Franchising in South Korea: Practical Law’s Franchising Global Guide Korean Chapter by IPG Legal

This Global Guide Q&A on South Korean Franchise Law provides an overview of the main practical issues concerning Korean franchising, including current market activity; regulation of franchising in Korea; contractual issues relating to franchising agreements in Korea (including pre-contract disclosure requirements, formalities, parties’ rights and obligations, fees and payments, term of agreement and renewal, termination, and choice of law and jurisdiction); Korean Operations Manual; liability issues; Korean intellectual property; real estate; competition law; employment issues; dispute resolution; exchange control and

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A “Franchise” Defined under Korean Law: Franchise Law Basics

Korea Franchise Law  Korea has a very broad definition of a “franchise” under Korea’s Franchise Law. The definition of a franchise, in Korea, is noted in Korea’s Franchise Act and has been fairly consistently applied by the courts and Korea’s Fair Trade Commission. If you are deemed a franchise in Korea, you shall have disclosure and other requirements prior to offering your franchise for sale in Korea. Korea’s Franchise Act defines a franchise as: “a continuous business relationship in which

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Will McDonald’s Korea Franchise in Korea?

In early April this year, chief executive and president of McDonald’s, Steve Easterbrook, announced that the company was seeking a “strategic partner” in Korea, as part of the company’s implementation of a “global turnaround strategy.”  A report on the announcement can be found at: McDonald’s seeks strategic partner in Korea. At the time, the company did not elaborate as to what exactly was meant by “strategic partner” though McDonald’s did say that the company was “open to all possibilities” including

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Enforcement of Sales Promotions by Franchisors under Korean Franchise Law

Can an international franchisor force a local Korean franchise to cut the prices of a product via a sales event? This issue was addressed by the Korean Supreme Court in 2003Du7484.  In this Supreme Court of Korea case, a franchisor, among other things, mandated via the franchise agreement for a franchisee to hold sales events.  The franchise agreement did not specify the specific details of the sales events. The franchisor elected to utilize the clause in the franchise agreement to

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A Franchisor may be Unable to Prosecute a Franchisee for Embezzlement in Korea

Article 355 of Korea’s Criminal Act defines embezzlement as: “a person who, having the custody of another’s property, embezzles or refuses to return the property shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than five years or a fine not exceeding fifteen million won.” In a landmark case in Korea’s Franchise Jurisprudence, the Supreme Court ruled a franchisee may not be held criminally liable for embezzlement for “arbitrary spending of funds” and not paying franchise fees under the franchise agreement,

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Searching Trademark & Service Marks in Korea: Register your Trademarks/Service Marks Prior to Doing Business in Korea

Prior to marketing products, services or a business in Korea do a thorough search for like trademarks/service marks in Korea, then, have your trademarks/service marks registered in Korea – if you don’t want the added cost of litigating a matter at a Korean court.  If you have patents, don’t forget to, also, register your patents and other intellectual property. Your U.S. and E.U. trademark, service mark and patent filings are not enough. These “international filings” only gives you a grace

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Registration of a Korean Franchise Disclosure Document under Korea’s Revised Franchise Law

We are happy to report that we have, recently, succeeded in registering the disclosure document of a franchise in Korea. Our client, a leading U.S. franchise, came to us hoping to take advantage of Korea’s dynamic franchise market.  We have an active franchise and distribution law practice team lead by a retired Korean court judge and little ole me. When Korea’s franchise law was amended in 2014, there were many uncertainties about how the Fair Trade Commission of Korea would

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Changes to Korea’s Franchise Law May Lead to an Increased Potential for Criminal Sanctions: Franchise Law Basics

The Fair Transactions in Franchise Business Act of Korea was amended on August 13, 2013 and became effective on August 14, 2014.  The, facial, reason for the change in the Act is noted in an announcement by the Korean government on the reason for the amendment.  The facial reason for the amendment shows the rationale for imposing criminal sanctions for acts that don’t constitute “crimes.” Korean Government’s Stated Reason for the Amendment: “Recently, there is a rapid and growing tendency

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Weekly Korean Legal News From International Law Firm – IPG Legal for the Week of July 28, 2014

Weekly Korean Legal News From International Law Firm – IPG Legal for the Week of July 28, 2014Korean Legal News Reported by the Media on the Week of July 28, 2014 IMC may blacklist Korean builders over collusion Prosecutors continue probe into ferry owner’s driver Foreign workers upset by severance pay formula Restructuring urgent for big Korean companies Relocation of USFK Headquarters to Go Ahead Most Recent Posts from the Korean Law Blog This slot is reserved for the new

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Korean Franchise Law Basics for Franchisors Intending to Do Business in Korea

Over the next week couple of weeks we will be posting articles on the updated Korean Franchise Law. The articles will be listed below. The articles will address the major issues facing franchisors in the Korean market.If you have any topics that interest you or will interest other readers – please advise. Articles on the Basics of Korean Franchise Law: Distribution Agreements in Korea: Crawl before you Walk Korean Small Business Partnerships/Joint Ventures: Pubs, Distributors, Exporters, Boutiques, Franchises and Basic

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