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Formal Examination
According to Article 2(1) of the Enforcement Regulation of the Trademark Act, an application will be returned to the submitter without an application number and will be treated as if it had never been submitted in any of the following circumstances:
where the kind of the application is not clear;
where the name or address of a person (or juristic person) who takes the procedure (i.e. the applicant) is not described;
where the application is not written in Korean;
where a specimen of the trademark is not attached to the application paper;
where the designated goods/services are not described in the application paper; or
where the application is submitted, by a person who has no address or place of business in the Republic of Korea, without coming through a patent agent in the Republic of Korea.
Once the application has satisfied such requirements, KIPO assigns an application number and examines it against the formality requirements of the Trademark Act. If anything is found missing or wrong, the commissioner of KIPO will issue a notice of amendment with a specified time limit to the applicant. If the applicant does not comply with the requests for amendment, the trademark application will be nullified.
Substantive Examination
(i) Initiation of Examination
Unlike patent or utility model applications, trademark applications are automatically examined in order of their filing date. However, under Article 22-4(2) of the Trademark Act, the commissioner of KIPO may grant priority to trademark applications which satisfy certain requirements. The examination of a trademark application generally takes about 11 months from its filing date.
(ii) Requirement for Registration
For a trademark to be registered under the Trademark Act, it should meet the following requirements:
It should fall under the definition of a trademark prescribed in the Trademark Act
It should be distinctive so as to serve as an indication of goods or services or, if it is not inherently distinctive, it should have acquired a secondary meaning;
It should not fall into any of the categories of trademarks unable to be registered as prescribed in the Trademark Act.
Read more about Korean Patent here :
Korean Patent System
What is a Korean Patent?
Information on Korean Patent Applications
Korean Patent Examination System
PCT National Phase Entry into Korea
Application Procedure for Patents in Korea
Filing Requirements
Refusal and Appeal
Application Procedure for Utility Models in Korea
Filing Requirements
Registration and Technical Evaluation
Application Procedure for Layout Designs in Korea
Filing Requirements
Effect of Layout Designs Rights
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