I. Preparation for filing a Patent Application
II. Prosecution of the Patent Application
A. Request for Examination
1. General Aspects
Request for Examination
A request for examination must be filed within five years (or three years in case of a utility model application) from the Korean filing date (or from the international filing date for a PCT application), otherwise the patent application concerned shall be deemed to have been irretrievably withdrawn.
It is to be noted that when filing the request for examination the applicant should contemplate the number of claims to be presented in the application, since the expense not only for filing the request for examination, but also for paying the patent annuities after being granted a patent, increases as the number of claims remaining in the application increases.
It is also to be noted that an applicant should determine the appropriate time to file the request for examination, since the term of the patent right shall be 20 years (15 years for a utility model application) from the Korean filing date, and the examination procedure is first initiated after about two to three years from the date of filing the request for examination.
With respect to a divisional application, or an application converted from a utility model application or a design application, a request for examination must be made within a non-extendible period of thirty (30) days from the date on which such application has been filed, even after the said period of five (or three) years has expired.
2. The Order of Examination
The examination of patent applications will be carried out in the order of receipt of the requests for examination. However, due to a backlog in examinations, even when such examination requests are filed upon filing the application, examination will not take place for at least about two to three years after the filing date of such application.
3. Amendments to be filed with the Request for Examination
The applicant can change the specification of his application by filing an amendment concurrently with the request for examination. Such an amendment can be filed (a) when the request for examination is filed by the applicant, or (b) within a three-month response term given to the applicant if the request for examination is filed by a third party. In such a situation, it is advantageous to authorize the request in the name of a person other than the applicant since the applicant then has a three-month response term, from the date of the official notification indicating that a request for examination has been filed by the third party, to file the amendment.
B. Laying-open of Applications
C. Preferential Examination
E. Preliminary Rejection Notice
F. Decision for the Patent Grant
G. Options after Receiving Final Rejection
H. Registration Publication and Opposition
I. Types of Trials in Intellectual Tribunal of Korean Industrial Proprty Office
J. Re-examination before Trial
K. Appeal to the Patent Court
N. Appointment of Patent Administrator
O. Documents for transfer of ownership of patent application (or patent)
P. License grant