• What is a design and what's the difference between a design and a trademark?

    A design is a combination of the shape, form or color of a product. The lettering and style of the letters are also part of a design.

    Design registration offers the following benefits:
    1. It lets people know the product and image of the manufacturing company.
    2. It offers corporate protection by prohibiting competitors from copying the product.
    3. It is the first step towards international protection.

    A design right pertains to the external shape of the product itself. In contrast, a trademark right pertains to a mark that is attached to the product or a mark that is used to advertise the product.

  • How long is the application and registration process for a design right?

    After submitting a design application, you should receive a decision on the registrability of your design within seven months generally of the application date.

    If the examiner detects any problems with your application during the examination process, you will be notified and allowed to submit a supplementary statement in response to the examiner's concerns. You should receive a decision on the registrability of the design within three months of your submittal.

    Note that if the problems with your application are not adequately resolved, it will be rejected.

  • When I file a design application can I use a single application form for several similar designs?

    No. You need to use a separate application form for each design

  • For my design application, can I submit a photograph instead of a drawing?

    Yes. However, the photograph should clearly illustrate the design and have a plain background and no shadows. It should also be no larger than 10cm x 15cm and no smaller than 7cm x 10cm.

  • Can I amend my design after filing an application?

    Yes. However, you can only make an amendment provided you have not yet received a notification of provisional refusal. Note also that the amendment must be a minor feature as you cannot change the essential character of the initial design

  • How can I extend the deadline for submitting a supplementary statement of a written argument?

    If you cannot submit a supplementary statement of a written argument within the designated period, you can submit a request for an extension.
    The extension details are as follows:
    o When submitting a statement in response to a notification of a supplementary statement for a formal examination, you can seek a one-month extension up to four times.
    o When submitting a statement in response to a notification of written argument, you can seek a one-month extension up to two times.
    o The extension fee is 20,000 won for the first extension; 30,000 won for the second extension; 60,000 won for the third extension; and 120,000 won for the fourth extension.

  • When I file a design application do I need to apply separately for a design examination?

    No. In contrast to patent applications, there is no need to apply separately for an examination of a design application. However, after the design is laid open, you may request a preferential examination if someone else is using the same design. Your design may also be examined urgently if it is designated in a presidential decree.

  • Can I abandon some of my designs that have been registered as multiple designs?

    Yes. After your application has been approved and you have paid the registration fees, you can abandon some of your designs. You should submit Form 12 with a payment receipt and specify which designs you wish to abandon. Don't forget to check the abandonment box on Form 12.

  • Last updated 13 August 2020
  • International Cooperation Division
    (Design Examination Policy Division)