Amorepacific loses patent case

By Natasha Spencer

- Last updated on GMT

Amorepacific loses patent case
The South Korean giant has lost its cushion compact patent in a three-year-long case against six K-beauty manufacturers.

The Supreme Court has ruled in favour of the group of six K-beauty players, which include Nature Republic, Cosmax and TonyMoly, The Investor revealed​.

Challenging the validity of Amorepacific’s cushion company patent, the companies filed their case in October 2015, citing that the South Korean powerhouse had not met necessary criteria relating to technological advancements to meet the patent requirements.

The case

Amorepacific won the original case in 2015 but this decision was appealed by Cosmax. Following a ruling in February 2018, Amorepacific appealed a Patent Court of Korea ruling stating that the patent was invalid due to a lack of “inventiveness”​.

The Supreme Court rejected its petition on 31st May 2018, ending the three-year struggle between the leading Korean names. Deciding in favour of the six Korean brands, this ruling has stripped the leading company of its celebrated cushion compact patent.

“We accept the court’s decision, and will try to protect the rest of our over 400 patents related to our cushion pact globally from now on,”​ a spokesperson for AmorePacific told The Investor.

Height of success

In 2016, Cosmetics Design Asia reported that sales of Amorepacfici’s cushion compact had reached the “100 million unit milestone”​.

Many brands such as Cosmecca Korea and Kolmar Korea were paying loyalty fees to uses its then patented technique, Korea Joong Gang Daily reveals​.

Amorepacific first launched its cushion compact in 2008 under its IOPE brand. Achieving global popularity, other companies, including cosmetics equipment manufacturer Cosmax then started to produce similar products. Cosmax currently makes its cushion pact for domestic and overseas names. Global names, including L’Oreal, Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent have also created similar items known as cushion compacts, which contain liquid foundation soaked in a compact make up tool. 

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