Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Laws (LLM)


Trade dress originally included the packaging or dressing of products, however in this time it has been extended to put together the impression of design of products. Product configuration, the design and shape of the product itself, may also be considered a form of trade dress. The Lanham Act protects trade dress if it serves the same source-identifying function as a trademark. In U.S., trade dress was developed continuously for a long time and some significant case suggested guidelines reflecting the modern industry. In Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v Samara Brothers, Inc., or TrafFix Devices, Inc. v. Marketing Displays, Inc., the Supreme Court delivered certain idea of trade dress to protect consumers’ right to choose and producers’ reputation as a intellectual property.

In South Korea, the history of trade dress is much shorter than U.S. and the way to approach to issue of trade dress also pretty different. However South Korea also accepted many concepts of trade dress from U.S. and embraced their way. This article will compare the trade dress system between U.S. and South Korea and examine the peculiarity for both countries’ system. Especially Apple v. Samsung, will be an interesting example to compare the each country’s standards for trade dress. Finally this article will provide suggestion to help trade dress policy for a product’s configuration under current trademark law and unfair competition law.