DPR Korea Industrial Design Act

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DPR Korea Industrial Design Act
The state shall pay close attention to industrial designing to see that it is constantly improved in keeping with the development of the national economy and the increased production of manufactured goods. - Article 6
As amended by Act N°1235 by the Presidium of the Supreme Assembly, 2 Aug. Juche 94 (2005).

Chapter 1. Fundamentals of the Industrial Design Act[edit]

Article 1 (Industrial Design Act's aims)

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (hereinafter referred to as the DPRK) Industrial Designs Act shall establish a strict system and order in the application and examination of the registration of industrial designs and the protection of the industrial design rights, thereby contributing to the improvement of the quality of manufactured goods and the development of socialist economy.

Article 2 (Categories of industrial designs)

An industrial design is a drawing or a photograph of the shape, colour and decorations of the goods to be manufactured . Industrial design includes designs and decorations of machines and equipment, transport means, textiles, living utensils and goods for cultural use, garments, furniture, furnishings and packing containers.

Article 3 (Principles of the Application for the registration of an industrial designs)

Application for the registration of an industrial design is the first process of the industrial design administration. The state shall establish proper application procedures for industrial design registration and ensure their accurate observance.

Article 4 (Principles of the Examination procedure for the registration of industrial designs)

It is the basic duty of the industrial design registration organ to responsibly examine the application for the registration of industrial designs. The state shall establish the examination system for the registration of industrial designs and ensure scientific accurancy and impartiality in the examinations.

Article 5 (Priciples of the Protection of industrial designs)

To protect the industrial design rights is a consistent policy of the DPRK. The state shall protect the industrial design rights held by institutions, enterprises, organizations and citizens.

Article 6 (Principles of industrial designs' innovations)

The state shall pay close attention to industrial designing to see that it is constantly improved in keeping with the development of the national economy and the increased production of manufactured goods.

Article 7 (exchanges and cooperation in the field of industrial designing)

The state shall develop exchanges and cooperation with international organizations and foreign countries in the field of industrial designing.

Chapter 2. Application for registration of industrial designs[edit]

Article 8 (Fundamental requirements regarding the application of industrial designs)

Proper application for the registration of industrial designs is a precondition for timely examination of the registration of industrial designs. Institutions, enterprises, organizations and citizens shall accurately apply for the registration of the industrial designs that have been created.

Article 9 (Submission of official documents for the application of an industrial design)

The institutions, enterprises, organizations and citizens that wish to apply for the registration of an industrial design shall submit an application to the industrial design registration organ. In case of a joint application, the application shall be presented under the joint names.

Article 10 (Filing method of official documents for the application of an industrial design)

Each industrial design shall need a separate application for the registration. However, the designs of the items similar to each other in structure and operation may be applied in one document. The application shall contain the title of the design, its classification and the name of the applicant, accompanied by the design, introduction and evaluation report.

Article 11 (Submission method of official documents for the application of an industrial design)

The application for registration of an industrial design shall be sent directly or by post to the industrial design registration organ. In an unavoidable circumstance, the application may be sent by such telecommunication means as telex or fax.

Article 12 (Submission of Foreigner applicants for the application of an industrial design)

Foreign institutions, enterprises, organization and citizens shall present an application in Korean to the industrial design registration organ through an agency if they wish to have their industrial designs registered in the DPRK.

Article 13 (Failure in the application of an industrial design)

If any mistake is found in the application for registration of an industrial design, the industrial design registration organ shall send it back or have it corrected within 3 months. In case the mistake is not corrected within 3 months for an unavoidable reason, the period of correction may be extended for up to 2 months.

Article 14 (Notification of the reception for the application of an industrial design)

Upon acceptance of the application for registration of an industrial design, the industrial design registration organ shall inform the institutions, enterprises, organizations and citizens of the receipt.

Article 15 (Industrial design's application date)

The date of application for the registration of an industrial design shall be the date of the receipt of the application. Even when a mistake in the application has been corrected within the appointed time the date of application shall be the date when the industrial design registration organ first receives the application.

Article 16 (Industrial design's priority of application)

In case the institutions, enterprises, organizations and citizens have presented industrial designs or their specimen products to exhibitions, they shall be granted priority in applying for registration of the same industrial design. In this case a document justifying the priority shall be presented to the industrial design registration organ within 3 months of the said exhibition.

