Korea: KIPO to relax requirements for patent restorations

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From 1 January 2015, it will be easier for patent holders to restore a patent that has lapsed due to a missed payment of annual fees.

After missing the original deadline for the payment and also a six months' grace period for a late payment of the annual fees, the patentee may apply to restore the extinguished right. Up to now, restoration has been permitted under the following conditions:

  1. In case the applicant could not make the payment due to any reason beyong his/her control ("force majeur"): restoration permitted against payment of an extra fee within 14 days after the said causes cease to exist (but at the latest after six months from the end of the grace period) 
  2. in any other case: restoration permitted only if the patented invention has been implemented, within three months from the end of the grace period against a payment of three times the original amount of the fees

According to the new regulations, a restoration under b) will also be permitted in case the patented invention has not been implemented yet. In addition, the restoration fees will be lowered from three times the original amount to only twice the original amount.

For further information, please refer to KIPO's overview on legal texts (at the time of posting, only available in Korean).

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