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Korea: Relaxed regulations for filing requirements and submission of 3rd party observations

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The Korean Patent Office (KIPO) recently revised the Enforcement Regulations of the Korean Patent Act, effective as of 30 March 2020. Some of the most important new features include the following:

Relaxed regulations to obtain an early filing date

The amended regulations will reduce the formal requirements for filing a patent or utility model application. While it was already possible under the previous regulations to file an application without claims, the applicant still had to satisfy strict conditions for the specification which required a large amount of preparation time. Under the new regulations however, it will be sufficient to submit any kind of publication such as an academic article or research paper (either in Korean or English) instead of a formal specification to fulfil the formal requirements.

The applicant is still requested to submit the claims and the specification in the proper format and, if applicable, with a Korean translation within 14 months from filing or the earliest priority date.

Anonymous submission of 3rd party observations

Under the Korean patent system, third parties may submit observations on pending patent and utility model applications as a way to take influence in the examination procedure and to challenge a pending application. Until now, the party was requested to disclose her identity when submitting the observation. The amended regulations will allow third parties to submit their observations on pending patent and utility model applications to KIPO anonymously.

For further information, please refer to KIPO's news of 30 March 2020  and  KIPO-s announcement of partial amendment of the Enforcement Regulations of the Korean Patent Act.

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