Korea Copyright Office is an exclusive representative in the Republic of Korea of the International Online Copyright Office INTEROCO.
INTEROCO Copyright Office - is a global full-automated electronic legal service for protection rights of authors from different countries. The main focus of INTEROCO Copyright Office is a full implementation of the requirements of the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works.
We provide "turnkey" solutions, from collection of primary documents to delivery of the certificate. The INTEROCO Copyright Office provides a direct online link to the deposited intellectual property object. This means that You don't need to visit the offender and show him the original certificate, you just need to send the link via e-mail.
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In accordance to the Korean Trademark Act the term "trademark" means a mark used to distinguish goods (including services or goods related to the provision of services except goods on which a geographical indication is used) of one business from those of others.
Trademark is protected only according to the classes, included in trademark application form. Total number of classes is 45, among them 1~34 are goods (for example 16 class - printed materials), 35~45 are services (for example 35 class - marketing).
In accordance to the Korean Copyright Act the term "copyright work" means a creative production that expresses human thoughts and emotions.
As a copyright work could be registered novels, poems, theses, lectures, speeches, plays, musical works, theatrical works, paintings, calligraphic works, sculptures, printmaking, crafts, architectural works, photographic works, cinematographic works, maps, charts, design drawings, sketches, models, computer program works and etc..
Registration of trademark or copyright object in the Republic of Korea is voluntary right of author (or rightholder). The registration is compulsory only if you wish to be granted rights to a trademark or copyright object.
There are two legal ways to register your brand - as a trademark or as a copyright. The trademark and copyright certificates have an equal legal power and both certificates are protecting your brand as an intellectual property object. The difference is in process of brand registration, registering bodies and law enforcement.
To choose the proper legal form of brand registration, your should determine the main target of brand using. If you want to participate in state tenders and work mostly with ministries and official authorities, we recommend to you register brand as a trademark. But for the businessmen, who sale goods and services on the open market for consumers (B2B, B2C) more efficient, cheaper and faster is register brand as a copyright.
Registered trademark will be under legal protection in the Republic of Korea during 10 years since the date of official trademark registration. To keep trademark in force after 10 years the owner should pay additional official fees for further extension. The quantity of extensions for trademarks certificates is not limited.
Registered copyright object is protected in the Republic of Korea through lifetime of an author and for a period of 70 years after the death of the author. The economic rights of the authors of joint work are protected through lifetime of the authors and for a period of 70 years after the death of the last surviving co-author.
In accordance with the Korean Copyright Act (Chapter 2, Section 1, Article 7) no work which falls under any of the following subparagraphs shall be protected under the Korean Copyright Act: ⅰ) constitution, acts, treaties, decrees, and municipal ordinances and rules; ⅱ) bulletins, public notifications, directives and others similar thereto which are issued by the central or local government; ⅲ) judgments, decisions, orders, or adjudications of courts, as well as rulings and decisions made by the administrative appeals procedures, or other similar procedures; ⅳ) compilations or translations of works as referred to in subparagraphs ⅰ) to ⅲ) which are produced by the central or local government; and ⅴ) current news reporting which delivers simple facts.
In accordance with the Korean Copyright Act (Chapter 2, Section 2, Article 9) the authorship of a work made for hire which is made by an employee of a legal entity, etc. during the course of his/her duties and is made public under the name of such a legal entity, etc. as the author shall be attributed to that legal entity, etc., unless otherwise stipulated in the contract or work regulation, etc..
The Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, usually known as the Berne Convention, is an international agreement governing copyright, which was first accepted in Berne, Switzerland, in 1886. The Berne Convention formally mandated several aspects of modern copyright law; it introduced the concept that a copyright exists the moment a work is "fixed", rather than requiring registration. It also enforces a requirement that countries recognize copyrights held by the citizens of all other parties to the convention.
The trademark registration in the Republic of Korea includes the following steps: first, examination whether the trademark being registered is entitled to protection in the Republic of Korea (absolute grounds of refusal). Not all trademarks can be registered as trademarks. For instance, merely descriptive terms for the respective goods and services may not be registered as a trademark. To avoid collisions between your trademark registration in the Republic of Korea and older trademarks a preliminary search for uniqueness of the trademark should be conducted. Second, after preliminary search for uniqueness, your trademark could be applied for registration with the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) through the local patent attorneys or online program.
Copyright could be registered with the Korea Copyright Commission (KCC) only after creation the copyright object in accordance with the Korean Copyright Act (Chapter 2, Section 2, Article 10). There two main requirements - copyright object should be: result of intellectual work (not plagiarism) and expressed in any objective form. You can register your copyright object in the Republic of Korea by filing a simple form and depositing one sample of the work with the one of following organizations:
For trademark registration following documents should be prepared:
an application stating the following: the name and address of the applicant (including the name of an executive officer, if the applicant is a juristic person); the trademark; the designated goods and class thereof; the date of submission; and the country and filing date of the priority application, if the right of priority is claimed;
10 specimens of the trademark (8cm x 8cm or smaller in size);
the priority document if the right of priority is claimed; and
a power of attorney, if necessary;
copy of applicant's ID or passport;
confirmation of official fee payment.
For copyright registration following documents should be prepared:
an application stating the following: the name and address of the applicant;
In accordance with the Korean Trademark Act (Chapter VI, Article 108):
(1) The following shall be deemed infringement of trademark rights (excluding the right to collective mark with geographical indication) or an exclusive license:
1. Using a trademark identical to a registered trademark of another person on goods similar to the designated goods, or using a trademark similar to the registered trademark of another person on goods identical or similar to the designated goods;
2. Delivering, selling, forging, imitating, or possessing a trademark identical or similar to a registered trademark of another person for the purpose of using or causing a third party to use such trademark on goods identical or similar to the designated goods;
3. Manufacturing, delivering, selling or possessing equipment for the purpose of forging or imitating a registered trademark of another person or causing a third party to forge or imitate such registered trademark;
4. Possessing goods identical or similar to the designated goods bearing a registered trademark of another person or any other similar trademark for the purpose of transferring or delivering such goods.
