The sanctions against imports infringing on Korean IP Law are reinforced
The act of bringing in goods violating Korean domestic IP laws from abroad will be strictly regulated from the second half of this year.
According to the Ministry of Knowledge and Economy March 22, the bill of amendment for the “Law for the investigation of unfair trade activity and aid for industrial damage”, which can defer clearing customs of their imports by listing the foreign providers whose goods infringe on IP law, has been passed at the general conference of the National Assembly and will take effect as of July this year.
According to the amended law, in case foreign provider supply the goods infringing IP right
to Korea, it clearly stipulates the banning of the goods infringing IP right by customs, and if the imports are the goods that have been designated as the infringing ones by the trade commission of the Ministry of Knowledge and Economy, the law allows the customs to take any steps including the deferral of clearing customs of the goods at issue.
Under the current law, only importers and distributors of the goods infringing IP right can be appointed and penalized and there is no mandatory regulation for the customs to defer clearing customs of the goods designated as the ones infringing IP right by the trade commission, which has been pointed out as a problem.
Actually, there is a case that a domestic company having a patent right on S board suffered serious damage from the fake goods imported from china, since the Chinese provider continued to distribute infringing goods changing importers despite the warning by the trade commission on the importers. The domestic company has filed lawsuits against 50 distributors of the good for 4 years since 2006, only spending 2 billion won on the lawsuits without receiving any compensation for their damage.
Meanwhile, the case of the infringements of IP rights have reached 1,208 cases in 139 companies having increased by 35% point compared to 2007, according to “Survey on the status of the infringement of IP rights ” conducted by the trade commission targeting 2107 domestic and foreign companies from October 5 to December 10 last year. Accordingly, the damage for the infringement of IP rights has sharply increased to 316.6 billion won in 2008 from 193.9 billion won in 2007.