The following document is South Korea’s industrial technology protection law, as amended in January 2023. The law aims to prevent technologies vital to South Korean national security or economic competitiveness from being divulged to or shared with foreign countries or corporations without the government’s knowledge.
The Korean source text is available online at: https://www.law.go.kr/%EB%B2%95%EB%A0%B9/%EC%82%B0%EC%97%85%EA%B8%B0%EC%88%A0%EC%9D%98%EC%9C%A0%EC%B6%9C%EB%B0%A9%EC%A7%80%EB%B0%8F%EB%B3%B4%ED%98%B8%EC%97%90%EA%B4%80%ED%95%9C%EB%B2%95%EB%A5%A0/(19166,20230103)
An archived version of the Korean source text is available online at: https://perma.cc/Z4CM-3S24
U.S. $1 ≈ 1,300 South Korean won, as of March 7, 2023.
ACT ON PREVENTION OF DIVULGENCE AND PROTECTION OF INDUSTRIAL TECHNOLOGY
(Abbreviated: ACT ON PROTECTION OF INDUSTRIAL TECHNOLOGY)
[Enforced on April 4, 2023] [Article 19166 of the Bill, January 3, 2023, partially revised]
Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (Technology Security Division), 044-203-4852
CHAPTER I: GENERAL PROVISIONS
Article 1 (Purpose)
The purpose of this Act is to prevent undue divulgence of, and protect, industrial technology in order to strengthen the competitiveness of Korean industries and contribute to national security and development of the national economy.
Article 2 (Definitions)
The definitions of terms used in this Act are as follows:
1. The term “industrial technology” refers to any of the following technologies the head of an administrative agency (where the relevant affairs have been delegated or entrusted, referring to the head of the agency, corporation, or organization delegated or entrusted therewith) designates, declares, announces, or certifies in accordance with this Act, other statutes, or an order delegated by this Act or other statutes (limited to Presidential Decree, Ordinance of the Prime Minister, and Ministerial Ordinance; hereafter in this Article the same shall apply) to enhance the competitiveness of industries or prevent divulgence of technologies, among the methods and technological information necessary for the development, production, dissemination, and use of products or services:
a. National core technology declared pursuant to Article 9;
b. Technology falling within the scope of the high technology pursuant to Article 5 of the Industrial Development Act;
c. New technology certified pursuant to Article 15-2 of the Industrial Technology Innovation Promotion Act;
d. New electric technology designated and declared pursuant to Article 6-2 of the Electric Technology Management Act;
e. New technology certified pursuant to Article 7 of the Environmental Technology and Industry Support Act;
f. New construction technology designated and declared pursuant to Article 14 of the Construction Technology Promotion Act;
g. New health technology certified pursuant to Article 8 of the Health and Medical Service Technology Promotion Act;
h. Core root1 technology designated pursuant to Article 14 of the Root Industry Promotion and Advancement Act;
i. Technology declared in the official gazette by the Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy among technologies designated, declared, announced, or certified in accordance with an order delegated by other statutes or this statute;
2. The term “national core technology” refers to technologies designated under Article 9 that may have a significant adverse effect on national security and the development of the national economy if divulged abroad, due to their high technological and economic value in domestic and foreign markets or the high growth potential of related industries;
3. The term “national research and development project” refers to research and development projects advanced by the heads of relevant central governmental administrative agencies under Article 11 of the Framework Act on Science and Technology;
4. The term “relevant organization” refers to corporations, research institutes, specialized institutions, universities, etc. possessing industrial technologies.
Article 3 (Responsibilities and Duties of the State)
1. The State shall establish and implement comprehensive policies needed to prevent divulgence of, and protect, industrial technology.
In the application of this Act, every institution relevant to the development, dissemination, and use of industrial technology, such as the State, corporations, research institutes, and universities, must endeavor to prevent relevant workers, such as researchers of industrial technology, from receiving unfair treatment and harm. [Every relevant institution] must also endeavor not to impede the diffusion and use of industrial technology and knowledge.
2. Every citizen shall endeavor to pay more attention to and elevate awareness to prevent divulgence of industrial technology and to cultivate the awareness of vocational ethics.
Article 4 (Relationship to Other Statutes)
Except as otherwise provided in other statutes, matters concerning preventing divulgence of, and protecting, industrial technology shall be governed by the provisions of this Act.
CHAPTER II ESTABLISHMENT AND ENFORCEMENT OF POLICIES TO PROTECT AND PREVENT DIVULGENCE OF INDUSTRIAL TECHNOLOGY
For the rest of this translation, download the PDF below.
Download Full TranslationAct on Prevention of Divulgence and Protection of Industrial Technology (Abbreviated: Act on Protection of Industrial Technology)
- Translator’s note: The South Korean government defines “root”(ppuri; 뿌리) here as industries and technologies such as castings, molds, plasticity, welding, thermal processing, and surface treatment that serve as a basis for other manufacturing. Root industries support important economic sectors such as the automobile, shipbuilding, and information technology industries.