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  Korea Patent News
Asiana International Patent & Law Office

5/6/2006


1.         Reduction of Fee for Request for Preferential Examination


            The official fee for a request for preferential examination is at a flat rate starting on May 1, 2006.  In the past, the official fee for a request for preferential examination was determined according to the number of claims, like a request for examination.  However, in the revised tariff schedule, a request for preferential examination can be ~~filed by payment of a fixed fee of 167,000 Won. 



2.         Reduction of Patent Annuities



            The patent annuity was changed starting on May 1, 2006.



            The patent annuity has been doubled every 3 years.  However, some relief from the current progressive rate has been provided and thus, the basic fee for over 13 years is 360,000 Won.  The additional fee per claim for over 10 years annuity is 55,000 Won.  Further, the additional fee per claim for from 7 to 9 years annuity has been reduced from 43,000 Won to 40,000 Won.  The annuity fee for utility models and designs for over 13 years has also been somewhat reduced.


3.         Letters Patent Reformed


(1)        Passport Size Letters Patent


            Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) announced that passport-sized Letters Patent and Letters Patent in English will be issued upon the patentees request starting on May 1, 2006.

            The existing A4 size Letters Patent are good for display at business places but are not convenient to carry with.  However, passport size Letters Patent are convenient to carry with and thus, have an advantage of being easily shown to partners in business meeting.

           
To help the patentees global business, KIPO also issues English Letters Patent in which the title of the invention and the name of the patentee and the inventor(s) are written in English.



The English title of the invention, the English names of the patentee and the inventor must be written when the English Letters Patent are requested.  Certificates of Registration of Utility Model can also be issued in English.


 (2)       Simplified Re-Issuance of Letters Patent


            In the past, it was possible to re-issue Letters Patent only in case where Letters Patent were lost or destroyed.  However, new Letters Patent will be issued in the name of the assignee in case where the patent right is transferred upon request from now on.


4.         Notify All Concerned Parties of Expected Trial Conclusion Date


            KIPO Tribunal announced that the Tribunal will notify all parties concerned with a trial of the expected conclusion date thereof, and thereby, let the parties know when their case will be concluded.


            Notice of Expected Trial Conclusion Date is a system to notify the concerned parties when the trial is expected to be concluded so that the parties can prepare in advance and ~~file their opinions before the conclusion of the trial.  To date, such a notice is forwarded to parties whose cases last more than 6 months from the date of filing of the trial.


            Under the from the date of filing the trial circumstances, there is a concern that parties whose cases last less than 6 months do not have sufficient opportunities to argue their opinion.  Furthermore, around the end of 2006, almost all trials with which parties are concerned are expected to be concluded within 6 months from the date of filing of the trials.  Therefore, this problem would be worsen. To solve this problem, from May of 2006, the Tribunal notifies all concerned parties of the expected conclusion date of all trials and also informs the concerned parties of the expected conclusion date when a notice of decision of preferential trial is issued so that the concerned parties easily expect the trial proceeding schedule.


5.         Court Decision (1)


Supreme Court Decision on 2005 DO 1262 on October 14, 2005


[Violation of Patent Law]


[Particulars of Decision]


[1]        The question is whether an act of working an invention that is identical or equivalent to a patented invention of which the scope of a patent right is not confirmed constitutes an infringement on a patent right.


[2]        If a trial for correcting the claims is determined with respect of an invention for a patent of which the scope of patent right is not confirmed due to descriptional errors in the claims, it is determined if the act of manufacturing goods or sales by the defendant before an amendment id made constitute an infringing a patent right. The original decision where the claims prior to amending it were considered to be an infringement object of a patented invention was upheld.


 [Gist of Decision]


[1]        An invention for patent lacking any of essential structural elements for achieving its effects in the claims was registered in violation of article 8(4) of the old Patent Law (the old Law before the revision is made to the Law No. 4207 on January 13, 1990). Thus, the scope of a patent right is not confirmed even before the conclusion of an invalidation trial. Any acts of working invention identical or equivalent to a patented invention of which the scope of a patent right is not confirmed do not constitute an infringement a patent right.


[2]        If a trial for correcting the claims is determined with respect of an invention for a patent of which the scope of patent right is not confirmed due to descriptional errors in the claims, it is determined if the act of manufacturing goods or sales by the defendant before an amendment id made constitute an infringing a patent right. The original decision where the claims prior to amending it were considered to be an infringement object of a patented invention was upheld.


06.        Court Decision (2)


Supreme Court Decision on 2005 DO 476 on February 23, 2006


[Violation of Trademark Law]


[Particulars of Decision]


      After a trademark right is infringed on, the trademark is invalidated.  In this case, it is determined if the act of infringement constitutes infringements of the trademark right stipulated under Article 93 of the trademark law.


[Original Decision]


Seoul East District Court Decision on 2004 NO 453 on December 29, 2004


[Conclusion]


      The original decision is cancelled and the case is returned to the Seoul East District Court.


[Reason]


Even if a trademark is infringed on before the mark is invalidated, the trademark right is regarded as not having existed from the beginning, therefore the act does not constitute an infringement.  (Please refer to Supreme Court Grand Bench Decision on 93 DO 839 on May 16, 1996)



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