DPR Korea Designation of Origin Act

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DPR Korea Designation of Origin Act
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea(hereinafter referred to as the DPRK) Designation of Origin Act is intended to establish a strict system and order in the application for and the examination of the registration of the place name of origin and the protection of the rights to the place name of origin, thereby contributing to the preservation of the quality of special products and to the protection of the interests of the institutions, enterprises and organizations turning out special products.

[...] The state shall improve and strengthen the work concerning the place name of origin in keeping with the development of the national economy and the increased production of well-known specialities. - Article 1 & 6

As adopted by Act N°3964 by the Presidium of the Supreme Assembly, 27 Aug. Juche 92 (2003).
Approved by the Cabinet decision No. 70 on November 17, 2003
Came into force from December 22, 2003

Chapter 1. Fundamentals of the Designation of Origin Act[edit]

Article 1

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea(hereinafter referred to as the DPRK) Designation of Origin Act is intended to establish a strict system and order in the application for and the examination of the registration of the place name of origin and the protection of the rights to the place name of origin, thereby contributing to the preservation of the quality of special products and to the protection of the interests of the institutions, enterprises and organizations turning out special products.

Article 2

The place name of origin is the name of the place printed on a well-known special product. The place name of origin shall be the geographical name of a particular country or region where a special product is originated endowed with its own peculiar qualitative characteristics by the unique natural and geographical environment, and technical and functional conditions.

Article 3

Proper application for the registration of a place name of origin is an important condition for a timely evaluation of the place name of origin for registration. The state shall set correct procedures of application for the registration of he place name of origin and demand their strict observance.

Article 4

The evaluation of the place name of origin for registration is an important work of confirming and registering the place where a speciality is produced. The state shall increase the responsibility and role of the registration organ of the place name of origin and ensure scientific accuracy and impartiality in the evaluation.

Article 5

It is a consistent policy of the DPRK to protect the right to the place name of origin. The state shall protect by law the right to the place name of origin.

Article 6

The state shall improve and strengthen the work concerning the place name of origin in keeping with the development of the national economy and the increased production of well-known specialities.

Article 7

The state shall develop exchange and cooperation with foreign countries and international organizations in the work concerning the place name of origin.

Chapter 2. Application for registration of the place name of origin[edit]

Article 8

Application for registration of the place name of origin is the first process of the work concerning the place name of origin. The institution, enterprise or organization that wishes to identify the place name of origin in a special product shall submit an application for the registration of the place name of origin to the registration organ of the place name of origin.

Article 9

The application shall contain the name and address of the applicant and the place of production of the special product, accompanied by documents specifying the technical and functional characteristics, method of production and the natural and geographic factors.

Article 10

Foreign institutions, enterprises, organizations and citizens that wish to have a place name of origin registered in the DPRK shall submit an application in Korean to the registration organ of the place name of origin through an agency. In this case they shall attach a verification certificate of the registration of the place name of origin in their own country and a letter of attorney.

Article 11

If any mistake is found in the application, the registration organ of the place name of origin shall send it back or have it corrected within 3 months. If they are not corrected within 3 months because of an unavoidable reason, the period for correction may be extended by 2 months.

Article 12

The date of application for the registration of a place name shall be the date when the registration organ of the place name of origin receives the application. Even when an application has been corrected and submitted again within the set time, the date of application shall be the date when the application is first received.

Article 13

Upon acceptance of the application, the registration organ of the place name of origin shall issue the applicant institution, enterprise or organization with a receipt. The receipt shall state the date of receipt and the serial number.

Article 14

The institutions, enterprises and organizations may have the place name of origin that has been registered with the registration organ of the place name of origin registered in a foreign country through an international organization or an agency.

Chapter 3. Evaluation of the place name of origin for registration[edit]

Article 15

Correct evaluation of the place name of origin for registration is the basic task of the registration organ of the place name of origin. The registration organ of the place name of origin shall examine the application within 6 months of its reception.

Article 16

The registration organ of the place name of origin may request the applicant institution, enterprise or organization for materials necessary for the evaluation. The applicant institutions, enterprises and organizations should provide the registration organ of the place name of origin with the materials required in time.

Article 17

The following geographic names shall not be registered as place names of origin;

  1. A geographic name of a speciality that has not been produced in a special natural and geographic environment or technical and functional condition, or that is not well known for a certain period.
  2. A geographic name that is not recognized by the state or is false.
  3. A geographic name contrary to the laws, public morality, manners and customs of the DPRK.
  4. A geographic name which has been registered as a trademark or which may infringe upon a trademark right.
  5. A geographic name identical with or similar to a place name of origin already registered.
Article 18

The registration organ of the place name of origin shall evaluate the application in time either to approve or reject it and notify the applicant of the decision.

Article 19

The registration organ of the place name of origin shall register the approved place names of origin in the register of place names of origin and issue a certificate of registration to the applicants. The registered place names of origin shall be made public through information bulletins.

Article 20

The institutions, enterprises and organizations that have grievances against the registered place name of origin may lodge complaint with the registration organ of the place name of origin within 6 months of the announcement of the registration. The registration organ of the place name of origin shall consider the complaint and notify the result to the institution, enterprise or organization that has lodged the complaint and that has had the place name of origin registered.

Article 21

In case the registration of a place name of origin is rejected, the applicant may request reevaluation within 6 months of the notification of rejection. The registration organ of the place name of origin shall evaluate the request and inform the result to the applicant. The result of the reevaluation of the registration organ of the place name of origin shall be confirmed within 2 months if no other complaint is lodged.

