Under the Law on Intellectual Property and its regulations, patent applications, including national stage applications, will be formally examined, then published, and then substantively examined. The periods for examinations and publication are shown below. In practice, the examination periods are often delayed due to the NOIP’s backlog.
The formalities examination results will be available within 1 month from either:
(i) the first day of the 32nd month from the earliest priority date, or
(ii) the date on which NOIP receives the power of attorney or a copy of the general power of attorney, whichever is later. If the examination results are positive, NOIP will issue a decision on acceptance of valid application. If NOIP considers that the application has defects, it will issue an office action requiring the applicant to remedy the defects. After the defects are remedied, NOIP will issue the decision on acceptance of valid application.
When the application passes the formalities examination and the decision on acceptance of valid application is issued, it will be published in the Industrial Property Gazette within 2 months from the date of the decision on acceptance of valid application.
Substantive examination results will be available within 18 months from either:
(i) the date of receipt of the request for substantive examination, if the request is submitted after the publication date or
(ii) the publication date if the request is lodged before the publication date. Accordingly, the earlier the request is submitted, the earlier a communication of examination results will be issued.