The revised Commercial Act of Korea (effective April 15, 2012) requires all companies owning assets of KRW 500 billion or more to designate a compliance officer. Companies owning assets of KRW 1 trillion or more are required to employ by April 15, 2012 a “compliance officer,” who is charged with observing compliance control standards, while companies owning assets in the range of KRW 500 billion to KRW 1 trillion are required to have a compliance officer by 2014. The Ministry of Justice introduced an incentive plan (reported to the President in 2012) to encourage companies to conform to this change in the law. Depending on the compliance track record and audit results, the incentives include reduced fines/imprisonment or stay of prosecution in criminal cases involving tax, environment and industrial accident issues.
In view of these changes in the law, companies must now proactively address how to prevent or minimize compliance issues. In conjunction with the Tax, Employment and Antitrusts Groups, Yulchon's IP Group successfully completed several projects to implement comprehensive IP compliance systems involving protection of intellectual property and trade secrets. Utilizing this experience, the IP Group can efficiently assist the client to set up a comprehensive compliance system (or resolve specific compliance issues) in order to identify, manage and prevent IP related risks.
- Investigate and assess risks of existing compliance programs pursuant to the IP laws, as well as implement new compliance programs.
- Recommend and implement improvements to a compliance program.
- Investigate and assess specific compliance violations.
- Advise on defining the work scope of the compliance officer to improve efficiency.
- Implemented a company-wide compliance system to protect intellectual property and information for a Korean conglomerate “K.”
- Implemented a company-wide compliance system for Company “H” and “K” to facilitate compliance with Korean corporate law and to protect trade secrets, etc.
- Advised a local semiconductor manufacturer “H” to identify legal risks and provided appropriate countermeasures relating to such risks from the perspective of intellectual property law.
- Advised a local conglomerate “L” to identify legal risks and provide appropriate countermeasures relating to employee invention issues.