Recommended for bookmarking! This article will take you through the response strategies for Korean patent examination opinions

Bookmark this article! It covers response strategies for Korean patent examination opinions

In recent years, with the deepening of cooperation in the field of intellectual property between China and South Korea, South Korea has become one of the main target countries for Chinese applicants to layout their patents overseas. In the process of patent application, the reply to the examination opinion notice is very critical, as this process determines the authorization or rejection of the patent, as well as the scope of protection of the patent.

Today, I will introduce to you the relevant procedures and response strategies for replying to the examination opinion in Korean patent applications.

1. Types of Korean examination opinions

The opinion notice during the patent application stage mainly includes: initial opinion notice, final examination opinion notice, preliminary rejection notice, and final rejection notice.

The initial examination opinion notice refers to the notice of the problems found in the first examination. The final examination opinion notice is the reason for rejection caused by the modification made by the applicant in response to the initial examination opinion notice.

The preliminary rejection notice refers to the first rejection notice issued by the examiner when it is determined that the patent has no prospect of authorization. There are two ways to respond to this rejection notice:

1. Modify the application documents and request re-examination;

Re-examination is separated from the original examination process and requires modification before it can be carried out. The original examiner will continue to conduct the re-examination. If the examiner still believes that there is no prospect of authorization, the final rejection notice will be issued.

2. Do not modify and directly file an objection.

The objection will be judged by a collegial panel composed of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board to determine whether the examiner’s opinion is reasonable or not. If the panel considers the examiner’s opinion unreasonable, the rejection decision will be revoked. If the panel considers the examiner’s opinion reasonable, the rejection decision will be upheld, and a notification of the reason for the objection not being established will be issued. For the above-mentioned notification, the only recourse is to file a lawsuit to revoke the decision with the Patent Court.

2. Scope of modifications when replying to examination opinions

As for the scope of modifications when replying to the original examination opinions, as long as it does not exceed the scope of the original specification, claim and drawing (i.e. not modifying beyond the range), it is acceptable.

As for the scope of modifications when replying to the final examination opinions or requesting re-examination, in addition to not modifying beyond the range, it is limited to the following modification methods:

1. Modification to limit or delete the claims and narrow the scope of rights;

2. Modification of erroneous recorded content;

3. Making unclear parts clearer;

4. For claims that have been modified beyond the range, modifying them to the original recorded claims, or modifying them according to 1-4 above.

3. Deadline for replying to examination opinions

Generally speaking, the deadline for replying to examination opinions in South Korea is relatively short. The response period for the initial and final examination opinions is two months, while the response period for the preliminary rejection and final rejection notices is 30 days.

4. Extension of deadline

For the first two types of examination opinions mentioned above, a single extension of at least one month and up to four months is allowed. For the latter two types of rejection notices, only one extension is allowed, up to 30 days at most.

5. Notes

1. The Korean Intellectual Property Office tends to shorten the patent examination cycle, so the time for issuing examination opinions is faster than other countries, and the time for closing each application (grant or rejection) is relatively short. Therefore, when handling Korean examination opinions, it is necessary to be timely and try to overcome all defects in one reply.

2. Due to limitations on modifying claims when responding to final rejection notices, it is best to attempt to overcome examiner objections through modification when responding to the preliminary rejection notice. This is because the modification of claims is more flexible when responding to the preliminary rejection notice;

3. For patents that are very important to the applicant or for technology solutions with prospects of being authorized, it is best to submit a divisional application while appealing.

The above is a brief introduction by Xiaowei on the relevant procedures and response strategies for responding to examination opinions in Korean patent applications. When responding to examination opinions, we should adopt different examination response strategies flexibly based on the differences in examination practices in various countries in order to ensure patent authorization and achieve maximum protection effects.

Zhongwei Zhizhuo has many years of experience in the international intellectual property industry and has a professional team overseas. We are proficient not only in applying for international patents, trademarks, and copyrights, but also in providing solutions to overseas intellectual property disputes. If you have any requirements related to overseas patent applications, please contact Zhongwei Zhizhuo. We will provide you with professional and efficient international intellectual property application services!

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(Zhongwei Zhizhuo International Intellectual Property Official Website: zllp.myyxxx_xr:a=s.=czl_os)

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