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KOREAN DESIGN RIGHTS
Term of a design right
Design rights are valid or in force for 15 years from the date of registration for establishment. However, similar design rights have the same duration as basic design rights. When a basic design expires, the similar design rights expire as well.
Commencement of a design right
When an examiner decides to grant the design registration and an applicant pays the stipulated registration fees, the design right is effective.

A person who is seeking to register a design right shall pay a fee for a period of three years from the date registration was sought (hereinafter "registration date"), and the owner of a design right shall pay an annual fee on the registration date starting from the second year of the three year period. The owner of a design right may pay the design registration fee for multiple years or the entire period.

The owner of a design right or a person seeking to register a design right has a period of six months after the expiry of the prescribed payment period to pay late registration fees. The amount of the late registration fees to be paid shall not be more than twice the initial registration fees.

If the owner of a design right or a person seeking to register a design right is unable to pay the late registration fees within the prescribed period for unavoidable reasons, the person has a period of fourteen days from the date on which the reasons cease to exist in which to pay the late registration fees. However, this provision does not apply where six months have elapsed from the expiry date of the period of late payment.
Effect of a design right
(1) Contents of design rights
The owner of a design right has the exclusive right to work the registered design and its similar designs commercially and industrially as business.
(A) "As business"
"As business" refers to all designs which are repeatedly utilized including designs which are utilized for profit or not for profit. In other words, designs which are utilized individually, temporarily, and on one occasion are excluded.
(B) "Working"
"Working" refers to all actions which produce, use, assign, lease, import or export articles related to designs; or offers to assign or lease such articles (including exhibition to transfer or lease).
(C) "Monopoly"
"Monopoly" refers to the rights of a registered design and its similar designs which are excluded from being worked by others.
(2) Scope of protection of design rights
"The effect of design rights extends to not only the same design as a registered design, but also to designs similar to it since the scope of protection is narrow and the original purpose cannot be realized if the design rights are limited to the same design.

Therefore, the concept of "similarity" is defined as the extent to which the design has common homogeneity in its formative essence compared to the design represented in an article and so evokes a seemingly similar aesthetic sense.
Restriction of a design right
(1) The effect of a design right cannot extend to any of the following:
the use of a registered design for research or an experiment
vessels, aircraft or vehicles merely passing through the Republic of Korea or the machinery, instruments, equipment or other accessories used in such vessels, aircraft or vehicles
identical products existing in the Republic of Korea at the time the application for registration of a design was filed
(2) Restriction by license
Where the design right is subject to an exclusive license, the design rights of the owner of a registered design are constrained within the extent that the exclusive licensee has the exclusive right to work the registered design or similar design.
(3) Restriction by other prior rights
Where working a registered design or similar design would utilize or conflict with another person's registered design or similar design, patented invention, registered utility model, or registered trademark under an application filed before the application date of the design registration concerned, the owner of the design right may not work the registered design commercially or industrially without the consent of the owner of the earlier patent right, utility model right or trademark right.
Read more about Korean Patent here :
Korean Design System
What is a Korean Industrial Design?
Information on the Design System
Requirements for a Korean Design Definition
Prerequisites for Acquiring Design Rights in Korea
Korean Design Rights
Application Procedure for Design in Korea
Substantive Examination System
Non-Substantive Examination System
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