The challenges for international collaborators relate principally to employee inventions and secret patents. A third challenge concerns joint inventions made by several inventors who can claim joint ownership of an invention depending on which joint ownership regime applies. It is important to avoid the pitfalls of interpretative territory by determining the issue of ownership upfront.
South Korean patent law does not require that patent applications be filed first in South Korea, regardless of where the invention was conceived or where the inventors reside. Thus, the underlying principle regarding employee inventor compensation in South Korea remains the same, regardless of where an applicant chooses to file first.
Factors to be considered in deciding where first to obtain patent protection when an inventor team comprises members located in one or more jurisdictions other than your own include whether there are first-filing requirements in those countries. If so, it is important to understand whether they apply only to inventions made by national entities or individuals, or more broadly to inventions made in the national territory.