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Remunerating work-for-hire inventions in South Korea

Ju Young Kim and Stephen T Bang, Kim & Chang

In Korea, an employee has the right to obtain reasonable remuneration for a work-for-hire invention when he or she transfers a patent right or the right to obtain a patent, or grants an exclusive licence to the employer in accordance with a contract or service regulation. The employer's expected profit from the work-for-hire invention is considered when determining the reasonable remuneration. A recent Supreme Court opinion provides insight on whether an assignee's expected profit, in addition to an assignor's expected profit, should be considered when determining the remuneration if both the patent for the work-for-hire invention and the relevant business are transferred from the assignor to the assignee.

The plaintiff developed an invention around 1995 when he was an employee of company 1. Then the plaintiff implicitly transferred a right to obtain a patent to company 2, which company 1 established...

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