New IP laws in Korea


Jinsang Jeong and Keechon Hong

The local system for protecting IP rights in Korea will be subject to change as a result of revisions to the Patent Act, Trademark Act, and Design Act, which have been promulgated.

Out of a number of revisions introduced to each act, the following is a brief review of the most significant. 

In the revised Patent Act, which became effective on July 1, 2013, the requirements for novelty have been strengthened. The revised act stipulates that an invention made accessible to the public through any telecommunication lines may not be patented, while the old act read “telecommunication lines that were prescribed by the Enforcement Decree” instead of “any telecommunication lines”.

According to the revised Trademark Act, which will come into force as of October 6, 2013, the applicant for a trademark application needs not abandon his application when he lodges a cancellation action against another party’s earlier-registered trademark registration. Under the current act, the registrability of a trademark applied for is determined at the time of the filing date, so when an earlier-registered mark was cited in the rejection of a trademark application, the application could not proceed to registration even though the earlier-registered trademark was cancelled or expired at a later time.

KIPO, WIPO, Design Act, Design Law, Trademarks