DPR Korea Trademark Act

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DPR Korea Trademark Act
The state shall ensure that trademarks are administered in a more modern and scientific way in keeping with the development of the national economy and the growth of commodity production. - Article 6
As amended by Act N°1135 by the Presidium of the Supreme Assembly, 2 Aug. Juche 94 (2005).

Chapter 1. Fundamentals of the Trademark Act[edit]

Article 1

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (hereinafter referred to as the DPRK) Trademark Act aims to protect the interests of institutions, enterprises, organizations and citizens by establishing a strict system and order in the application for registration and the examination of a trademark and the protection of trademark rights.

Article 2

A trademark is a mark that highlights the identity of a commodity for the purpose of distinguishing it from the equivalent commodity of another producer. A trademark includes a character trademark, a design trademark, a symbol trademark, an engraved trademark, a service sign, etc.

Article 3

Application for registration of a trademark is the first step in the trademark administration. The state shall establish proper application procedures for registration of a trademark and ensure its accurate observance.

Article 4

It is the basic duty of the trademark registration organ to responsibly examine the application for registration of a trademark. The state shall enhance the responsibility and role of the trademark registration organ to ensure objectivity and impartiality in the examination of trademarks.

Article 5

To protect the trademark right is the consistent policy of the DPRK. The state shall protect by law the trademark rights possessed by institutions, enterprises, organizations and citizens.

Article 6

The state shall ensure that trademarks are administered in a more modern and scientific way in keeping with the development of the national economy and the growth of commodity production.

Article 7

The state shall develop exchange and cooperation with international organizations and other countries in the field of trademark.

Chapter 2. Application for trademark registration[edit]

Article 8

Proper application for trademark registration is an important condition for improving the examination of trademarks. The institutions, enterprises, organizations and citizens that wish to apply for the registration of a trademark shall draw up a written application and submit it to the trademark registration organ.

Article 9

The written application for trademark registration shall correctly contain the applicant’s name, address, commodity or service category, etc., accompanied by the trademark sample and the notarial document of the business license.

Article 10

The written application for trademark registration shall be submitted directly or by post to the trademark registration organ by the relevant institution, enterprise, organization or a citizen. In unavoidable circumstances, the written application for trademark registration may be sent by means of telecommunication such as telex or fax.

Article 11

Foreign institutions, enterprises, organizations and citizens wishing to have their trademark registered in the DPRK shall submit a written application in Korean to the trademark registration organ through an agency. In this case, the agency should submit a letter of attorney.

Article 12

The institutions, enterprises, organizations and citizens may have the trademark that has been registered with the trademark registration organ registered in a foreign country through the relevant international organization or an agency concerned. In this case, the approval of the trademark registration organ shall be obtained.

Article 13

The trademark registration organ shall inform the institutions, enterprises, organizations and citizens of its receipt of their application.

Article 14

In case any mistake is found in the application, the trademark registration organ shall send back or have it corrected within 3 months of the acceptance of the written application. If the mistake is not corrected within 3 months for an unavoidable reason, the term may be prolonged for another 2 months.

Article 15

The date of application for trademark registration shall be the date of reception by the trademark registration organ of the written application for trademark registration. Even when a mistake in the written application for trademark registration has been corrected, the date of application shall be the date when the trademark registration organ first received the written application.

Article 16

The institutions, enterprises, organizations and citizens shall have a priority in the application for trademark registration when the trademark is exhibited at an exhibition or a show. The documents requiring priority shall be submitted to the trademark registration organ within 3 months from the date when the trademark was exhibited at an exhibition or a show.

Article 17

The priority of application for trademark registration given by other countries to their institutions, enterprises, organizations and citizens shall be effective if the relevant document is submitted to the trademark registration organ of the DPRK within 6 months of its reception.

Article 18

As for the trademark the registration of which has been rejected or the term of protection has expired, the application for registration may be submitted one year after the date of the rejection or the expiration.

