Are Korean patents and utility models subject to substantive examination?

Yes, both patents and utility models are subject to a prior-art search and to substantive examination for novelty, inventive step and industrial applicability. Utility model applications filed between 1 July 1999 and 30 September 2006 were registered without substantive examination, which was abolished for utility models on 1 July 1999 and then re-introduced on 1 October 2006.