New Developments in the KIPO

Our agent in Korea, SunYoung International Patent & Law Firm, recently informed us about some developments occuring in the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO).

Greater Use of Oral Hearings
The use of oral hearings during patent prosecution is being significantly expanded. As in other countries, oral hearings involve the parties appearing before a panel of decision makers, to present oral arguments in order to clarify the issues surrounding the application.

The expansion of these hearings includes increasing the number of facilities and employees available for such hearings.

The increased availability of oral hearings should help move difficult applications through prosecution in Korea faster.

Promotion of the Self-Judgment Program
The KIPO has also initiated a “self-judgment” program, which allows the panel of decision-makers during oral hearings to directly make decisions regarding patentability. Negative rulings on patentability will result in the application being remanded back to the examiner.

However, if there are no reasons for rejection or refusal, the judges can grant immediate registration of the patent application.

Parties with applications currently undergoing prosecution in the KIPO should be aware of these options available to them, and take advantage of them when possible. Our Korean agents are well placed to take advantage of these developments and will be happy to provide you with further information if you’re interested – just let us know at

As an aside, did you know KIPO ranks in the top five offices in the world for PCT applications received?


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