1) What is the deadline for entering into the national phase of international patent application under Chapter I of PCT?
The application can be filed within 30 months from the priority date.
If the applicant fails to keep this deadline for a certain unavoidable reason, the deadline can be prolonged for 3 to 12 months and the written reason of late filing should be attached.
2) What is the time limit for filing documents?
The Application should be filed with the Invention Office of DPR Korea before the 30-months deadline.
All other documents including Power of Attorney, Inventor's Declaration, Assignment Deed and Specification may be submitted within 3 months from the filing date of application. Response to Written Opinion and all other additional documents separately requested by the Invention Office may be submitted within 3 months from the receipt date of issuance of the said Written Opinion or Request.
3) Can the medicines and foods be granted a patent?
Pursuant to the Law on Invention of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea revised on 13 May 1998, medicines and foods can be granted as patent.
4) Patent Application Procedure in DPR Korea
See the attached sheet.
5) About the Assignment Deed
Assignment Deed should be filed for patent application. If the applicant and inventor is the same person, Assignment Deed is not necessary. If there are several inventors, every inventor should sign on his or her own Assignment Deed separately.
6) About the Korean Specification
The Patent Specification should be filed in Korean version within 3 months from the filing date of patent application. Korean translation of the Specification prepared by outsiders is also acceptable and, in this case, we only receive 30 % of the original translation fee for checking and amending the translation.
7) Infringement and law action for patent rights
It is clearly indicated in the Law on Invention of the DPR Korea that in case the rights of patentee is infringed, the institution or citizen who has violated the law shall be compensated for damages and blamed administratively and penally.
The differences of assertion may be solved through negotiation and, if it is still impossible, the case shall be brought to the Arbitration Institution or to the Court.
8) About License
The patent rights may be transferred or licensed. In this case, the two parties concerned should make a contract and register it to the Invention Office of DPR Korea.
9) Patent Protection Period
The invention patent can be protected for 15 years from the filing date of application. According to the request of the patentee, it can be prolonged for further 5 years.
The utility model patent can be protected for 10 years from the filing date and it is not allowed to be extended
1) What are the documents required for the registration of the trademark, the processing of the application up to the registration and its time frame?
(1) The documents required for filing a trade/service mark application are:
- Power of Attorney (PoA) duly executed by the applicant
- Certificate of Incorporation notarized
- 5 prints of mark (10 in case of color mark)
- Priority documents (if it is to be claimed)
(2) The application can be filed on the very date we receive the instruction with the electronic copy of PoA and all the required documents should be submitted within 3 months from the filing date. When all the required documents have been submitted to the Trademark Office, the Official Receipt shall be issued within one or two weeks.
(3) The examination takes place exactly within 6 months from the filing date and the Registration Certificate is issued within one or two weeks after the decision of the examination.
2) What are the requirements for recording the assignment applications and time frame for the recordal? Can the recordal of assignment be effected in respect of pending applications?
(1) Necessary documents for the assignment are:
- Power of Attorney to be executed by the assignee
- Original Registration Certificate issued by the Trademark Office
- Assignment Deed to be signed by both assignor and assignee and notarized
- Certificate of Incorporation of the assignee
(2) All the requiring documents should be submitted within 3 months from the filing date. In case all the requiring documents are supplied, the procedure shall be completed within one month.
(3) The pending applications are not assignable in DPR Korea.
3) What are the requirements for renewal of trademark in DPR Korea?
The necessary documents for the renewal are Power of Attorney and original Certificate of Registration issued by the Trademark Office of DPR Korea.
The application for renewal must be filed within six (6) months before the 10-years expiry date of the trademark registration. The grace period after the renewal due date is another six (6) months.
A renewal application does not need to file proof of use of trademark.
4) In case of recordal of License Agreement, when can the licensee be the effective registered user?
The licensee will be the effective registered user only upon official notification of license recordal have been issued.
5) Within what time period should a trademark be used?
The trademark must be used within 5 years from the date of registration.
6) What are the requiring documents for filing recordal of change of name?
The requiring documents for filing recordal of change of name are Power of Attorney, original Registration Certificate issued by the Trademark Office of DPR Korea and notarized document of change of name.
7) Is it possible to overcome the citation objection in DPR Korea by filing a letter of consent from the cited mark proprietor?
Yes, the best way to overcome the citation objection in DPR Korea is to file a letter of consent from the cited mark proprietor.
8) If a client has a trademark registration in DPR Korea, can damages be collected for infringement of the trademark?
If a DPR Korea trademark registration of a client would be infringed, damages can be collected pursuant to the legal procedures.
9) Is there any method to protect non-registered trademarks in DPR Korea?
No, there isn't any method to protect non-registered trademarks in DPR Korea except for well-known trademarks
10) Is it possible to file an appeal against the refusal of an international registration? If so, what is the term to do it and from when is this term counted?
Yes, it is possible to file an appeal. The time period for filing a reply is 6 months from the notification date of provisional refusal pronounced by the Trademark Office of DPR Korea.
11) How long does it take for the Trademark Office to decide on a case after receiving a reply?
It depends on cases. Once we are instructed to take over representation of a client before the Trademark Office, provided with the Power of Attorney, we will prepare the arguments in the light of our practice and file a response against the objection in order to overcome the refusal.
If arguments are sufficient to convince the examiner, the re-examination will take place within a month, but if it is not, the examiner will ask to submit any other supporting materials within a month and if the client could not meet the requirements in time, he may request for term extension as long as he wishes to pay extension fees.
So, in order to overcome the objection made by the Trademark Office, a client simply needs to send us instructions to take over the representation before the due date with a Power of Attorney.
12) Is there any difference between the protection of the trademark which is protected in DPR Korea under the Madrid Protocol and that of the trademark which is protected as a national trademark registration in DPR Korea?
There is no difference between them since both are equally treated under the Trademark Law of DPR Korea. However, should the client wishes to file the application in many countries, it would be preferable for him to protect the trademark in DPR Korea under the Madrid Protocol.
13) May an applicant amend the application that has been submitted?
When an application has been submitted, it enters the stage of legal examination at the same time and no amendment is permitted. If the applicant wishes to add goods/services or modify the mark, fresh applications must be filed.
However, an applicant may delete goods/services, when the mark is registered, by filing applications for modification.
14) How long does it take from application to registration?
The length of time is 6 months from filing to registration. In case of Provisional Refusal after six (6) months, re-examination application should be filed within six (6) months from the date of refusal if the applicant wishes to overcome the rejection.
15) Does the country use a National or the International Classification of goods and/or services?
DPR Korea uses the International Classification of goods and services.