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According to a press release from the Korean Patent Office (KIPO), the number of requests for an accelerated trade mark examination has increased over the last years from 4223 in 2017 to 7595 in 2019. A request for accelerated examination may reduce the examination period from seven to two months on average, calculated from the request until the office's final decision to register the trade mark or not.
The accelerated trade mark examination was introduced in 2009 with 654 requests in the first year. Until recently, it could be requested only if certain conditions were met, e.g. in case the applicant or a third person was already using the trade mark for all designated goods or if the trade mark was filed as a collective mark for five or more small and medium enterprises.
Since July 2019, however, accelerated examination may be available for all trade mark filings irrespective of the above mentioned conditions in case the applicant applies at a specialised search agency approved by KIPO for the trade mark search at his own initiative. According to the report, this regulation has facilitated access to expedited examination and therefore a further increase in requests for accelerated trade mark examinations can be expected in the future.
For more information, please refer to KIPO's news of 24 February 2020 (at time of writing, only available in Korean)