Korean Constitutional Court ruled that a key provision of the Act on Prevention of Divulgence and Protection of Industrial Technology (as established as Act No. 8062 on October 27, 2006, and before amended by Act No. 10962 on July 25, 2011, the “Industrial Technology Protection Act” or “the Act”) is unconstitutional (July 25, 2013, 2011Heonba39).

The Constitutional Court has ruled that part of the provisions of Article 36(2) of the Act is unconstitutional because it was against the ‘principle of clarity’ derived from the principle of ‘nulla poena sine lege’. (No punishment without an authorizing law) Such ruling is expected to have considerable impact on a legal community as the Industrial Technology Protection Act is considered as one of the two most important laws providing for punishment for illegal divulgence of trade secrets or important technologies along with the Unfair Competition Prevention and Trade Secret Protection Act (the “Unfair Competition Prevention Act”). We provide details on the legal provision at issue, reasons for the ruling, and measures required to be taken for ongoing investigation/litigation and anticipated repercussions of the ruling as follows.

  1. Details on the legal provision at issue
  2. Reasons for the ruling
  3. Possible Measures to be taken for ongoing investigation/litigation and impact of the ruling


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