How Will Free Trade With South Korea Impact IP?

Yesterday, it was reported that Congress passed free trade agreements with South Korea, Panama and Columbia.  The agreements are suppose to, among other things, significantly remove duties and phase out tariffs on various U.S. exports.  However, it has also been reported that there are provisions affecting intellectual property law, which must be ratified by the Korean National Assembly.  I agree with Professor’s Crouch’s assessment that this appears to be another step toward harmonizing worldwide patent practice.  As there will be more incentives for U.S. companies to send products to South Korea, it will be interesting to see if there will be an increase in South Korean patent filings.    

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