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Patents Important to Economic Growth of Emerging Countries

Patents Important to Economic Growth of Emerging Countries

According to the paper, Korea’s Patent Policy and Its Impact on Economic Development: A Model for Emerging Countries?, a strong patent system is a positive part of encouraging economic growth for emerging economies.  The paper points out that:

Korea has long been a proponent of strong patent protection and of the need to maintain a robust, well-functioning patent office that supports the development of local technology.  That view is consistent with the notion, to which Korea subscribes, that the patent system can help promote and sustain healthy economic development, particularly in emerging-or newly industrializing-countries. P. 443

Korea’s economic results have been some of the best among emerging countries.

In the early 1960s the Republic of Korea (Korea) was the poorest country in East Asia with a per capita income less than half that of Ghana or Honduras, and a per capita GDP of approximately $160.  Today, Korea has achieved the status of a newly advanced economy. It ranks thirteenth in the amount of trade generated, fourth in the number of patent applications filed in 2008,3 and by 2007 its per capita GDP had risen to $20,000. P. 442

Korea has put real teeth into its patent laws and even has criminal provisions

There are serious consequences for infringing a patent right under the Korean Patent Act. A patentee is entitled not only to an injunction to prevent the infringing activity, but also to demand destruction of the infringing articles, and a patent infringer is subject not only to damages, but also to criminal sanctions, including imprisonment. P. 458

Korea requires separate compensation for inventions of employees.

The Korean patent law requires that inventors who are employees be compensated for their inventions.  P. 461

Korea’s creative use of the patent system to promote technological capacity has arguably been a significant factor in the country’s economic growth.  P. 480


Erstling, Jay, “Korea’s Patent Policy and Its Impact on Economic Development: A Model for Emerging Countries?” (2010). Faculty Scholarship. Paper 138.


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