The purpose of this Act is to enhance the technical competitiveness of industries and to contribute to the development of the national economy by encouraging invention and facilitating the prompt and efficient securing of rights to inventions and the commercialization thereof. Recently, inventions of new technologies are being made through the results of systematic research within companies, research institutes, and universities as the object of invention and the completion process have become more complex and advanced. Most of these inventions are inventions made by employees of companies, and the legal handling of such inventions is an important issue in terms of national industrial policy. If the issue of employee invention is delegated to the free decision between labor and management, depending on the dynamics between the two, sometimes the interests of the employer are biased and sometimes the protection of the employee is thick. Therefore, the Invention Promotion Act is an invention created through the integration of employer support (facilities, funds, etc.) and employees’ efforts (invention). In order to harmonize the interests of both parties, the employee invention system is stipulated.
Recently, there has been a rapid increase in employee invention compensation lawsuits related to the employee invention system. In the meantime, the courts have judged the employee invention compensation relationship, the legitimacy of the compensation provisions, and the statute of limitations for claims for compensation according to the legal principles of the former Patent Act and the Invention Promotion Act. Regarding the employee invention compensation regulations, I agree with the intention that it is necessary to protect employees who are in a relatively weak position compared to the company. Despite protecting the interests of employees, it is necessary to review whether it is reasonable to actively apply the labor law to compensation for employee inventions simply because the employee is in a relatively weak position compared to the company.