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IP Legal

Summary of Korean IP System

Patent Act

General Information on Korean Patent System

  •  First- to File Rule

  •  Duration of a patent right: 20 yeas from the filing date (It commence upon registration and ends 20 years after the filing date of the patent Application).

  • Claiming Convention Priority: One year form the priority date - Publication of Unexamined Application (laying-open of applications): After 18 months form the filing date in Korea or form the Priority date in a foreign country) 

  • Request for Examination: Within 5 years form the filing date (or from the international filing date for a PCT application). If it is not be done by the statutory 5 year period, the patent application is deemed to have been withdrawn. 

  • Expedited Examination: If an invention has been commercially worked by a person who is not the applicant. (Upon submission of a written request and it takes about 4 month onto registration form the requesting date) 

  • Most commonly issued Rejection Reasons: Lack of novelty, Obviousness, Too broad claims-insufficient disclosure, Lack of unity of invention, improper and inconsistent terminology, Lack of reference numbers in claims...

  •  Entry into the Nation Phase for Korea (PCT): 31 month form the priority date.

  •  Appeal and Trial: 3 levels of appeal to a Final Office Action and Trial (Industrial Property Tribunal, as a First level-Patent Court, As an Appeal level - Supreme Court as a Final and conclusive level)

Required Document

  •  An application sheet: It must contains the information on the applicant [name, address of the inventor and the applicant (if the applicant is a juristic person, name of a representative is necessary), date of submission, the title of the invention) - Specification (detailed explanation of the invention)

  •  Claims

  •  Drawings, if any

  •  Priority document, if any

  •  Power of Attorney

* Most Articles of the Korean Patent Law and Required Documents shall be applied to Utility Model

Trademark Act

General Information on Korean Trademark System

  • First to File Rule

  • First-to Rule under a certain condition (for protection of foreign well known-trademarks): In case that a non-registered prior user of a trademark has been used his mark Without intention of unfair competition and his mark is recognized as and identifier of his business to general consumers, the prior user would have the non-exclusive right to Use his mark (from July 1, 2007)

  • Duration of a trademark right: 10 years form the registration date (renewable by every 10 year's renewal application)

  • Substantial Examination System.

  • Expansion of Subject matter to be protected as trademark: Non-traditional business identifier can be protects as a trademark of July 1, 2007(Hologram, motion mark, marks only composed of colors)

  • Extended Filing priority for a plaintiff in a cancellation trial based on a non-use: from 3 months to six) months (from July 1, 2007)

  • Conversion of an application: between trademark application, service mark application and collection mark application (expect for geographical collective mark application) from (ugly 1, 2007)

  • Most commonly issued Rejection Reasons: Same or similar to prior registered/applied-for mark, Too broad goods/ service descriptions, Lack of distinctiveness, Descriptiveness of a mark... -2 Month of Publication for public inspection and opposition purpose (from July 2007) -9th Edition of Nice Goods/ Services Classification Table: allowing generic and /or brad goods/sieves detentions (eg. some sub-class headings) in steps (from July 1, 2007)

  • Claiming Convention Priority: 6 months form the priority date,

  • Appeal and Trial: 3 levels of appeal to a Final Office Action and Trial (Industrial property Tribunal, as a First level - Patent Court, as an Appeal level - Supreme Court, as an Final and conclusive level)

Required Document

  • An application stating the name, address and the representative of the applicant

  • Specimen of the mark

  • List of Goods/Service

  • Priority documents, if any

  •  A Power of Attorney


Industrial Design Protection Act

General Information on Korean Design System

  • First-to File Rule

  • Subject matters of Design Are Article, part of an article and calligarphy

  • One design for a set of Articles: In case that multiple article are uses as a set of articles.

  • Secrete Design: for 3 years from the registration date upon request -Substantial Examination System.

  • Non Substantial Examination System: (for some short term life cycle products) -Duration of a Design right: 15 years from registration date (Duration of a similar design is subject to the principle design)

  • Post-grant opposition (3 months of Publication after registration for public inspection and opposition purpose.

  • Claiming convention priority: 6 month from the priority date.


Required Document

  • An application station the name, address and the representative of the applicant and creator

  • Title of Design

  • Description of the Design and gist of the Design

  • Drawings (7 views: front, rear, top, bottom, right, left and perspective view)

  • Priority document, if any

  • A Power of Attorney

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