Recent Amendments to Korean IP Laws 2015
|Presented by Duk Yeul Baek
The Korean Patent Act, Utility Model Act and Trademark Act were amended on June 11, 2014 and on January 28, 2015. The amended Trademark Act has been enforced as of June 11, 2014 but the Patent Act and Utility Model Act amended in 2014 has been enforced as of January 1, 2015 except one provision concerning the restoration of expired rights by non-payment of an annuity which had already been enforced as of June 11, 2014. And the Patent Act and Utility Model Act amended in 2015 has been enforced as of July 29 2015. The summary of the amendments is as follows:
Patent Act and Utility Model Act
Research notes which summarize the results of researches, English articles which were published on any scholarly journals and any completed explanatory materials of ideas can be filed as they are with the KIPO in order to obtain a prior filing date. For filing, no formal requirements are needed and English filing is allowed. Korean translation of any English application must be submitted within 14 months from the priority date.
2. Entry of National Phase of PCT applications (2014 Amendment)
The entry of a national phase of a PCT International Application can be made in English, any mistranslations can be corrected and the term for submitting a Korean translation can be extended by one month.
3. Restoration of rights (2014 Amendment)
When any annuities of a patent right or a utility model right are not paid within 6 months from the expiry date ("Grace Term") or within 1 month from the receipt date of a Supplementation Order ("Supplementation Term") due to a cause for which the owner(s) of such patent or utility model is not responsible, it can be restored by a payment of annuities within 2 months from the extinguished date of such cause. However, It cannot be restored when 1 year has passed from the later date between the expiry date of the Grace Term and the Supplementation Term.
4. Exceptions to Lack of Novelty (2015 Amendment)
When an applicant did not claim exceptions to lack of novelty at the time of filing an application, he or she can complementarily claim it within the amendment term for specification and within three months from the receipt date of the Decision of Allowance.
5. Divisional Application after Decision of Allowance (2015 Amendment)
A divisional application is allowed within three months from the receipt date of the Decision of Allowance.
1. Prevention of registration and restriction of use of a trademark violating good faith principle
When a person who knows that other person has used or is preparing use of his or her mark due to the contractual and professional relation with him or her filed a trademark application for that mark under the purpose of preoccupancy of it, such application and use is not allowed.
2. Prevention of dilution
If any fruits including names of entertainers or broadcasting programs acquired by considerable investments of other person were registered as a trademark, it cannot be used without permission from the right owner, and the right owner can also file a cancellation against it.
3. Relaxation of requirements for a secondary meaning
The requirements for a secondary meaning of a descriptive mark are relaxed by allowing a registration for the trademarked goods when it is recognized as a mark of a particular person through use since prior to the application.