Article 17 (Validity of foreign applicants priorities of application)

The priority of application for industrial design registration given by foreign countries to their institutions, enterprises, organizations and citizens shall be valid when a relevant document is presented to the industrial design registration organ of the DPRK within 6 months of its receipt.

Article 18 (Application of an industrial design in foreign countries)

The institutions, enterprises, organizations and citizens that hold industrial design rights may have their industrial designs registered in foreign countries. In this case they should obtain approval from the industrial design registration organ before presenting an application for registration of their industrial designs through international organizations or agencies.

Chapter 3. Deliberation on industrial design for registration[edit]

Article 19 (Duration of the examination process of the industrial designs application)

Deliberation on the industrial designs to be registered is an important work to examine the application for the registration of industrial designs and decide on their registration. The industrial design registration organ shall examine the application for industrial design registration within 6 months of its receipt.

Article 20 (Requirements of data for the examination of the industrial designs application)

The industrial design registration organ may demand the applying institutions, enterprises, organizations and citizens for information necessary for the deliberation on the industrial designs. The applicants should provide the industrial design registration organ with the required materials in time.

Article 21 (Unregistrable industrial designs)

The following shall not be registered as industrial designs;

  1. The design basically identical with or similar to the industrial design already registered.
  2. The design identical with or similar to the product which has been publicized and used.
  3. The design contrary to the laws, public morals, manners and customs of the DPRK.
  4. Blueprints of technical equipment or process and designs of fine art work, architecture, monuments and the like.
  5. The design identical with or similar to a registered trademark.
  6. The design without economic efficiency, artistic applicability or introduction possibility.
Article 22 (Examination of industrial designs application)

The industrial design registration organ shall examine the application for industrial design registration and decide on either approval or rejection. The result of examination shall be notified to the relevant institutions, enterprises, organizations and citizens.

Article 23 (Decision to Grant industrial designs application)

The industrial designs whose registration have been approved shall be registered in the state register of industrial designs and a certificate of registration shall be issued to the institution, enterprise, organization or citizen concerned. The registered industrial designs shall be announced through the Official Bulletin of Industrial Designs.

Article 24 (Opposition to the Registration of industrial design application)

The institutions, enterprises, organizations and citizens that have grievances against the registered industrial designs may lodge petition with the industrial design registration organ within 6 months of the announcement. The industrial design registration organ shall examine the petition and inform the relevant institutions, enterprises, organizations and citizens of the result.

Article 25 (Decision on Opposition to the Registration of industrial design application)

The institutions, enterprises, organizations and citizens that disagree to the rejection of the registration may request for reexamination within 6 months of the notification of rejection.

Article 26 (Decision of the reexamination)

The applicants may, if any, lodge complaint about the decision of the reexamination with the State Industrial Design Examination Committee within 2 months of the notification.

Chapter 4. Protection of industrial design rights[edit]

Article 27 (Basic Requirements of Protection of industrial design)

Protection of the industrial design rights is a basic demand in strengthening the industrial design administration. The industrial design registration organ shall protect the interests of the institutions, enterprises, organizations and citizens that hold the industrial design rights.

Article 28 (Owner of industrial design)

The industrial design right shall be held by the institutions, enterprises, organizations and citizens whose industrial designs have been registered. The right to the industrial designs registered under joint names shall be held jointly.

Article 29 (Ownership of industrial design rights)

The holder of the industrial design rights shall have the right;

  1. To use the registered industrial design.
  2. To transfer and permit others to use all or part of the registered industrial design.
  3. To withdraw the registration of industrial design.
Article 30 (Transfer of industrial design rights)

The institutions, enterprises, organizations and citizens that wish to transfer or be transferred an industrial design right shall submit a relevant application to the industrial design registration organ. The transfer of the rights shall be effective from the date of the registration.

Article 31 (License of Industrial Design)

In case the institutions, enterprises, organizations and citizens that hold the industrial design rights wish to permit other institutions, enterprises, organizations and citizens to use the registered industrial designs, they shall conclude contracts and submit a relevant document to the industrial design registration organ.

Article 32 (Permission to control the quality of product based on the industrial design)

The institutions, enterprises, organizations and citizens permitted to use an industrial design shall be responsible for the quality of the product based on the industrial design. The institutions, enterprises, organizations and citizens that have permitted the use of their industrial design may control the quality of the product based on the industrial design.

