Can I request a patent-term extension in Korea?

Yes. Korean patent law provides for two kinds of extension to the regular patent term:

  • In the pharmaceutical and agrochemical fields, term extensions (comparable to supplementary protection certificates (SPCs) in Europe) may be granted on request if the patent cannot be marketed pending permission or registration under other laws or regulations. Only one extension per patent is granted, for a maximum period of five years.
  • If delays caused by the Korean Patent Office result in the examination procedure taking longer than four years from the filing date or three years from the examination request, whichever is later, the extra time may be added to the regular patent term on request. This kind of extension is available in all technical fields.

An easy, step-by-step guide on how to find information on patent-term extensions in the KIPRIS search system is available on the EPO website.