Litigation in Korea
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Litigation in Korea

Edited by Kuk Cho

This informative book provides an overview of the law and judicial institutions pertaining to litigation in Korea, as well as a selection of important court decisions.
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Chapter 11: Principles and Structure of Patent Litigation

Sang Jo Jong


Sang Jo Jong I. INTRODUCTION The current principles and structure of litigation in each country reflect the legal system and economy of that country which, historically, have been in a constant state of change. Looking at the history of the Korean economy throughout the past half-century,1 the role of patent litigation in Korea has undergone dramatic changes: while patent law did not work efficiently until the 1980s, the importance of patent protection increased very rapidly in the 1990s and during the 21st century, and accordingly, the volume and quality of patent litigation has increased as well. GNP per capita increased from 100 U.S. dollars in the 1960s to more than 16,000 U.S. dollars in 2007, and export of goods increased from 60 million U.S. dollars to more than 200 billion U.S. dollars throughout that same period.2 The history of economic development in Korea has clearly displayed changes both in the general structure of domestic industries and in the role of patent law and litigation. Until the early 1980s, economic development was made possible mostly by labor-intensive industries, which were supplied with a highly educated but low-wage labor force. In the mid1980s, however, due especially to labor unrest and sharp wage increases, the pace of economic development slowed down considerably. As labor-intensive and low-tech industries in Korea lost their competitiveness, it became clear that Korea needed technology-intensive industries to maintain its economic development.3 Although the Patents Act had existed before the 1980s, the importance of patent protection was only...

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