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The Korean Patent Act stipulates two possibilities to extend the regular patent term beyond 20 years from filing date:
A revision of the Patent Enforcement Decree in 2020 took on bord new regulations for both types of extensions:
With regard to PTEs, the scope of pharmaceutical patents eligible for an extension was extended. It includes now also patents covering drugs under the "Narcotics Managements Act" such as narcotics-based analgesics.
As for PTAs, the Enforcement Decree provides new regulations on the exact time period for a PTA. In general, a PTA can be requested for the period exceeding four years from filing or three years from examination request (whichever ends later) - minus all delays which can be attributed to the applicant. The Decree particularly specifies the calculation of those delays caused by the applicant:
These regulations apply to all requests for term extensions (PTE and PTA) which have been made since 14 July 2020.
For further information, please refer to KIPO's press release of 13 July 2020 (in Korean).
Are you interested to learn more about patent term extensions and adjustments in Korea and other jurisdictions? Please join our series of virtual classrooms on SPCs and term extensions in the EU, Japan and Korea, together with an outlook on new provisions in China..