While some Asian patent office websites can be tricky to navigate, I find South Korea’s patent office website to be straightforward. What’s even better is their site has great information and even includes a way to download some information in bulk. Let’s look at what the South Korean patent office website has to offer.
South Korea, hereinafter referred to as Korea for brevity, has a great website but at first glance, it can be a bit overwhelming. When first navigating to the Korean patent office website, a pop-up window may appear asking if you would like a tutorial. Once you close that window you are left with the basic search screen.
Once you put in your search criteria (e.g. application number, patent number or applicant), viola, there’s your results. If you don’t know the matter type (e.g. patent, design, trademark) for your record, keeping the “All” selection in the drop down is a clever way to verify the matter type. However, in some cases, you may already know the matter type and want to access a group of records.
For example, if you want to access a group of records by applicant, you might find it useful to select “Patent” in the drop-down instead of “All.” The main reason for this being that searching by a specific matter type allows for bulk downloading of information.
Once you’ve hit the green icon with a magnifying glass you will get one or more results. From there you can select records for download by clicking on the checkbox to the left of each record. Then just under the peach/orange section is a small but important Excel icon.
After selecting your records for downloading, click on the word “Excel” and you can then have an Excel version of the data. This is great if you need to do some basic bibliographic information verification or making sure you have all the records for a given applicant. This has come in handy many times in my analytic projects.
Another great feature of this website is the sort and filter capability on the left-hand side of the screen. When an applicant search is too large and you just want to focus on the active matters, it’s a lifesaver to be able to filter by status, particularly since they have some different statuses like Ended, Invalidated, Withdrawn and Unexamined.
Please take note on how much information is already displayed in the results screen. If all you need to verify is registration date (aka grant date), agent, and/or title for instance, then you may not even need to click into the record. I like this amount of visibility and we haven’t even gotten into a record yet!
One potential downside to the site is that when opening a record, it pops up in a new window. I find this a bit overkill. A new tab, maybe, but I personally don’t like the design. If you want to open another record and the previous record’s pop-up window is open, the new record’s information displays instead in the opened window.
Once you get over the pop-up, you see again the data transparency of the Korean patent office. They have most of the bibliographic information in the first section, Details. Everything from International Application Number to Priority Information to Number of Examination Claims (take note the number of claims is 43) and even the Abstract is easily accessible.
If you are a fan of wanting to know how examination is going, feel free to navigate over to the Legal Status section whereby you can see the examination details. This may prove useful if you need to know the examination history for file opening or docketing verification purposes.
Since I’m a renewals nerd, my favorite section is the Registr. Details. As expected, towards the bottom of this section, the website shows annuities data such as annuity year, date paid, and payment amount. All useful but typical annuity information. What you may not be aware of is two key pieces of information at the top of the section.
First, take notice of the Number of Claims field (remember my mention of Number of Examination Claims previously). Sometimes, during examination, the number of claims changes. Since Korean annuity amounts are based, in part, on the number of claims, make sure to use the claim number on the Registr. Details section. In this example, the Number of Examination Claims is 43 but the granted number of claims is 27. That’s a significant difference in annuity pricing for this applicant.
The next field is the (Expected) Date of Expiration. This can be a life saver when trying to determine when a patent has reached its term. I’m so used to the United States patent office merely offering an Excel spreadsheet calculator for parties interested in verifying the expiration manually. Even if the Korean website’s Date of Expiration is not a guaranteed date, I still fully appreciate that this information is given to me.
Now you know the treasures of searching the Korean patent office website! I’m sure there are more. If you know of one I didn’t mention, please let us know or post on our LinkedIn page. If you found this valuable, we have another post that focuses on how to calculate the deadline for filing a divisional patent application in Korea. Black Hills IP hopes this content becomes a continuous flow of information that the IP community can rely and act on. We are the leaders in smarter IP data docketing.