According to an announcement dated 13 January 2016, the Korean Patent Office (KIPO) will implement various new regulations aiming at increasing user convenience and services for applicants.
One of the most important new provisions is related to appeal proceedings against a decision of rejection. Under the new provision, the appeal fees will be returned to the applicant in case the board revokes the examiner's original decision of rejection. Under the current system, it was not possible for the applicant to recover any fee payment for appeal proceedings. The new regulations includes not only proceedings for patents, but also for designs and trade marks.
With regard to designs, another new provision is related to a restoration of a lapsed right. Under the current law, a request for restoration is only permitted in case the design right has been worked. According to the new provisions, restoration will be permitted for all design rights irrespective of a use requirement.
Both new provisions are expected to enter into force in May 2016.
For more details and information on further new provisions to be implemented, please refer to KIPO's news release dated 13 January 2016 (in Korean)