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Korea: KIPO to re-introduce post-grant opposition system

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The Korean Patent Office (KIPO) plans to re-introduce the post-grant opposition system which was previously abolished in 2007. This provision is part of a comprehensive revision of the Korean patent law which will be submitted to the Korean National Assembly during the next months and expected to enter into force in 2016 or 2017.

In the bill for amendments, this procedure is called "cancellation system for registered patents". However, the provisions are very much similar to the previous opposition system. According to the bill, anyone may file a "request for cancellation" at the Intellectual Property Trial and Appeal Board within a period of six months from the publication of the granted patent/utility model. The Board will examine the case and also provide the patentee the opportunity to file amendments and/or opinions. Both parties may file an appeal against the decision at the Patent Court which is the court of second instance for IP-related matters.

Currently, third parties may challenge a granted patent only by filing a request for invalidation. With the planned revision Korea is following a similar development in Japan where post-grant opposition was re-introduced in April 2015.

For further information, please refer to KIPO's overview on planned patent law amendments of 19 March 2015 (in Korean only).

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