Civil proceedings begin when a plaintiff or his/her attorney files a complaint with a District Court, a Branch Court, or a Municipal Court. When the complaint is filed, the court serves the defendant with a duplicate and requires him/her to file a written answer within 30 days. If the defendant fails to file a written answer within such limit, the court may render a judgment without hearings. If the defendant submits a written answer, the court holds the pleading process (proceeding whereby both parties, in writing, enter into offense and defense on allegations and evidence) and the hearings (proceeding whereby both parties appear before the court to clarify their respective positions on disputed issues as well as to examine witnesses), and then renders a judgment.
it is expected that fully-prepared by the pleading process and intensive hearings will eliminate the inefficiency of the repeated and dragged hearings. In most cases, just one or two hearings will be held for decision. Furthermore, hearings are administered in a sincere and efficient manner giving the parties the fullest opportunity to make their oral statements before the court.
The losing party who is dissatisfied with the findings of facts or conclusions of law by the trial court can appeal the judgment rendered by the trial court within two weeks from the date the judgment is served. In general, the High Courts hear appeals with the exception that the appellate panels of the District Courts hear appeals when the amount in controversy does not exceed 50 million Korean won (approximately 51,500 US$, as of Feb. 2006). The appeal proceedings are similar to the trial proceedings, and the party is granted an opportunity to make new allegations and to produce new evidence.
The party who is dissatisfied with the judgment of the court of appeals may appeal to the Supreme Court, the court of last resort, within two weeks from the date the judgment is served. As the Supreme Court hears only matters of law, appeals cannot be lodged with the Supreme Court unless the judgment of the court of appeals erred in conclusion of law or appeal proceedings were in grave contravention of law.
Provisional Attachment and Provisional Procedure
If the debtor hides or disposes his/her property before the compulsory execution procedure is commenced, the creditor is obstructed from obtaining satisfaction of the claim. To prevent such attempts and to secure the debtor ' s property, the court may order provisional attachment or provisional disposition, pursuant to the creditor ' s request. If it is necessary to preserve the execution of the monetary claim, the court may order the debtor ' s property to be put under provisional attachment. Provisional disposition may be granted for the purpose of setting the temporary state of affairs in regard to disputed legal relations or preserving the execution in regard to the claim for delivery of specific immovable or movable property.
ABOUT THE COURT
The Patent Court of Korea was established under Article 3(2) of the Court Organization Act on March 1, 1998. The Court is now located in the city of Daejeon, within about 1.5 hours drive or 150 kilometers away from Seoul.
The Patent Court has exclusive jurisdiction over all cancellation appeals from diverse decisions rendered by the trial board(Intellectual Property Tribunal), which is headed by the Commissioner of Korea Intellectual Property Office, as to a patent ㆍ utility model ㆍ design ㆍ trademark. However, the Court's subject matter jurisdiction is limited to determining the validity and the scope of a patent and other registered rights. The category of so-called patent infringement cases, such as preliminary injunction, compensation for damages, injunctions of restitution of commercial credit, is referred to ordinary courts.
The Patent Court consists of a chief judge, 4 presiding judges, 12 judges, 17 technical examiners and secretariat now. 4 divisions, each consisting of 2 three-judge panels, hear the cases. Highly technical matters are referred to technical examiners who have long-term experiences in various scientific fields such as mechanical engineering electronic engineering chemical engineering etc.
The Patent Court is an appellate-level court. However, there is no hierarchical relation whatsoever between the cancellation proceedings of the Patent Court and the proceedings of the Intellectual Property tribunal, and the records from the proceedings of the Intellectual Property tribunal are not transferred to the Patent Court . Accordingly, the same contentions and evidences as those already submitted to the Intellectual Property tribunal must be submitted again to the Patent Court for a new determination at the Patent Court . Any appeal of the Patent Court 's decisions should be brought directly to the Supreme Court.