South Korea

Types of protection

Patent: Patent applications undergo a strict examination before being granted. Patents must have industrial applicability, novelty, and an inventive step, and have a term of 20 years from the filing date.

Utility Model: Utility Models can be registered without extensive examination and can later be converted into patents. The term for a Utility Model is 10 years from the date of filing.

Design Patent: A Design Patent protects the shape, pattern, color, or a combination of these aspects, that produce an aesthetic impression and have moveable properties. The term of a Design Patent is 20 years from the date of filing.1

Layout Design: A Layout Design is an intellectual property right that protects a plane or cubic design of circuit elements and wires connecting the elements wich is used for manufacturing a semiconductor integrated circuit.2

Provisional patent: The Korean Patent Act contains flexible provisions allowing an applicant to obtain an early filing date.3


Convention and treaty membership

South Korea became a member of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in 1967 and is a signatory of numerous treaties and conventions including, but not limited to the following:

  • Paris Convention
  • Patent Cooperation Treaty
  • Madrid Protocol4

International, National and Regional applications

For information regarding how to file international, regional or national patent applications in each country, we welcome you to contact us.