Associates
82 Olympic-ro
Hyundae Building 7th Floor
Seoul 05556
South Korea

Professional contacts

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