IP Practice

    Application & Registration

      What is a patent?

      The purpose of the patent system is to accelerate industrial development by protecting and encouraging the creation of practical inventions. In order to achieve this, patent rights are granted in exchange for technology disclosure. That is, the general public can utilize the disclosed technology, and the inventor can put the exclusive rights granted in return for disclosure to his or her advantage in business.
      The granting of exclusive rights encourages the development of inventions, and ultimately leads to industrial development.

      Guidelines for Request and Procedure of Patent Application
      STEP 01. Request for Patent Application
      Request filing of a patent application.
      STEP 02. Review of Request in detail
      After reviewing ideas to be applied for, select the most appropriate application form, either a patent application (i.e., an invention) or a utility model registration application (i.e., a device).
      STEP 03. Prior Art Research
      Prior to filing, prior art research is conducted to determine whether registration is possible or not, based on the presence or absence of patent requirements.
      STEP 04. Application and Examination
      When an applicant submits a patent application and a request for examination thereof to the KIPO, the KIPO conducts substantive examination to determine whether the patent application is eligible for a patent, and makes a decision to reject or grant a patent according to the examination result.
      STEP 05. Registration
      When a decision to grant a patent is made, a registration fee therefor is paid to establish and register patent rights.
      STEP 06. Maintenance
      The applicant pays an annual fee each year to retain the patent rights in force for a given period of time.
      Filing & Examination Procedures
      Formality Examination When a patent application is submitted to the KIPO, it is reviewed to ensure that all requirements necessary to accord the application a filing date have been satisfied. In any of the following instances the application will be returned to the submitter without any application number being assigned thereto and will be treated as if it had never been submitted.
      Request for Examination A patent application will be taken up for examination only if a request for examination is made either by the applicant or by an interested party within three (3) years of the filing date of the application. If no request for examination is made within this 3-year period, the patent application is deemed to have been withdrawn. Once a request for examination has been duly filed, it cannot be withdrawn.
      Laying open of Publication for Public Inspection Applications that have not yet been published will be automatically laid-open in the official publication known as the "Patent Laid-open Gazette," eighteen (18) months from the filing date thereof in Korea or, if the right of priority is claimed from an earlier foreign filing, from the priority date.
      Substantial Examination For a patent to be registered under the Patent Law, it should meet the following requirements: (a) It should fall under the definition of an invention under the Patent Act; (b) It should have Novelty, Industrial Applicability, and an Inventive Step; and (c) It should not fall into any of the patent categories unable to be registered as prescribed in Article 32 of Patent Act.
      Decision of Registration If no grounds for rejecting a patent application are found, the examiner shall grant a patent right.
      Registration & Publication of gazettes When a patent decision is made, the applicant pays a registration fee to establish and register a patent right, and from that point on, patent rights are issued. Details for the registered patent application are published as a registration notice and publicly available to the public. A patent right becomes effective through registration, and the duration thereof is twenty (20) years from the filing date.
      Decision of Refusal As a result of the reexamination of the amendment submitted after the notice of the grounds for rejection, and in the event that the grounds for rejection still exist, the patent application is determined to have been rejected.
      Appeal against Examiner's Decision of Refusal A trial will be held when an applicant who has received a decision of rejection wishes to appeal the decision and requests cancellation thereof with the Intellectual Property Trial and Appeal Board (“IPTA”).
      Invalidation Trial This is a trial procedure in which an examiner or an interested party requests that a patent be invalidated on the grounds that there is a ground for invalidation (lack of patent requirements, incomplete description, combined applications, etc.).