Chapter 3. Deliberations on trademark for registration[edit]

Article 19

Deliberations of a trademark to be registered is an important work to examine and deal with the written applications for trademark registration. The trademark registration organ shall examine the written applications for trademark registration within 6 months of their reception.

Article 20

The trademark registration organ may demand the institutions, enterprises, organizations and citizens that have applied for trademark registration to provide the data necessary for the deliberations of the trademark to be registered. The institutions, enterprises, organizations and citizens that have applied for trademark registration shall provide the trademark registration organ with the data in time.

Article 21

The following marks and signs shall not be registered as a trademark;

  1. The marks identical with or similar to the trademark that has been registered;
  2. The marks made of a country name or its abbreviation, or of the form identical or similar to a national emblem, flag, order or medal;
  3. The marks contrary to the laws, public morals, manners and customs of the DPRK;
  4. The marks that misrepresent the commodity or a service;
  5. The signs that are no more than the inscription of the commodity name, composition, characteristics and the like;
  6. The inspection marks or the simple numerical or geometric signs;
  7. The marks identical with or similar to the trademark that has been exhibited at exhibitions and shows;
  8. The marks made of the mark of the international organization which the DPRK has acceded to or the marks running counter to international law and international custom;
  9. The marks identical with or similar to a widely known or famous trademark.
Article 22

The trademark registration organ shall deliberate on the trademarks applied for registration and decide either on approval or rejection. The result of deliberations shall be notified to the institutions, enterprises, organizations and citizens that have applied for trademark registration.

Article 23

The trademark that has been decided to be registered shall be listed in the state trademark register and the trademark registration certificate shall be issued to the relevant institution, enterprise, organization or citizens. In case a trademark registration certificate is lost or soiled it shall be procured again. The registered trademarks shall be made public through the “Official Bulletin of Trademarks”.

Article 24

The institutions, enterprises, organizations and citizens may, if any, lodge grievances with the trademark registration organ within 6 months from the date when the registration was made public. The trademark registration organ shall consider the grievances and notify, in writing, the result to the relevant institution, enterprise, organization or a citizen.

Article 25

The institutions, enterprises, organizations and citizens whose application for trademark registration has been rejected may request for reconsideration within 6 months of the notification of the rejection. The trademark registration organ shall consider the request and notify the relevant institution, enterprise, organization or citizen of the result. The reconsidered decision shall be confirmed if no other opinion is raised within 2 months from the date of its announcement.

Article 26

The institutions, enterprises, organizations or citizens that are not satisfied with the reconsidered decision may petition to the State Trademark Deliberation Committee within 2 months of notification of the result of reconsideration. The State Trademark Deliberation Committee shall consider the petition and notify the result to the trademark registration organ and the relevant institution, enterprise, organization or a citizen.

Chapter 4. Protection of trademark rights[edit]

Article 27

The protection of trademark rights is an important part of the trademark administration. The trademark registration organ and the relevant institution shall thoroughly protect and not infringe upon the interests of the institutions, enterprises, organizations and citizens that hold trademark rights.

Article 28

The trademark rights shall be held by the institutions, enterprises, organizations or citizens that have a trademark registered with the trademark registration organ. The rights to a trademark that has been registered under a joint name shall be held jointly.

Article 29

The trademark right holder shall have the following rights;

  1. The right to use the registered trademark;
  2. The right to transfer or permit the use of the whole or a part of the registered trademark;
  3. The right to stop any infringement upon the trademark rights and to claim indemnity;
  4. The right to withdraw the registration of a trademark.
Article 30

The institutions, enterprises, organizations and citizens wishing to take over a trademark rights shall draft a document of transfer and submit it to the trademark registration organ. In this case approval shall be obtained from the transferor. The transferred trademark rights shall be effective from the date when the transfer is registered with the trademark registration organ.

Article 31

The institutions, enterprises, organizations and citizens that hold the trademark rights may permit other institutions, enterprises, organizations and citizens to use the registered trademark. In this case they should conclude a contract to permit the use of a trademark and submit the required document to the trademark registration organ.

