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In Korea, computer programs can be protected under the Patent Law or the Computer Program Protection Law (CPP Law), which forms part of the Copyright Law.
Korean Copyright Law includes 'computer programs' within the definition of a creative work. Article 4, section 2 of the Law allows enactment of new laws on computer programs on a need basis, and thus computer programs are mainly protected and governed under the Computer Programs Protection Act. In case of the protection of computer programs under the domestic copyright law, the scope of protection of the work is bound to identical programs, and thus places a limit on the protection of a program inventor.
With such a limitation on the protection of computer program under the copyright law, patent protection for software-related inventions is strongly needed and is a worldwide trend. Korea also adopts patent protection for software-related inventions and, if software affects a physical process, it may be patentable. If the software preempts a mathematical algorithm, however, it is not patentable.
Although patent protection for software is available in Korea, claims to the computer programs themselves are not allowed yet. However, claims to computer-readable media storing programs are allowed and thus the patent holder can enforce the patent against publishers who place an infringing program on the media rather than being limited to enforcing the patent against end users of the infringing program.

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