USEFUL NOTES for our clients to consider in filing IP rights in Korea
■ Absolute novelty in patent, utility model and design application is required.
■ Examination of patent application must be formally requested (may be requested on filing the application, or deferred up to 3 years from the Korean/International (PCT) filing date).
■ Patent applications are laid-open 18 months from the earliest priority date (for applications claiming foreign priority benefit) or from the Korean filing date, but may be laid-open earlier upon request.
■ Accelerated examination is possible under special circumstances, and a request for Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) based on the results in the international stage and/or of family application in the corresponding countries is available.
■ All kinds of applications for IP matters can be filed in the KIPO through an ON-LINE system since January 1, 1999. Filing fees are fixed regardless of the total number of pages of the application or the number of claims in the application.
■ Fees for the Request for Examination, for Registration of the Patent/Utility Model Rights, and for post-grant annuities are all based upon the number of claims.
■ All documents must be filed in the Korean language (translation into Korean must be submitted at the time of filing the Korean application).
■ Power of Attorney (simply signed) must be submitted (may be late-filed with fee).
■ Instead of submitting a separate (special) power of attorney for each case, a “general Power of Attorney” or “general authorization” (simply signed) good for future matters empowered or authorized to be taken on their behalf may be submitted (may be late-filed with fee). Once an applicant files a general power of attorney, there will be no need to file an individual power for each patent, utility model, design or trademark application in the future.
■ Foreign priority benefit, if any, must be claimed when filing the Korean application, and the priority document must be submitted (may be submitted after filing) except in PCT Korean national phase applications. However, the foreign priority benefit can be amended or added after filing. If the foreign priority benefit originates from a Japanese or European patent application, the submission of the priority document is not required. Korean translation of priority document(s) is not required to be submitted but, if necessary, the Examiner may request the Korean translation thereof during examination or trial proceeding.