People's Republic of Korea (DPRK/North Korea) recently enacted a comprehensive
revision of its Invention Law which regulates IP rights for technical
inventions such as patent rights, inventor's rights and utility models. The Law
was enacted in 1998 and subsequently amended several times, the last time
(before the current revision) in December 2014.
Some of the most
important new provisions are as follows:
language: Filing in any language possible, translation into Korean within 3
months from filing (before: Korean translation required on the day of filing);
documents: in case of claiming priority, copy of earlier application to be submitted only upon request of IP Authority (before: submission compulsory within 3 months from filing);
protection specified for utility models: 10 years from filing. The term for patents has remained unchanged since the enactment of the law in 1998: 15 years from filing plus additional 5 years upon request and fee payment;
regulations for the deposit of microorganisms;
of acts to meet the requirement to exploit an invention: these acts include producing,
using, selling and importing the patented invention.
(The law requires the
patentee to exploit his/her invention within a period of 3 years from grant, otherwise
the IP authority may grant a compulsory license to use the invention to a third
The new law can be
accessed in both Korean and English on WIPO's Country Profile on the DPRK,
section "National IP laws and regulations".