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Amendments to Trademark Laws

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Mai 18, 2016 (Newsletter Issue 9/16)
South Korea
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Trademark Examination System Amended

The Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) recently revised several aspects of the examination system for trademarks in order to improve the convenience of applicants. Some of the most important changes include the following:

- Expansion of the scope for amendments regarding product classes:
Under the previous regulations, it was not permitted to add an additional product class as this was regarded as a change of the original content of the application. For example, it was not permitted to add the class "business suits" to an already existing class "clothes" in order to specify the scope of protection. According to the new regulations, however, it is permitted to add additional product classes as long as these classes do not extend the scope of protection.

- Extension of the term for submitting statements of opinion:
Under the new examination standards, the time period for submitting a statement of opinion in response to office actions was extended from previously two months to four months calculated from the day of receipt of the office action.