South Korea

May 31, 2017

South Korea: Design Protection Act Amended

Amendments to the Design Protection Act were published on March 21, 2017.  The grace period for design applications was amended from the present six-month period to one year.  The amendment also replaces the text “when filing a response to an office action issued by KIPO” with the following text: “until KIPO issues a final decision whether to grant a design registration.”  As such, the applicant will be able to claim the grace period at any time while the application is pending. These amendments come into effect on September 22, 2017. Source:  SMD Country Index-www.kimchang.com
August 31, 2016

South Korea: Major Amendment Made to Korean Trademark Act Effective September 1, 2016

The National Assembly has approved a major amendment to the Korean Trademark Act which will go into effect on September 1, 2016.  This is the first comprehensive amendment to the Act in 26 years.  Some highlights follow: Delayed evaluation of similarity to senior marks Elimination of one year ban against registering marks similar to expunged marks Expanded restrictions against applications filed by agents Limitations on trademark rights clarified “Electronic use” of trademarks acknowledged as one of the recognized types of use Broader ground for rejection of cancellation marks Source:  Kim & Chang, South Korea