Gunghamyeon tonghanda


South Korea, officially the Republic of Korea (ROK), is a country in East Asia. It constitutes the southern part of the Korean Peninsula and shares a land border with North Korea. The country’s western border is formed by the Yellow Sea, while its eastern border is defined by the Sea of Japan. Korea is a 750-mile-long (1,200-kilometer-long) peninsula located in the easternmost part of the Asian continent. Today, the country is split into South and North Korea, but in the minds of most of its citizens, it remains a single nation that cannot be divided. South Korea is an extraordinary country filled with beautiful beaches, thriving cities, ancient temples, remarkable natural scenery and most importantly, friendly people. South Korea has come a long way since The Korean War ended in 1953. South Korea is world-famous for its exciting music culture. K-pop is not only a music genre, it’s part of Korean culture that captures people all over Asia and the world. Walking down main pedestrian streets in South Korea, you will hear the latest hits of the industry.

Seoul, officially known as the Seoul Special City, is the capital and largest metropolis of South Korea. Seoul is surrounded by a mountainous and hilly landscape, with Bukhan Mountain located on the northern edge of the city. The Seoul Capital Area contains five UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Changdeok Palace, Hwaseong Fortress, Jongmyo Shrine, Namhansanseong and the Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty.

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Korea is a centralized nation-state with a tripartite system of government consisting of administration, legislation and judicature. There are no localized criminal justice systems and thus the entire criminal justice system, such as prosecution, courts and prisons, is the responsibility of the central government. The judicial system consists of a Supreme Court, appellate courts, and a Constitutional Court. There is no jury system in South Korea, all issues of fact and law are decided by judges. The Supreme Court justices are appointed by the President with the consent of the National Assembly. The president and the government are in charge of the administration, the National Assembly is responsible for the legislation, and the Court enforces and interprets laws by making decisions over legal disputes. South Korea has a relatively unified and integrated approach to law enforcement. For example, the National Police Agency (NPA) provides all general policing services throughout the country. Due to the unitary system, local police organizations are directly under the NPA.

Intellectual Property in Korea

The Republic of Korea has been a World Trade Organisation (WTO) member since 1995. WTO member nations must include some IP protection in their national laws.Patents, utility models, industrial designs, trademarks and copyrights are legally recognised in South Korea. The country upgraded its laws on intellectual-property rights (IPR) in 1995 to align them with the World Trade Organisation’s agreement on the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPs). It continues to update its IPR laws to extend protection to emerging fields, such as electronic commerce and trade secrets. International pressure, particularly from the US, remains strong to introduce additional protections. Amendments to the Patent Act of 1961 and the Utility Model Act of 1961, implemented on July 1st 2008, lengthen the time allowed to elapse between an application and the submission of detailed information, and it reduces the documentation burden for applicants. Moreover, the South Korean government is now planning to launch an integrated website where IPR infringements—in South Korea or abroad—can be reported in one stop. The Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) is responsible for all aspects of patents, utility models and industrial designs.

Patent in Korea

South Korea’s patent regulations are contained in the Patent Act and the Utility Model Act. Unlike in the UK, the Republic of Korea distinguishes between patents (sometimes called ‘invention patents’) and utility models (also known as ‘minor patents’). A utility model can be granted for any device defined as ‘the creation of technical ideas using the rules of nature’. An invention patent can be granted for devices and other inventions which are more highly advanced than this. Invention patents give protection for a maximum of 20 years, while utility models are valid for ten. South Korean patent law operates under the ‘first to file’ principle – that is, if two people apply for a patent on an identical invention, the first one to file the application will be awarded the patent. For patents (including inventions, utility models and industrial designs) individual registrations must be made in the Republic of Korea, but for rights other than industrial designs you can apply under the terms of the Patent Cooperation Treaty, which is usually easier and quicker. Priority rights’ under the Paris Convention can help in the local registration of patents by allowing rights previously registered elsewhere to become effective in the Republic of Korea, if filed within a time limit.

Trademark in Korea

Trade marks are regulated in the Republic of Korea under the Trademark Act. The system operatesprotecting designs, symbols, colours or other devices used to identify a business’ products or services. Registration takes around seven to ten months and a trade mark is valid for ten years, after which it can be renewed indefinitely for further ten-year periods. The Korean script provides registration and enforcement difficulties for foreign rights owners, as different renditions for the same sound of a word are possible. This is a complex area and you will likely need local advice when choosing Korean brand or trade names. For trade marks, you can either register within South Korea or use the Madrid Protocol to gain unitary rights under national or Community Trade Mark registration systems. Priority rights’ under the Paris Convention can help in the local registration of trade marks by allowing rights previously registered elsewhere to become effective in the Republic of Korea, if filed within a
time limit.

