Upcoming Changes to Patent Law in South Korea

August 04, 2014

The South Korean Patent Act has been amended and the changes will, mostly, come into effect on 1 January 2015.

The Patent Act of South Korea has been amended but most of the changes will not come into effect until 1 January 2015. The changes mean that international applications filed after 1 January 2015 will be able to enter the South Korea national phase without translation. The translation will be required within 32 months from the earliest priority date. In addition, under the amended law the description and drawings of the PCT application will be considered the original text meaning it may be possible to revise the Korean translation if necessary. The changes also mean that a priority claiming application can be filed in South Korea without translation. A translation will be required within 14 months from the earliest priority date. However, it seems that this provision only applies to applications in English at the moment. Under the amended law the English language version of the application will be deemed the original document again meaning that revision of the translation into Korean may be possible. Under the new law it is also possible to restore a patent right in South Korea that has lapsed for lack of payment of renewal fees even when the invention is not currently being worked. This applies to patents for which a request for restoration is filed on or after 11 June 2014.

If you have any questions concerning the above changes to Korean patent law, please get in touch with your usual contact at Swindell & Pearson Ltd or Ian Whiley at [email protected]. Ian is based at our head office in Derby and spends much of his time servicing clients based in Derby and Nottingham.