Late last year we saw some progress on the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement. On 22 November 2011 the Korean National Assembly passed the KORUS FTA Bill.
There are consequential revisions to the Korean Patent Act which are due to take effect this year. The folks at Korean firm Lee International have provided a nice summary of the changes.
Extension of Patent Term for Examination Delays
Where a patent is registered more than four (4) years from the filing date of a patent application or three (3) years from the filing date of a request for examination, the patent term may be extended for the delayed period.
A delay in registration caused by the applicant will be excluded.
Extension of Grace Period
The grace period in which an inventor may file for a patent application after making the invention public has been extended from six (6) months to twelve (12) months.
Repeal of Patent Cancellation Action for Nonpracticed Inventions
Under the old law a patent could be cancelled where a patentee had not worked the invention for two (2) or more years. This was a risk even if a non-exclusive compulsory licence had been granted to a third party.
The revisions to the Patent Act repeal this law.
Duty of Confidentiality in a Patent Infringement Lawsuit
The parties in a patent infringement lawsuit, including their attorneys, are required to withhold from disclosing confidential information obtained during the litigation proceedings.
Photo courtesy of author slagheap under Creative Commons licence.