Main Intellectual Property System changes enforced in the second half of 2017

(1) New Criminal penalty in relation to the stealing of a design

A criminal penalty prescribed in relation to Dead Copies which are of the same level as reproduction of a design is introduced in order to prevent overt stealing of designs (enforced as of July, 2017).

- Law regarding unfair competition prevention and trade secret protection is revised.

(2) Strengthening civil and criminal liability in relation to trade secret piracy

In order to effectively protect trade secrets, the maximum penalty has increased, and refusal of a request for returning trade secrets, etc. is included as a subject of punishment (enforced as of July, 2017).

* Law regarding the prevention of unfair competition and trade secret protection is revised.

(3) Expansion of the period for insisting exceptions to lack of novelty in relation to a design

The period for insisting exceptions to lack of novelty has been changed to within 12 months from when a design is published in order to provide sufficient time for insisting exceptions to be decided before a decision of registration of a design (enforced as of September, 2017).

(4) Strengthening monetary penalty for trademark act infringement

Among the penalty clauses of the trademark act, the monetary penalty for false acts is strengthened (enforced as of September, 2017)

- (Article 232, Perjury) From less than or equal to 5 years of imprisonment or a monetary penalty on KRW10,000,000.00 to → less than or equal to 5 years of imprisonment or a monetary penalty less than or equal to KRW50,000,000.00.

(5) Reformation of legal period extension system

In the case of legal period extension requests, some problems related to fairness and consistency have occurred depending on an applicant’s address (domestic or foreign). Accordingly, the system has been changed as follows: (enforced as of October, 2017)

Applicant’s address Current Change

Domestic 1st extension (30 days): KRW20,000 1st extension (30 days): KRW20,000

Foreign 1st extension (60 days): KRW20,000 1st extension (30 days): KRW20,000 2rd extension (30 days): KRW30,000

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