Article 32

The quality of the commodity or service whose use has been permitted shall be the responsibility of the institution, enterprise, organization or citizen using the trademark. The institutions, enterprises, organizations and citizens that hold a trademark right may be entitled to control the quality of the commodity or the service in question.

Article 33

The trademark rights may not be transferred to nor be permitted to be used by the institutions, enterprises, organizations or citizens that have no relevant qualifications.

Article 34

The term of protection of trademark rights shall be 10 years from the date of application for trademark registration. Upon application of the institutions, enterprises, organization or citizens that hold the trademark right, the term of protection may be prolonged 10 years each time.

Article 35

The institutions, enterprises, organizations or citizens shall file a written application with the trademark registration organ if they wish to prolong the term of trademark right protection.

Article 36

The written application for the extension of the term of trademark right protection shall be filed within 6 months before the expiry of the term. In an unavoidable situation, the written application for extending the term of trademark right protection may be filed within 6 months after the expiry.

Article 37

The institutions, enterprises, organizations and citizens that hold trademark right shall file a written application with the trademark registration organ for changing trademark registration in respect of any change of the name, address and others. The trademark registration organ shall register the particulars of change in the State Trademark Register.

Article 38

The institutions, enterprises, organizations and citizens that wish to withdraw their trademark right shall file a written application with the trademark registration organ. In this case, their trademark registration certificate shall also be surrendered.

Article 39

If trademark registration is withdrawn or a trademark is not used for 5 years from the date of registration, the trademark right shall lose effect.

Chapter 5. Guidance and control of trademark administration[edit]

Article 40

To strengthen guidance to and control of trademark administration is an essential requirement for the improvement of the qualities of commodities and the protection of the trademark rights. The State shall strengthen the guidance to and control of trademark administration.

Article 41

The guidance to trademark administration shall be exercised by the state trademark guidance organ under the unified guidance of the Cabinet. The state trademark guidance organ shall settle opinions and disputes related with the guidance to trademark administration, consideration and registration of trademarks through the State Trademark Deliberation Committee.

Article 42

The trademark registration organ shall see to it that trademarks are designed good to see, handy to use and proper to the characteristics of the commodity and the taste of the user. It shall also regularly make public the records of application for registration, registration and its alteration, renewal, transfer, permission of use, withdrawal, etc.

Article 43

The trademark registration organ, the relevant scientific research institutes and educational institutions shall conduct in a far- sighted way the work for laying strong material and technical foundations of the trademark registration organ and train systematically the personnel needed for consideration and registration of trademarks.

Article 44

The institutions, enterprises, organizations and citizens shall not make, publish, print, sell or buy illegal trademarks nor sell, export or import the commodities with false or sham trademarks, or without trademarks.

Article 45

The relevant institutions, enterprises, organizations and citizens shall pay fees related to trademarks. The fees shall be set by the price assessment organ.

Article 46

Trademark administration work shall be supervised and controlled by the trademark registration organ and the relevant supervisory and control organs. The trademark registration organ and the relevant supervisory and control organs shall strictly supervise and control the institutions, enterprises, organizations and citizens so that they strictly follow the procedures of applying for trademark registration and deliberations and not infringe upon trademark rights.

Article 47

In case the interests under trademark rights of institutions, enterprises, organizations and citizens are infringed upon, the relevant damages shall be compensated for and the trademarks and commodities used for illegal acts confiscated or business activities suspended.

Article 48

In case a trademark rights is illegally transferred or permitted for use, or a registered trademark is used in a changed form, the production or service of the commodity concerned may be suspended or the registration of the trademark cancelled.

Article 49

The officials of the institutions, enterprises and organizations as well as individual citizens that have violated this law and caused grave consequences to the trademark administration shall be subject to an administrative or a penal responsibility depending on the gravity.

Article 50

Any dispute concerning the trademarks shall be settled through consultation. In case of failure in consultation it shall be referred to the trademark registration organ or the State Trademark Deliberation Committee for settlement. In case no settlement is reached by the trademark registration organ or the State Trademark Deliberation Committee, the dispute shall be submitted to a court or an arbitration organ 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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