The European Union (EU) is forging strong political and economic relations with the Republic of Korea (RoK) as a like-minded partner that shares similar values and interests. Since entry into force of the bilateral Free Trade Agreement in 2015, bilateral trade and investment has seen a remarkable level of growth.

Today, the Republic of Korea is the EU’s 9th largest export market, whereas the EU is the RoK’s 3rd greatest export destination for goods.

Intellectual property rights and IP-intensive industries have an increasingly important role to play in this relationship. Technological developments, such as the growth of e-commerce, blockchain, and artificial intelligence (AI) have elevated the geo-political importance of IP rights, while also posing new challenges in policy and enforcement.

The implementation of the EU-RoK IP Action, from March 2024, aims to promote IP related cooperation between the EU and Republic of Korea.

The objectives of the EU-RoK IP Action include:

  • To create a strong partnership in the areas of IP protection and enforcement in the digital realm;

  • To improve trade in IP-intensive products between the EU and Republic of Korea;

  • To engage in targeted IP research, support activities, and awareness raising endeavours;

  • To cooperate on major IP policy areas of mutual interest and new technologies; and 

  • To enhance IP protection overall to the benefit of both parties

This cooperation is expected to result in:

  • Enhanced legal and policy frameworks;

  • Support in matters of IP for businesses (especially for small and medium enterprises) in both the EU and the Republic of Korea;

  • A general increased level of cooperation when it comes to the enforcement of intellectual property rights