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2009. 08. 81th
+ Without any upgraded technology, No patent registration is permitted for its design change.

According to Korean intellectual Property Tribunal (KIPT) on 22th, of 6420 patent trials which has been filed until May this year, the number of the appeals from the patent refusal is 4934 cases, which reached 76.9%. It increased by 2.2% compared with that of the same period last year, which was 74.7%. According to KIPT, the most of the refusal decisions are made because the filed technology for the patent has no progressivity compared with its precedent one, which means even though the contents of the filed one is different, it is just made of its existing technology with some design changes.

LG electronics invented the frostremoval equipment, which can eliminate the frost in a refrigerator and filed the application for its patent in 2007. However, LG’s application was refused and LG appealed against the decision. In respond to LG’s appeal, KIPT made a decision to dismiss the appeal, stating that there was an existing technology similar with that of LG in 2001.

No exception applies to foreign companies on this matter. Vetricx, the U.S. Corporation, filed the patent application on their electrical scooter which has an electric charging inside.

However, last year Vetricx was notified of the refusal of their patent application and they appealed.  KIPT dismissed Vetricx’s appeal, saying that the application target of the filed technology is only changed from a car to a scooter but their applied technology is similar with that of a existing electrical car.

Some technologies received the permission of patent registrations during the trial contrary to the results of the examinations on them. A person, Mr. Min filed a patent application for the technology called the student direction system which enables a teacher to limit the student’s use of his or her cell phone. When a teacher discloses a student’s use of his or her cell phone, the technology at issue reported the disclosure to his or her parents’ cell phone terminal and makes the mobile communication corp. to limit the student’s use of his or her cell phone with the parents’ approval. Although the patent office made a registration refusal about Mr. Min’s patent application on the system stating that the technology at issue is the one which is easily designed from the established one, Mr. Min was allowed to register the system as the patent in the course of his trial by recognizing its progressivity. However, the decision on the patent registration was 7 months late compared with its original registration schedule.  


Since the number of the appeal against the refusal decisions has continuously increased, KIPT enforced “the reexamination request” on July 1, which enables the applicant to request the reexamination instead of the appeal upon the refusal. However, it is nonretroactive law, which means it only applies to the patent applications after July 1 and regarding the patent application before July 1, it must go through the trial to reverse the refusal decision, which costs thousands of dollars on patent attorney fee. The person concerned of Industrial Property Offices said that if the patent application is refused, an applicant’s research development will become worthless, let alone the huge costs of repeal and reexamination and advised that potential applicants start their technical development after the through research of its precedent technology.