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April 26, 2014

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SKorean cosmetic chain sues local firm

MEDIPARTNER Co Ltd, a South Korean plastic surgery and dentistry clinic chain, is demanding 2 million yuan (US$319,805) in compensation from a local plastic surgery company for false advertising and trademark infringement.

Medipartner told the Minhang District People’s Court yesterday that Yestar, a local plastic surgery company, was its subsidiary from 2005 to 2007. After Medipartner pulled out from the deal in 2007, Yestar used a similar-looking “Ye” trademark that mislead clients into believing that the partnership was still on.

Yestar also claimed it was the only South Korean plastic surgery clinic based in Seoul and was established in 1992, the plaintiff alleged.

The local company also claimed on its websites and brochures that it had 65 franchisees and numerous entertainers as its clients — all of which were actually Medipartner’s.

The South Korean company said it received several complaints about Yestar’s service because  people believed it was one of its partners.

Medipartner then filed a suit against Yestar in May last year, demanding Yestar remove false advertising and stop copying its trademark “Ye.” It also demanded 1.9 million yuan compensation for economic loss and 100,000 yuan as payment for the lawsuit.

But Yestar said it was authorized to use the trademark by its honorary president, who was the former president of Medipartner. It also said “Yestar” was a legal registered trademark which was totally different from the plaintiff’s “Ye.”

A verdict was not given yesterday after both sides agreed to hold mediation talks.


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