Industrial design in Korea

Industrial designs are covered by the Industrial Design Act which was enacted in 1961. The law confers protection for a maximum of 15 years. Priority rights’ under the Paris Convention can help in the local registration of designs by allowing rights previously registered elsewhere to become effective in the Republic of Korea, if filed within a time limit. The Republic of Korea joined the 1999 (Geneva) Act of the Hague Agreement in March 2014. Any individual or business in the Republic of Korea can now file an international design application under the Hague System either through KIPO or directly with WIPO.

Copyright in Korea

Copyright law of South Korea is regulated by the Copyright Act of 1957, the Presidential Decree to the Copyright Act and the Ministerial Ordinance to the Copyright Act. The Copyright Act has been amended several times, with a recent 2009 revision introducing a three strikes policy for online copyright infringement. Korea, theoretically, doesn’t have a fair use doctrine, but the exceptions enumerated in Section 6 of the Copyright Act under the heading Limitations on Authors’ Property Rights acts in a similar manner as the commonly understood notion of “fair use”. For copyright, no registration is required but registering copyrights with the copyright authorities is advisable. All kinds of works can be protected under the Copyright Act of Korea(literary, musical, theatrical, artistic, architecture, photographic, audiovisual, diagrammatic, derivative, compilation, computer programs, database and etc.).

IP enforcement in Korea

There are three levels at which you can enforce your IP rights in South Korea: mediation, civil action and criminal prosecution:
▪ Mediation – disputes over the enforcement of copyright are the responsibility of the Copyright/Computer Program/Layout-Design of Semiconductor Integrated Circuit Review and Mediation Committee. Patents, utility models, trademarks and industrial designs are handled by IP Dispute Committees. In both cases the decision of the committees is binding.
▪ Civil action – The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Ministry of Information and Communication are responsible for copyright actions. For patents, utility models, trademarks and industrial designs, the Korean Intellectual Property Office Tribunal handles all aspects of IP litigation in the first instance, with the Patent
Court acting as an intermediate appeal court. There are also district courts in some of the larger cities with specialist IP knowledge. Injunctions and damages are available through civil litigation. Appeals can be made to the Korean Supreme Court.
▪ Criminal prosecution – IP rights owners can apply for prosecutions to be brought in the criminal courts. Penalties for IP infringements can be steep, although the process may be long and drawn-out.
There are also programmes to help identify genuine rights owners, including the Verified Rights Owner initiative, in conjunction with major brands and the Korean Intellectual Property Office, and online information helping people to distinguish between fake and genuine products. Customs has a direct role in enforcement, and may bring prosecutions when it detects IP abuse.

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Eleven Facts About Korea You Might Not Know

1. Half of South Koreans share the same three surnames
You might have noticed that a surprising number of South Korean people are named either Kim, Park or Lee. Does this mean they are all related? Of course not. The reasons for this go very far back in history, all the way back to the Silla kingdom (57 BCE – 935 CE) and are tied to their relations with China and Japan, which weren’t quite so peaceful. Statistics show that throughout the whole population, only around 250 surnames are currently in use (compared to the 100.000 in most similarly sized countries), with Kim being the most common surname.

2. Number 4 is considered unlucky
Given the similarity of the pronunciation between the word for the number 4 and the word for “death”, in South Korea 4 is considered to bring bad luck. Just as you might not find a number 13 bed in a western hospital, in many Korean buildings you won’t find a button for the fourth floor on the elevator, it will be marked as “F” instead. Not everyone shares this superstition though, while it’s rather common between older generations, many younger people don’t have such strong feelings about number 4.

3. They celebrate two different New Year’s Days
While most other Asian countries either celebrate the Lunar new year according to the Chinese calendar or adopt the traditional western New Year’s Day, in South Korea they celebrate the new year both times. January 1st is generally regarded as a more relaxed and casual holiday, spent with immediate family. They also exchange cards, very similar to the ones we use for Christmas. The other celebration, however, lasts three whole days, and is celebrated much more noisily, usually according to the Chinese Lunar calendar.

4. The world’s oldest astronomical observatory is in Korea
In Gyeongju, the ancient capital of Korea, visitors can find the ancient tower of Cheomseongdae. While it might not look like an outstanding landmark, the monument has been standing there since the 7th century. Built during the Silla kingdom, by order of Queen Seondeok, Cheomseongdae is the oldest surviving astronomical observatory in the whole world and it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2000, along with other historical sites in Gyeongju. Although the structure has remained mostly intact for the last 1300 years, its detailed use is still not fully understood.

5. It’s one of the biggest economies in the world
It’s quite fascinating how this country has risen from war and poverty, and become one of the major economies in the world. The South Korean economy is now ranked at the 11th largest economy in the world and the 4th in Asia.

