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Procedures for Registering a Design

Under the Korean Design Protection Act, a design refers to a shape, pattern, color or a combination of these in an article, and a font that produces an aesthetic impression on the sense of sight.

Designs of goods and commodities are protected by the "First-to-File" rule and the "Registration" system. The design application system consists of the Substantive Examination System (SES) and the Non-Substantive Examination System (NSES). The NSES is a partial-substantive examination system which applies to goods classified in the classes 2 (articles of clothing and fashion haberdashery), 5 (textile piecegoods, artificial and natural sheet material), and 19 (stationery and office equipment, artists's and teaching materials).

A design filed based on the Substantive Examination System (SES) is examined for i) novelty, ii) creativity, iii) industrial applicability, iv) non-violation of the enlarged concept of novelty, and v) the "First-to-File" rule through the following procedures:

However, a design filed based on the Non-Substantive Examination System (NSES) is examined only for a formality check including i) formal requirements, ii) industrial applicability, and iii) other unregistrable grounds through the following procedures:

When receiving a decision of registration, the applicant should pay the first 3 years' annuities within 3 months from the date of receipt of the decision as a registration fee. If the applicant fails to pay the registration fee within the three-month period, the registration can still be made by paying twice the usual fee within 6 months after the expiration of the three-month period. Therefore, if the registration fee is not paid within 9 months from the date of receipt of the decision of registration, the design application will be deemed to have been abandoned.

As the Korean IP System, especially an electronic filing system of the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), is well equipped, it is possible to file an application etc. at any time, 24 hours a day, 365 days, and when accelerated examination is requested, you can be granted a patent within 3~6 months. If you need more detailed information with respect to the accelerated examination request, please click the KIPO’s Fees and Payments.