Friday, December 16, 2005

Copyright Sidewhow

An interesting little story of a North Korean author trying to get is copyright in Korea enforced. What I find odd is really the author does not own the copyright but the "Foundation of Inter-Korean Cooperation", a North Korean government organization, yet the Korea Times plays up the author. I will be willing to bet a 10,000 won bill that Mr. Hong, the author, will not recive anythign more than a rusty old Japanese bicycle.

This brings up something that amuses me at my law firm. Every so often we get foreign companies (many who should no better) asking us to obtain patent or trademark rights in North Korea.  Its an odd intersection since, as the article points out, technicaly speaking South Korean law is applicable to the North. So I would think a trademark or patent issued in the South is valid in the North. 

However I wonder if this effort will eventually create some sort of jurisdictional precedent for pursing cases in regards to North Korea. Could one sue the North Korean government/companies/organizations for infringement of South Korean rights in South Korean courts? How will the courts, traditionally a conservative body, react to case that would certainly be contrary to "Unification" as defined by the leftists on the peninsula?


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