Foreign applicants will for the first time be able to submit a Korean patent application in English as of 1 January 2015. This new regulation was promulgated on 11 June 2014 as part of a revision of the Korean patent law.
The aim of this new feature is to make it easier for foreign applicants to secure an early filing day in Korea. However, the applicant still has to submit a Korean translation of the English application within a period of either 14 months from filing day or three months from filing a request for examination, whichever period ends earlier.
According to the new law, the applicant may also file an amended version of the Korean translation within the above mentioned period which will replace the original translation. This will be however not permitted in case the applicant has already filed a request for examination.
For further information, please refer to KIPO's overview on legal texts (at the time of posting, only available in Korean)..