Article 33 (Transfer of industrial design rights and unallowed Licence of Industrial Design)

The institutions, enterprises, organizations and citizens that do not have due qualifications may not be transferred the industrial design right nor be permitted to use the registered industrial design.

Article 34 (Transfer of industrial design rights to foreign countries and permission of obtaining a Licence of Industrial Design)

In case the institutions, enterprises, organizations and citizens that hold the industrial design rights wish to transfer their rights to foreign institutions, enterprises, organizations and citizens or permit them to use their registered industrial designs, they shall obtain approval of the industrial design registration organ.

Article 35 (Duration of protection of industrial design)

The period of protection of the industrial design rights shall be 5 years from the date of application for registration. Upon application by the institutions, enterprises, organizations and citizens that hold the industrial design rights the period of protection may be extended twice, each by 5 years. In this case an application for the extension of the period shall be submitted to the registration institution.

Article 36 (Extension of the term of industrial design rights)

The application for the extension of the protection period of the industrial design rights shall be presented 6 months before the expiry of the term. In unavoidable circumstances, the application may be presented within 6 months after the expiry of the term of protection.

Article 37 (Modifications of industrial design application)

The institutions, enterprises, organizations and citizens that hold the industrial design rights shall submit an application to the industrial design registration organ for any change of the name, address and others within the term of protection. The industrial design registration organ shall register the particulars of change in the State industrial design register.

Article 38 (Withdrawal of Industrial Design application)

The institutions, enterprises, organizations and citizens that wish to cancel the registration shall submit a relevant document to the industrial design registration organ. In this case the certificate of registration should also be submitted.

Article 39 (Effect of Abandonment of an Industrial Design Right)

The industrial design rights shall be invalid in case the registered industrial design has been cancelled, the term of its protection expired or the industrial design has not been used for 2 years since its registration.

Chapter 5. Guidance and control of industrial design administration[edit]

Article 40 (Fundamental Requirements of the Guidance and control of industrial design administration)

It is an indispensable requirement for encouraging the creation of industrial designs and protecting the relevant rights to strengthen guidance and control of the industrial design administration. The state shall strengthen guidance and control of the industrial design administration.

Article 41 (Duties of guidance to the Industrial Design administration)

The guidance to industrial design administration shall be exercised by the industrial design guidance organ under the unified guidance of the Cabinet. The industrial design guidance organ shall regularly grasp and guide the industrial design administration work.

Article 42 (Publication of industrial Design applicaions and related informations)

The industrial design registration organ shall regularly announce the registration of industrial designs, extension of the term of protection, transfer, permission to use, cancellation, the names of the applicants for registration and the change of address.

Article 43 (industrial Design charge fees)

The institutions, enterprises, organizations and citizens shall pay in time the fees concerning industrial design administration. The fees concerning industrial design administration shall be set by the price fixing organ.

Article 44 (Creation of Industrial Design)

The relevant institutions, enterprises and organizations shall research for the creation of industrial designs and train necessary personnel in a far-sighted way.

Article 45 (Prohibition of secret methods related to the ownership of Industrial Design)

No institutions, enterprises, organizations and citizens should use registered industrial designs without permission or violate the procedures of transferring industrial design rights or permitting the use of industrial designs.

Article 46 (Supervision and control of industrial designs)

Supervision and control of industrial designs shall be exercised by the industrial design guidance organ and the relevant supervision and control organs.

Article 47 (Compensation of violation, Confiscation)

Any infringement on the interests of the institutions, enterprises, organizations and citizens that hold the industrial design rights shall be compensated or the products produced in violation of the law shall be confiscated.

Article 48 (End of use, Cancellation of Application)

In case a registered industrial design has been used without permission or the procedure of transferring the industrial design right and permitting the use of industrial design has been violated, the use shall be terminated or the registration of the industrial design cancelled.

Article 49 (Administrative and penal responsibility)

Administrative or penal responsibility shall be imposed on the officials of the institutions, enterprises and organizations and citizens who are responsible for any great consequences by violating this law.

Article 50 (Disputed solved through agreements)

Disputes concerning industrial designs shall be settled through consultation. In case of failure in consultation the disputes shall be referred to the industrial design registration organ and state industrial design examination commission for settlement. If no settlement is reached, they may be referred to an arbitration body or a court 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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