Korea: Korea-US Free Trade Agreement takes effect

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Following the ratification at the end of last year, the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA) has come into effect as of 15 March 2012.

The KORUS FTA includes a number of provisions related to Intellectual Property rights. Some of the most important stipulations are as follows:

  • Extension of the patent term in case of examination delays of more than four years from filing date or three years from the request for examination.
  • Extension of the grace period for filing a patent after previous publication from six to twelve months.
  • Recognition of trade marks for sounds and scents, e.g. a laser printer toner's lemon scent or the lion roar sound of a famous American media company.

For further information, please refer to KIPO news of 21 March 2012 (in English) and the US government FTA information website with a downloadable version of the complete agreement.

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