The National Assembly of the Republic of Korea passed the bills to amend the Civil Procedure Code and Court Organization Act on November 12, 2015, and thus jurisdiction over litigations arising out of infringement upon patent rights, utility model rights, design rights, trademark rights, and protection rights of varieties of plants will be concentrated as of January 1, 2016.
Up until now, an IP infringement proceeding can be brought to any district court; however, such suit must be brought to the Seoul Central District Court, the Busan District Court, Daegu District Court, Gwangju District Court, and Daejeon District Court for the first instance as of January 1, 2016. In case of the Seoul Central District Court, selective and overlapping nationwide jurisdiction is recognized, and anybody can bring an IP infringement suit to the Seoul Central district court irrespective of his or her domicile.
In the second instance, appellate jurisdiction is only exercisable by the Patent Court. The Patent Court already has jurisdiction over IP litigation for cancellation of trial decisions for the validity issues, and therefore improvement is expected in the extent of the court's rationality and efficiency resulting from the unification of jurisdiction over litigation for cancellation of trial decisions and infringement proceedings.