Legislative Change of Patent Official Fee in Korea
Yunsoon Choi and Jihyun Pae, Yoon & Yang (IP) LLC (Korea)
The Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) announced the revision of the ‘Patent Fees Collection Regulations’ , effective as of August 1, 2023. The main revisions relating to Patent official fees are as follows:
The patent registration fees have been reduced by 10% for the first time in 20 years, and this revision applies to cases where the registration decision is issued on or after August 1, 2023. In addition, the fees for recording patent right transfers (assignments) have also been reduced. Until now, there have been some old revisions for individual or small-medium companies; however, this revision applies to all economic entities, and this could be beneficial in alleviating economic burden on all patent holders.
Furthermore, both the basic fee and the additional fee for patent examination have been increased to prevent abuse of the patent application filings. The basic fee was increased from 143,000 Won (about 106 USD) to 166,000 Won (about 123 USD) and the additional fee added per patent claim has increased from 44,000 Won (about 32 USD) to 51,000 Won (about 37 USD). This revision applies to cases where the patent application is filed on or later August 1, 2023.
In addition, a progressive fee structure of divisional application fees per number of divisional applications has been introduced. That is, the divisional patent application fees are higher for the 2nd divisional application and subsequent ones. In other words, starting from the second divisional application and subsequent ones, the application fee is two, three, four or five times larger than the first divisional application fee. This revision applies to cases where the divisional application is filed on or after August 1, 2023. KIPO explained that this revision was introduced in order to prevent the abuse of divisional application filings for the purpose such as simply maintaining patent status as “alive” and delaying examination progress.
These revisions are expected to prevent unnecessary multiple divisional patent filings and alleviate the economic burden for patent holders, thus, strengthening their market competitiveness by investing more in increasing the number of patents, including IP transactions, and maintaining patents for a longer duration.