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Patents in Korea

Patent Filing in Korea

An application for the grant of patent can be filed in Korea along with prescribed fees at the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO). The applicant may be either a natural person or a juristic person.

Documents required for Patent filing in Korea

  • An application stating complete details of the applicant(s) and inventor(s) (names, nationality and address) and priority data (if the right of priority is claimed);
  • Patent specification and claims in the Korean language along with drawings, if any;
  • Duly executed Power of Authority for the Agent
  • A certified copy of the priority document (if any) together with its Korean translation (whenever an applicant is requested to submit a Korean translation of a priority document).

Language:

All the details and other formal documents must be filed in Korean language.

Specifications for Patent filing in Korea

A patent application shall be accompanied by a specification stating the following:

  • The title of an invention;
  • Brief description of the drawings;
  • The scope of claims;
  • Abstract;
  • Necessary drawings

Types of patent applications in Korea

Patent applications in Korea can be filed as:

  • Ordinary Application
  • Provisional and Complete Application
  • Convention Application
  • PCT Application
  • Divisional application

How to file an ordinary patent application in Korea?

An ordinary patent application is the application which is filed with the Korean Intellectual Property Office without claiming priority from any other application under process with any other country’s Patent Office.

How to file a Provisional and complete application in Korea?

A provisional specification can be filed in respect of an invention so as to receive an early filing date.  However, a complete specification must be filed within 12 months from the date of filing of the provisional specification.

How to file Convention Application in Korea?

Korea is a member of the Paris Convention since May 4, 1980. Hence an application can be filed in convention countries within twelve months from the date of priority of patent application filed in Korea or a convention application can be filed in Korea within twelve months from the date of priority of a patent application of a convention country.

How to file PCT Application in Korea?

Korea joined the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) on August 10, 1984. Since then, it is possible to designate Korea in International Patent Application filed via the PCT route.

How to file Divisional application in Korea?

As per Patent Act of Korea, if an application comprises multiple inventions then the applicant may divide it into two or more applications. However, the scope of the descriptions and drawings of the divisional applications may not extend beyond the original application.\

Patent Examination in Korea

KIPO checks the patent application submitted so as to ensure that all requirements necessary to accord a filing date to the application have been satisfied.

In case of any of the following instances, the application is returned to the applicant without assigning any application number and is treated as if it had never been submitted:

  • where the kind of the application is not clear;
  • where the name or address of a person (or juristic person) who is initiating the application procedure (i.e. the applicant) is not described;
  • where the application is not written in Korean;
  • where the application is not accompanied by the specification (including detailed description of the invention) or drawings (if any); or
  • where the application is submitted, by a person who has no address or place of business in the Republic of Korea, without using an agent in the Republic of Korea.

When is request for examination filed in Korea?

A request for examination is required to be made either by the applicant or by an interested party within 5 years from the filing date of the application. Otherwise the patent application will be deemed to have been withdrawn. A patent application is taken up for examination in the order of filing the request for examination thereof.

What is substantial examination in Korea?

For a patent to be registered under the Patent Law of Korea, it should meet the following requirements;

  • It should fall under the definition of invention under the Patent Act of Korea;
  • It should satisfy the criteria of novelty, industrial applicability, and inventive step;
  • It should not fall into the categories of non-patentable inventions.

When is the time to file office action response in Korea?

A reply to the office action is required to be filed within two months from the date of issuance of FER. The applicant may however request for an extension up to four one-month, subject to payment of an additional fee each time.

When is Patent application published in Korea?

A patent application in Korea is published after the expiry of 18 months from the date of filing (or earliest priority). However, a request for early publication can be made in regard to the application with KIPO.

When is the Post-grant opposition filed in Korea?

If no grounds for rejections are found by the Examiner, the patent is granted to an application. After the grant of patent, applicant has to pay first 3 years’ annuities as a registration fee within 3 months from the date of receipt of notice of patent grant.

After the applicant pays registration fee, KIPO publishes the patent. Once the patent is published in Patent Registration Gazette, any person may file an opposition against the patent within 3 months from the publication date.

Grant of Patent in Korea

The patent is granted to an application if no grounds for rejections are found. After the grant of patent, applicant has to pay first 3 years’ annuities as a registration fee within 3 months from the date of receipt of notice of patent grant.

What is the Procedure for grant of patent?

The procedure for the grant of a patent in Korea is as follows:

Stage: 1- Patent application filing in Korea:

Stage: 2- Formality Examination

Stage: 3- Publication of Patent Application

Stage: 4- Request for examination

Stage: 5- Substantial Examination

Stage: 6- Office Action Response

Stage: 7- Grant of Patent

Patent Restoration in Korea

As per the Patent Act of Korea, if the applicant not only misses the annual-fee payment deadline but also the six-month grace period, the patent lapses. However, if non-payment was due to reasons beyond control, the applicant has six more months from the lapse date during which the patent can be restored subject to payment of a penalty charge of three times the regular fee.

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