6. Kim, Lee, and Park are the most common Korean names
If you guess that a South Korean is named Kim, you have a 20% chance that you’re right. At least 20% of the population is named Kim. Lee and Park are another two common names.

7. Cherry blossom can be seen in plenty in South Korea
Japan is famous for its cherry blossom, and it’s quite funny because South Korea has a great share of the wonderflower as well. If you want to escape some of the crowds in Japan, then you should come here during Cherry blossom season instead.

8. There are 12 UNESCO World Heritage sites
This is also a country full of history, and with history often come interesting World Heritage Sites. South Korea has a total of 12 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and some of the most famous include Changdeokgung Palace Complex, Jeju Volcanic Island and Lava Tubes, Historic Villages of Korea: Hahoe and Yangdong, and Gyeongju Historic Areas.

9. There’s an annual mud festival
Every summer, for 14 days, there is a mud festival in Boryeong. The final weekend of the festival is normally on the second weekend in July, and this is where most people attend the festival. It’s very popular among the western population of the country, but many locals attend as well. The festival started as a commercial stunt to sell cosmetic products containing mud from the area.

10. The Korean Alphabet Is Called Hangul
If you wanna start learning the Korean language, learning the alphabet called Hangul or Hangeul should be the first thing you know. It is the easiest East Asian language to learn because it is actually made, not emerged. It is invented by Sejong the Great. Every year they celebrate Korean Alphabet Day, also known as Hangeul Day, to commemorate the creation of their alphabet.

11. South Korea Is A Haven For Technology
When it comes to technology, South Korea is also at the top of the list. Smartphones, gadgets, and even appliances are always advanced and on-trend. The biggest technology company like Samsung is from South Korea, so it’s not a surprise that it’s a haven for technology. Even in K-dramas, they never fail to feature their gadgets and technology except when it’s a traditional series.

Bud & Prairie helps your business navigate Korea’s laws and regulations. Our solutions manage and process your issues, as well as enhance your potentialities. Partnering with Bud & Prairie means a quick, cost-effective, and compliant way to grow at the Korean market.

Korean employment and human resources

The tremendous growth of the South Korean economy during the past two decades is due to a multitude of factors not the least of which is the rapid and pervasive development and education of their labor force. Core cultural variables such as deference for authority, concern for the collective, harmony in interpersonal relations and emphasis on teamwork contribute directly to efficiency and effectiveness. National policies supporting general and vocational education have resulted in high literacy and basic job skills through the population. Considerable resources are also directed at providing the best in western business education for the top echelons of managers in their largest companies. The Labour law in South Korea is regulated mainly by the Labor Standards Act amended as of 2018. The Act governs the terms and conditions of employment such as working hours, holidays, rest periods, wages, overtime, leave and termination of employment, etc. The Labor relationships are also governed by Support for Work-Family Reconciliation Act No. 3989 of 1984.


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📝 Contract Formation and Enforcement in Korea

Under general principles of contract law in Korea, a contract is concluded and becomes valid when the intentions of the parties are in accordance with the basic principle of “offer and acceptance”. The offer must concretely and definitively declare an intent to form a contract. The rules on contract formation and third party beneficiaries in Korea can be found in the Korean Civil Code of 1960 that is closely modelled on the Japanese Civil Code, therefore many of its solutions can be ultimately traced back to German law. For a binding contract to be made, Korean law only requires an agreement which is normally constituted by an offer and a matching acceptance; there is no requirement of consideration, and as a general rule there is freedom of form—only limited statutory exceptions impose formal requirements for specific types of contract. Offers must be sufficient and sufficiently definite, and they must be made with the intention to be legally bound.

📅 Korea public holidays

Date Description
1 Jan New Year’s Day
21–24 Jan Seollal
1 Mar Independence Movement Day
5 May Children’s Day
27 May Buddha’s Birthday
6 Jun Memorial Day
15 Aug Liberation Day
28-30 Sep Chuseok
3 Oct National Foundation Day
9 Oct Hangeul Day
25 Dec Christmas

🏦 Construction and Projects in Korea

These are the biggest projects of South Korea to date:
▪ Hyundai Global Business Center – Completion Year: 2023, Seoul.
▪ Parc1 Tower – Completion Year: 2020, Seoul.
▪ Haeundae LCT – Completion Year: 2019, Busan.
▪ Inspire Integrated Resort, Paramount Theme Park – Completion Year: 2022, Incheon (Incheon International Airport).
▪ Lionsgate Movie World – Completion Year: 2020/2021, Jeju Island.
▪ LEGOLAND, Completion Year: 2022, Chuncheon.
▪ Osiria Tourism Complex, Completion Year: 2021, Busan.
▪ K Pop Arena – Completion Year: 2023, Seoul.
▪ Incheon International Airport Expansion, Completion Year: 2023.

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