Home > Korean IP > Patent & Utility Model
 
Utility model law aims at protecting devices that relate to the shape or the structure of an article or
a combination of articles which are invented for practical use in our daily life.

Many individuals or companies, especially small or mid-sized companies, have been not only improving existing devices but also making very useful and convenient, new devices. Though the devices do not come up to a high technology standard, they may lay the foundation of more advanced and improved devices, thus constituting a great property for individuals or companies.

The main purpose of utility model law is to protect such devices and thereby cover intellectual property areas that cannot be fully protected by patent law. In other words, utility model law is
a complement to patent law to fully protect inventors and their intellectual property rights.
The prosecution for a utility model application is very similar to that of patent application, but some major differences are as follows:
Only the shape or the structure of an article or a combination of articles is entitled to be the subject matter of utility model. Thus, please note that chemical products, for example, cannot be protected by utility model law.
An application for utility model should include at least one drawing for explaining the subject matter for which protection is sought. Since the subject matter of a utility model always relates to the shape or the structure of an article or a combination of articles, drawings explaining the subject matter are one of the most important factors for the utility model application.
The term of a utility model right is ten years from the filing date of the utility model application, commencing from the registration date of the establishment of the utility model.
An applicant of a patent application can convert the patent application into a utility model application as long as the subject matter of the utility model application falls within the scope of subject matters that are described in the originally filed patent application, and vice versa.

The applicant can convert his pending patent application into a utility model application at any time, but such conversion is not allowed if 30 days elapses after the applicant receives Final Rejection against the patent application.

If a converted application is completed, the original (patent) application is considered to have been withdrawn and the converted (utility model) application is considered to have been filed on the filing date of the original application.
Tel. 82-2-556-8224∼6   Fax. 02-556-5377