A.In order to file a patent application with Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), the following
information and documents are needed:
ⅰ) name & address of an applicant (if incorporated, its address and representative's name);
ⅱ) name(s) & address of the inventor(s);
ⅲ) title of invention, specification, claims and (if any) drawings;
ⅳ) when a priority right is claimed from a home application, its filing date, application
number and a certified copy of the application are needed;
ⅴ) Power of Attorney (POA) executed by the applicant.
All the documents must be translated into Korean language before filing with KIPO - no other language is acceptable at the filing. The priority document and POA may be supplemented after the filing with prescribed fees.
A.Any claims of priority rights should be submitted simultaneously with the filing of the application. Priority documents should be submitted to the Korea Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) within 16 months of the priority date, together with a Korean translation. In case the contents of the Korean application are identical to those of the priority document, translation of the priority document may be replaced with an affidavit stating that both documents are identical. In case of an entry into Korean national phase of a PCT application, an applicant does not have to prepare a
priority document because it is delivered to KIPO through WIPO.
A.The entry into national phase should be done within 31 months from the earliest priority date with KIPO. The documents required are the same as those for an ordinary application (refer to answers to question (1) above). If either an amendment or name change has been made during the international stage, a copy of relevant document should be filed.
A.The KIPO accepts a general power of attorney system since January 1, 1999. All the proceedings may be done by this attorney system, and the general attorney right can be granted to any agents, or withdrawn at any time. However, in case of any litigation, opposition or trial, you must use conventional individual attorney forms.
A.Under the Korean Patent Act (KPA), an invention lacks its novelty in case that:
ⅰ) the invention was known or worked publicly in Korea before the filing date (or the priority
date if claimed);
ⅱ) the invention was described in a publication distributed inside or outside of Korea before
the filing date (or the priority date if claimed);
ⅲ) the invention was available by the public before the filing date (or the priority date if
claimed) through an electrical communication network including an internet server
maintained by a governmental office, public university, or public laboratory; or
ⅳ) the invention was disclosed in a Korean patent or utility model application having earlier
filing date (or priority date if claimed).
The requirement ⅰ) above provides the condition of “in Korea.” Accordingly, the fact that the invention was known or worked in a country other than Korea may not be a bar on novelty of the invention. The requirement ⅳ) above is applicable only when the earlier application is laid-
opened or published by the KIPO.
A.Yes, you can. Substantive examination for a patent application may be requested within 5 years from the date of application (or in the case of a Korean national phase entry from a PCT application, within 5 years of the international filing date). An application will be examined according to the chronological order of its filed request for examination. If the request is not made within 5 years, the application is deemed to be abandoned.
A.You should consider office fees and attorney fees. Usually, the attorney fees follow the fee tariff set by the Korean Patent Attorneys Association. The office fees for the request of substantive examination and of annuity depend on the number of claims. Therefore, proper number of
claims is recommended in order to save office fees.
A.The on-line electronic filing system has become available since January 1, 1999. A computer file containing the specification and its appended claims can be electronically sent to the server system at the KIPO. Electronic applications for new utility model or trademarks can also be
Since every applicant is encouraged to file his application by on-line computer, the KIPO posted a schedule of fees wherein the government fees for electronic application are lower than that for
the conventional paper applications.
A.Korea is a member of PCT, Paris Convention and WTO. The KPA follows the international standard for patent protection in terms of formal and substantive examination procedures. In most cases, a foreign application as filed in US, EP, Japan and so on can be translated into Korean language for a Korean patent application. However, under the KPA a multiple dependent claim is not accepted. In other words, a claim that depends on several claims cannot itself be depended on by another claim like the US system. In addition, an omnibus claim and "use of ..." claim are not accepted.
A.As of July 1, 1999, the utility model registration system in Korea has been changed. In other words, the utility model system has been changed from a post-examination grant system to the one without substantive examination. Further, the term of a registered utility model is now
shortened to 10 years (previously from 15 years) since the date of application.
Within 3 months of application, if an examination on formalities is passed, a utility model
registration will issue.
This registration is not sufficient to obtain rights against an alleged infringer. A successful technical evaluation by the KIPO should be obtained for the protection against infringements. The applicant may request a technical evaluation. When the evaluation is requested, an examiner takes a substantive examination for the registered utility model. If an office action for the cancellation of the registered utility model is issued by the examiner, the registrant has an opportunity to submit arguments and amendment to the claims. A negative technical evaluation
may be appealed to the Industrial Property Tribunal.
Since a registrant can obtain the KIPO's decision on the validity of the registered utility model within 3 months after the request for the technical evaluation, the registrant can figure out its legal position at the very early stage. If a request for the technical evaluation is made early, it is possible to obtain an exclusive right as early as 6 months from the application, which is
enforceable against infringers.