(2) The following shall be deemed infringement of the right to a collective mark with geographical indication:
1. Using a trademark (excluding a homonymous geographical indication; hereafter in this paragraph, the same shall apply) similar to a registered collective mark with geographical indication of another person on goods deemed identical to the designated goods;
2. Delivering, selling, forging, imitating or possessing a trademark identical or similar to the registered collective mark with geographical indication of another person for the purpose of using or causing a third party to use such trademark on goods deemed identical to the designated goods;
3. Manufacturing, delivering, selling or possessing equipment for the purpose of forging or imitating, or causing a third person to forge or imitate the registered collective mark with geographical indication of another person;
4. Possessing goods deemed identical to designated goods bearing a trademark identical or similar to the registered collective mark with geographical indication for the purpose of transferring or delivering such goods.
In accordance with the Korean Copyright Act (Chapter 9, Article 124):
(1) Any act falling under any of the following subparagraphs shall be considered to be infringement of copyright or other rights protected under this Act:
1. The importation into the Republic of Korea, for the purpose of distribution therein of goods made by an act which would infringe on copyright or other rights protected under this Act, if they were made within the Republic of Korea at the time of such importation;
2. The possession, for the purpose of distribution, of goods produced by an act that constitutes an infringement on copyright or other rights protected under this Act (including those imported as referred to in subparagraph 1) with the knowledge of such infringement;
3. Exploitation in business of a copy (including imported goods pursuant to subparagraph 1) of a program made in infringement of copyright of a program by a person who has acquired it with the knowledge of such infringement.
(2) An act of using a work in a manner prejudicial to the honor or reputation of the author shall be considered to be an infringement of his/her moral rights.
In accordance with the Korean Trademark Act (Chapter XII):
Article 230 (Crime of Infringement): Imprisonment with labor for not more than seven years or by a fine not exceeding 100 million won;
Article 231 (Breaches of Orders to Maintain Confidentiality): Imprisonment with labor for not more than five years or by a fine not exceeding 50 million won;
Article 232 (Crime of Perjury): Imprisonment with labor for not more than five years or by a fine not exceeding 50 million won;
Article 233 (Crime of False Indication): Imprisonment with labor for not more than three years or by a fine not exceeding 30 million won;.
Article 234 (Crime of Fraud): Imprisonment with labor for not more than three years or by a fine not exceeding 30 million won;
Article 235 (Joint Penalty Provisions): Imprisonment with labor for not more than three years or by a fine not exceeding 30 million won;
In accordance with the Korean Copyright Act (Chapter 11):
Article 136 (Penalty Provisions): (1) Imprisonment with labor up to five years or by a fine up to 50 million won, or may be punished by both. (2) Imprisonment with labor for up to three years or by a fine up to 30 million won, or may be punishable by both;
Article 137 (Penalty Provisions): Imprisonment with labor up to one year or by a fine up to ten million won;
Article 138 (Penalty Provisions): A fine up to five million won;
When you want to start a new business project with potential partners every member of founders' team should describe the form and money value of their contribution - money, land, equipment or IP. Usually in investment project there are at least 2 participating parties: author of business idea (often with product or service prototype) and investor, who will finance this project. And in the case with investor the value of his/her contribution is clear - there is real money, contract price of equipment or average rent rate of the land/venues, for authors of business ideas and IP-owners is too difficult to prove the real value of their intellectual contribution. Therefore - previously capitalized IP-object with concrete money value allows to IP-contributor of the project create the initial financial base for adequate negotiations with potential business partners concerning shares distribution.
Additionally capitalized IP-works (brands, technologies, etc) in already existing legal entities could be used (instead of money physical assets) for forming the founding/authorized capital in new created daughter companies or any other forms of sub-divisions and affiliated structures.
The most interesting thing with capitalization is the fact, that valuated IP-assets could be used as a pledge for receiving bank credit or investment loan. Wide recognition of brand by customers, high-rated websites and mobile applications are representing today real values and stimulated sales and growth of the business. But the most common problem is lack of knowledge by IP-owners - they absolutely do not know how to present their money generated intangible assets as collateral for receiving the credits from financial institutions or loans from investors.
After increasing value of business through the capitalization of IP-assets owner in the case of sale his/her business to new owner can receive additional profit comparing to selling only physical assets. According to ROK laws such intangible assets as a corporate/product brand, clients data-base, trade secrets, web-site or mobile application could be sold only if they have properly formalized documents with valid protection of IP-rights.
After achieving sustainable and profitable functioning of business in one city, usually owner of business is trying to create sub-divisions in other regions. Most efficient ways in this directions are licensing and franchising, while these legal forms of brands' territorial expansion do not need to spend own money for new company registration, buying of equipment and staff recruitment - all these expenses will be covered by franchisee. Accordingly, capitalized IP-assets in form of brand value allows to the brand's owner to put in the licensing/franchise agreements contract heightened rate of license/franchise fee.
Today is a common practice when you can be asked about the price of your business. Nice presentations and creative marketing materials are of course important for positive impact on the decision-making person, but afterwards is very difficult to prove your financial sustainability without serious money indicators of current business statement. High-valuated price of business can confirm reliability and confidence of your business. For capitalization of trademark and copyright you first to receive appropriate certificates and than attract specialists for conducting capitalization.