Article 22

The institutions, enterprises and organizations that do not agree to the result of the reevaluation may complain against it within 2 months of its notification. The registration organ of the place name of origin shall examine the complaint and notify the result to the applicant.

Chapter 4. Protection of the rights to the place name of origin[edit]

Article 23

The protection of the rights to the place name of origin is an important requirement of the work concerning the place name of origin. The registration organ of the place name of origin and relevant institutions shall see that no infringement is made on the interests of the institutions, enterprises or organizations that hold the rights.

Article 24

The rights to the place name of origin shall be held by the institutions, enterprises or organizations that have had the place name of origin registered.

Article 25

The holder of the rights to the place name of origin shall exercise the right;

  1. To use or to permit others to use the registered place name of origin.
  2. To demand an end to the practices of infringement on the rights to the place name of origin or claim indemnity.
  3. To withdraw the registration of the place name of origin.
Article 26

The term of protection of the place name of origin shall be from the date of application for registration to the date of termination of the use of the place name of origin.

Article 27

The institutions, enterprises and organizations that hold the rights to the place name of origin shall submit an application to the registration organ of the place name of origin for any change of the name, address and others within the term of protection. The registration organ of the place name of origin shall enter the changes in the register.

Article 28

Institutions, enterprises and organizations should conclude a contract with the right holder if they want to use the place name of origin. In this case a relevant document should be submitted to the registration organ of the place name of origin.

Article 29

The institutions, enterprises and organizations that are permitted to use the place name of origin shall be responsible for the quality of the special product with the place name of origin. The holders of the rights to the place name of origin may cancel the permission to use the place name of origin if the institutions, enterprises and organizations permitted to use the place name of origin are not able to ensure due quality of the special product.

Article 30

The right to the place name of origin may not be transferred to other institution, enterprise or organization, nor may the registered place name of origin be changed.

Article 31

The institutions, enterprises and organizations should submit to the registration organ of the place name of origin a written application for the withdrawal of registration of the place name of origin if they wish to cancel their right to a place name of origin. In this case the registration certificate of the place name of origin should be attached.

Article 32

The right to the place name of origin shall be invalid if the registration has been cancelled or the place name of origin has not been used for 5 years since the date of registration.

Chapter 5. Guidance and control of the administration of the place name of origin[edit]

Article 33

Strengthening guidance and control of the administration of the place name of origin is an essential requirement in ensuring the quality of the specialty and promoting the development of the national economy. The state shall strengthen guidance and control of the work concerning the place name of origin.

Article 34

The work concerning the place name of origin shall be guided by the guidance institution of the place name of origin under the unified guidance of the Cabinet. The guidance institution of the place name of origin shall regularly control and guide the work related with the place name of origin.

  1. The acts of using, copying, exhibiting, distributing, adapting, translating, selling or telecasting a software,
  2. The acts of altering the name of a software developer or a software,
  3. The acts of exporting or importing a software,
  4. The acts of destroying or removing protection devices of software technology and offering such technology.
Article 35

The guidance institution of the place name of origin shall correctly designate the place name of origin in conformity with the characteristics of the specialty, and regularly announce the applications for registration, registration, change and cancellation of the place name of origin.

Article 36

Institutions, enterprises and organizations shall pay in time the fees concerning the place name of origin to the registration organ of the place name of origin. The fees concerning the place name of origin shall be set by the price fixing institution.

Article 37

Institutions, enterprises and organizations shall not illegally designate, print or sell the place name of origin nor use the place name which is identical with or similar to the place name already registered.

Article 38

The work concerning the place name of origin shall be supervised and controlled by the guidance institution of the place name of origin and the relevant supervision and control institutions. The guidance institution of the place name of origin and the relevant supervision and control institutions shall strictly supervise and control the realities of application, registration and protection.

Article 39

In case the procedures of registering and using the place name of origin have been violated, the registration of the place name of origin shall be cancelled or its use terminated.

Article 40

Any infringement on the interests of the institutions, enterprises and organizations that hold the right to the place name of origin shall result in fining, compensation for the damage and confiscation of the illegal products.

Article 41.

Administrative or penal responsibility shall, depending on the gravity, be imposed on the officials of the institutions, enterprises and organizations, and individual citizens responsible for the grave consequences caused through the violation of this law.

Article 42

Any dispute concerning the place name of origin shall be settled by consultation. In case of failure in consultation, the dispute shall be submitted to the guidance institution of the place name of origin for settlement. If the dispute is not settled by the guidance institution of the place name of origin it may be referred to a court or an arbitration body for settlement.

Public domain Copyright Act of the DPR of Korea[1] of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Article 12[2]:

The documents of State management such as ordinance, decision or directive, current news and bulletins shall not be the object of copyright.


This work is from any of the items above and is in the public domain in North Korea (with legal jurisdiction north of the 38th parallel only), and thus is exempt from copyright.


  1. Unofficial translated English version
  2. Original version in Korean
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Public domain Copyright Act of the DPR of Korea[1] of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Article 32[2]:

A copyrighted work may be used without the permission of the copyright owner, in the following cases:

  • [...]When a copyrighted work is quoted,
  • When a copyrighted work is performed free of charge,
  • When a copyrighted work in public places is copied.

The Wikimedia Foundation is a non-commercial, non-profit organization, and thus the respective copyrighted work, created within North Korea (with legal jurisdiction north of the 38th parallel only), is permitted for use on all of the Wikimedia Foundation projects.


  1. Unofficial translated English version
  2. Original version in Korean
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