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A series of steps to be taken from a patent application filing to a patent grant are diagrammed below and the prosecution of a patent application is featured by the followings:
Once a patent application is granted to a patent right, it will subsist for by 20 years from the filing date if registration fee is duly paid.
Either an inventor of an invention or his/her assignee can file a patent application for the invention with KIPO. The applicant may be either a natural person or a juristic person.
A person who desires to obtain a patent must submit to the KIPO the following documents:
a request stating the name and address of the inventor and the applicant (including the name of a representative, if the applicant is a juristic person),the date of submission, the title of the invention, and priority data (if the right of priority is claimed);
a specification setting forth the following matters: the title of the invention; a brief description of drawings (if any); a detailed description of the invention; and claim(s);
drawing(s), if any;
an abstract;
in case of if the right of priority being claimed, a certified copy of the priority application together with its Korean translation, if requested; and
a power of attorney, if necessary.
In order to enjoy the priority right, an application should be filed in the Republic of Korea within one(1) year of the filing date of the priority application. The priority document mentioned above may be submitted within one year and four months of the priority date. If the priority document is not submitted within that period of time, the claim of priority will become null and void.

The expiration of the filing of Korean national phase of PCT application is now 31 months from the priority date. There is no provisions extending the time for entering the national phase of the PCT application.

The Power Of Attorney should be filed at the time of filing an application, but may be filed within about five(5) weeks of the filing date. Extensions of one month each are available at the applicant’s request and expense.
Applications that have not yet been published will be automatically laid-open in the official gazette called "Patent Application Laying-open Gazette" after 18 months from the filing date in the Republic of Korea or, if the right of priority has been claimed from an earlier foreign filing, from the priority date. The laying-open publication may be made, upon the request of the applicant, prior to lapse of the eighteen month period. This will provide an earlier protection to a patent application which is being infringed. Once a patent application has been laid-open, any documents relating to the application are made available for public inspection. Furthermore, any person may submit to the Commissioner of KIPO information relevant to the patentability of the invention concerned together with any supporting evidence.

A national phase application of the PCT application will be laid open 31 months after the first claimed priority filing date. However, it may be laid-open earlier at the applicant’s request.
A patent application will be subject to an examination only if a request for examination is made either by the applicant or by any interested party within 3 years of the filing date of the application. If no request for examination is made within this three-year period, the patent application is deemed to have been withdrawn. Once a request for examination has been duly filed, it cannot be withdrawn. A substantial examination of the application is conducted by an Examiner in the order of filing the request for examination thereof.

For the PCT application, the request for examination should be made within 5 year of the international filing date.
For a patent application to be granted a patent right under the Patent Law, ithe following requirements should be met;
the invention should fall under the definition of invention under the Patent Act,
the invention should have Novelty, Inventive Step, and Industrial Applicability, and
the claim and specification should meet the description requirements.
When it is determined that the patent application meets all requirements for registration, an Examiner issues a certified copy of the decision to grant a patent.
If the Examiner finds a ground for rejection of a patent application, a notice of preliminary rejection will be issued and the applicant will be given an opportunity to submit a response to the preliminary rejection within a time limit designated on the notice by the examiner.
According to Article 61 of the Patent Act, the Commissioner of KIPO may have a particular category of patent application examined in preference to other patent applications.

A person who desires an expedited examination of his application must submit a written request together with a statement explaining the necessity thereof in detail and any evidence supporting the statement.
An applicant who is notified of the grounds for rejection may submit an Argument with or without an amendment to the specification and/or claims within a time limit designated by the examiner. Such a time limit is extendable upon a request for an extension by the applicant. In case of filing a response to an office action which is issued based on the previous amendment, an amendment to the claim(s) is permitted only in any of following cases: to narrow a claim; to correct a clerical error; or to clarify an ambiguous description.
If the examiner considers that the argument has not overcome the ground for rejection, he issues a Notice of Final Rejection of the patent application. Against the final rejection, the applicant may file a trial before the Intellectual Property Tribunal(“KIPT”) in KIPO within 30 days from the date of the receipt of the final rejection. The time limit for filing the trial may be extended for extra two months at the applicant’s request.
When a patent applicant receives a notice of decision to grant a patent he should pay, as a registration fee, that is the first three(3) years' annuities within three(3) months of the date of receipt of such a notice.
In case he fails to pay the registration fee within the three-month period, the registration can still be made by paying twice the regular fee amount within 6 months following the expiration of the above three-month period. Therefore, if the registration fee is not paid within 9 months of the date of receipt of a notice of decision to grant a patent, the patent application will be deemed to have been abandoned.
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